House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) received official notice from the Obama Administration denying the Chairman’s request for a 90-day extension of the public comment period on the draft National Ocean Policy Implementation plan.

 “President Obama issued an Executive Order imposing a new bureaucracy to zone the oceans that threatens to deter new economic investment, suppress job creation, restrict even recreational fishing, block energy development, and stretch far from the shore to affect farmers and inland communities,” Rep. Hastings said in an official release

“That’s not partisan politics, that’s just simple truth,” Donofrio said, adding “If you don’t like the king’s decree, you need to participate in an American revolution on Tuesday, November 6.”

National Ocean Policy is an executive power grab

Plenty of regulations, on the federal, state, and local levels, already govern the supervision of our oceans and coastlines. An estimated 140 laws are on the books for managing fisheries, offshore energy development, and marine conservation.Instead of cutting out the overlap and redundancy, and lessening the heavy burden of government rules, the Obama Administration is following a course that will create broad new regulations and expand Executive Branch overreach.

Just months after President Obama took office he formed a panel of federal bureaucrats and told them to create a “national policy” that would oversee oceans, coastlines, and the Great Lakes. Then, by executive order, the president launched a National Ocean Council which led to nine smaller panels. As the layers of federal bureaucracy pile up, so have the guarantees that the outcome – the president’s National Ocean Policy – will be another top-down, centralized plan that tramples the power of states and the rights of individual citizens.

Perhaps the simplest way to describe this policy and council is to envision a national zoning board for oceans and all of the inland communities and activities that might affect the oceans. You’ve probably dealt with a local zoning board that keeps order between residential neighborhoods and busy commercials areas. You may not always agree with their decisions, but we can all appreciate local control over such matters.

 President Obama’s National Ocean Policy takes zoning to a massive scale, giving Washington pencil pushers more power to decide what activities are acceptable in the ocean zones they create. And when federal agencies are authorizing activities, the converse can be assumed: they will close off other activities, and limit authorized activities only to approved zones. The uncertainty that results will further limit economic growth.

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