May 28, 2010
House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04), Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals Ranking Member Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Rep. Don Young (AK) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (LA-06) today sent a letter to President Obama expressing concerns over potential policies and actions being considered as a result of reports issues by the President’s Ocean Policy Task Force.
Excerpts from the letter are below, click here to read the entire letter.
“At the beginning of your Administration, Mr. President, you made a commitment to the American people for more transparency in government. In our view, the development of a new federal ocean policy and a framework for marine spatial planning, which could have far reaching effects on numerous ocean-related activities, should follow the most transparent process and involve all interested and affected stakeholders in the public comment process…Overall, there has been a severe lack of openness and transparency throughout this process.”
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“We are concerned that there are many important, unresolved legal issues surrounding the development and implementation of the proposed national ocean policy.”
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“Finally, it is imperative that the national ocean policy and framework for coastal and plans continue to balance conservation with economic and sustainable use of ocean and coastal resources. The suggestion of an inherent conflict and the failure to fully recognize the economic and societal benefits of human activities that take place in or affect the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes poses a substantial risk that a policy will be developed that is detrimental to the economy of our country as well as our national security. Instead, we should be taking actions to increase employment, boost overall economic conditions, and secure our nation while we pursue conservation efforts.”
In June 2009, President Obama issued a memorandum which created the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and directed them to recommend national policy for the management of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.
In September 2009, the Task Force released an Interim Report that proposes a system of ocean governances. The Task Force is scheduled to release final recommendations on December 9, 2009, which could establish an unprecedented zoning system for our oceans.
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