Zoning the Ocean

President Barack Obama has an ambitious plan for Washington bureaucrats to take command of the oceans—and with it control over much of the nation’s energy, fisheries, even recreation in a move described by lawmakers as the ultimate power grab to zone the seas.

The massive undertaking also includes control over key inland waterways and rivers that reach hundreds of miles upstream, and began with little fanfare when Obama signed an executive order in 2010 to protect the aquatic environment.

Read the full article by Audrey Hudson on Human Events

The key analysis: “(F)ormer Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, a member of the Ocean Policy Task Force, told One Earth Magazine in May, 2010, the plan is ‘basically taking the notion of urban planning and putting it into the water column, as well as the estuary systems that connect it to everything that impacts ocean ecosystems’.”

“This is purely a unilateral administrative action with no real congressional input or oversight,” Vitter said. “I think it clearly threatens to have a big impact on a lot of industry, starting with energy, oil and gas, and fishing.”

But in his zeal to curb sea sprawl, lawmakers say the president’s executive order also gives Washington officialdom unprecedented reach to control land use as well.

“The order says they shall develop a scheme for oversight of oceans and all the sources thereof,” Flores said. “So you could have a snowflake land on Pikes Peak and ultimately it’s going to wind up in the water, so as a result they could regulate on every square inch of U.S. soil.”

Rep. Don Young (R–Alaska) explained the new bureaucracy to his constituents during an April 3 Alaska field hearing as “a complicated bureaucratic scheme which includes a 27-member national ocean council; an 18-member governance coordinating committee; 10 national policies; nine regional planning bodies—each involving as many as 27 federal agencies as well as states and tribes; nine national priority objectives; nine strategic action plans; seven national goals for coastal marine spatial planning; and 12 guiding principles for coastal marine spatial planning.”


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