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Documents Requested in Continued Oversight of President Obama's Executive Order on Ocean Zoning

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) sent five letters to Obama Administration agencies and departments requesting similar information on the development, legal authority, activities, staffing, and funding of President Obama's National Ocean Policy and mandatory ocean zoning initiative.

The letters sent to the Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency ask basic questions about each agency's or department's involvement in the National Ocean Policy and its impact on new and existing policies and regulations. A separate letter was also sent requesting the White House's National Ocean Council respond without further delay and provide information and documents that were originally requested in May and that have still not been provided.

"This Executive Order is a unilateral, back-door maneuver by an army of bureaucrats to zone the Nation's oceans and coastal regions. At a time of tight Federal budgets, this Executive Order has created a new bureaucracy including a 27-member National Ocean Council that involves more than a dozen Federal government agencies, an 18-member Governance Coordinating Committee, 9 Regional Planning Bodies, and requires all federal agencies to meet new policy directives that have no basis in law - while costing untold millions in taxpayer dollars. There are still significant questions about how this initiative is being funded and implemented and it's time for answers," said Chairman Hastings.


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, the President established a top-down, Washington, D.C.--based approval process that will hinder rather than promote ocean and inland activities and cost American jobs. 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.

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