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It’s not enough that the White House is moving to lock up hundreds of millions of acres of land in the name of environmental protection. The Obama administration’s neon green radicals are also training their sights on the deep blue seas. The president’s grabby-handed bureaucrats have been empowered through executive order to seize unprecedented control from states and localities over “conservation, economic activity, user conflict and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes.”_
Democrats have tried and failed to pass “comprehensive” federal oceans management legislation five years in a row. The so-called “Oceans 21″ bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Sam Farr of California, went nowhere fast. Among the top reasons: bipartisan concerns about the economic impact of closing off widespread access to recreational fishing. The bill also would have handed environmentalists another punitive litigation weapon under the guise of “ecosystem management.” Instead of accepting defeat, the green lobby simply circumvented the legislative process altogether.
In late July, President Obama established a behemoth 27-member “National Ocean Council” with the stroke of a pen. Farr gloated: “We already have a Clean Air Act and a Clean Water Act. With today’s executive order, President Obama in effect creates a Clean Ocean Act.” And not a single hearing needed to be held. Not a single amendment considered. Not a single vote cast. Who gives a flying fish about transparency and the deliberative process? The oceans are dying!
The panel will have the power to implement “coastal and marine spatial plans” and to ensure that all executive agencies, departments and offices abide by their determinations. The panel has also been granted authority to establish regional advisory committees that overlap with existing regional and local authorities governing marine and coastal planning.
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