In the famous poem Paul Revere’s Ride, Revere instructs his fellow patriots to use lanterns to signal whether there’s an attack coming by land or sea. While we may no longer have to fear the British, Americans should be warned of a new threat coming by sea in the form of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy and ocean zoning initiative.
President Obama is using the ocean as his latest regulatory weapon to impose new bureaucratic restrictions on nearly every sector of our economy. While marketed as a common sense plan for the development and protection of our oceans, it is instead being used to create a massive new bureaucracy that would harm our economy.
Established through Executive Order, Mr. Obama, with a simple stroke of a pen, took unilateral action to impose a massive top-down federal bureaucracy with broad regulatory control over our oceans, Great Lakes, rivers, tributaries and watersheds.
The Executive Order creates a tangled web of regulatory layers that includes: 10 National Policies; a 27-member National Ocean Council; an 18-member Governance Coordinating Committee; and 9 Regional Planning Bodies.
This has led to an additional: 9 National Priority Objectives; 9 Strategic Action Plans; 7 National Goals for Coastal Marine Spatial Planning; and 12 Guiding Principles for Coastal Marine Spatial Planning.
Imposing mandatory ocean zoning could place huge portions of our oceans and coasts off-limits, seriously curtailing recreational activities, commercial fishing and all types of energy development — including renewable energy such as offshore wind farms.
Grabbing Inland Waterways As Well
What’s even more alarming is that the impact of this Executive Order is not limited to just our oceans. It establishes regional planning bodies with the authority to regulate as far inland as necessary. All rivers eventually drain into the ocean, which gives...
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