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CEQ Chair Dodges Questions on Obama Administration Plans To Zone The Ocean

April 19, 2013

Agenda 21

Back in October of 2011 I wrote about President Obama’s Executive Order 13547: Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts and the Great Lakes.  This EO seeks United States accession to the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).  For background information and related links, see the article here.  The National Committee on Resources has been attempting to get information from CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley for over two years without success and has issued a press release today, as follows:

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 19, 2013

Yesterday, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs held an oversight hearing examining the spending priorities outlined in the President’s FY2014 budget requests for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

At the hearing, Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) and Members of the Committee pressed CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley to be more responsive and timely in providing information and documents to the Committee. Over the past two years, the Committee has repeatedly attempted to obtain information on the development, legal authority, regulatory burdens, staffing, and funding sources of this policy. These requests have been largely ignored, and yesterday’s hearing did not provide sufficient answers to these important questions. For example, after being pressed to name who from CEQ or other agencies was involved in the development and implementation of the plan, Ms. Sutley was not able to specify one person or staff member who has contributed to this effort.

In response, Chairman Hastings today sent a letter renewing his requests for information on the various activities, costs, impacts, and burdens associated with implementation of the National Ocean Policy and asking a number of follow up questions from yesterday’s budget oversight hearing. Click here to read the letter.

“Over the past two years, the Obama Administration has repeatedly limited public transparency and frustrated attempts to obtain information about the cost, legal authority, activities, and staffing involved with developing and implementing regional ocean zoning plans and other parts of the National Ocean Policy,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings. “Ms. Sutley’s testimony before the Subcommittee did little to provide clarity or allay concerns about the funding sources, regulatory impact, mandatory nature, and role of States, local governments, Tribes, and interested groups in implementing the National Ocean Policy. This is unacceptable, especially now that the final plan has been released.”

Background

On July 19th, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 13547 to adopt the final recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force to implement a new National Ocean Policy, which includes a mandatory Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning initiative to “zone” the oceans. In this unilateral action, he established a top-down, Washington, D.C.–based approval process that will hinder rather than promote ocean and inland activities and cost American jobs. The final implementation plan – released earlier this week – raises more questions than answers and provides even less information on what the Obama Administration will impose under the guise of a National Ocean Policy and the impending regional management plans.

Due to concerns about the impact of the National Ocean Policy on economic and recreational activities in ocean, coastal, and inland environments, the House of Representatives in both the 112th and 113th Congresses passed amendments by bipartisan votes to halt funding for President Obama’s National Ocean Policy. The Natural Resources Committee has held multiple hearings and sent a series of letters to the National Ocean Council to conduct oversight and get answers to the many questions surrounding this policy.

The failure of the administration to respond to repeated Congressional requests for information appears to be more of the standard operating procedure of this most transparent presidency in America’s history.  How long will we the people allow this to continue?

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About laura997

Ordinary citizen concerned with the direction our country is headed.

View all posts by laura997

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