Hawaii Lawmakers To Obama: Don’t Grow Marine Monument

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National MonumentAmid the flurry of final votes on hundreds of bills last week, Hawaii lawmakers privately weighed whether to sign a letter to President Obama that Rep. James Tokioka was circulating during the last few days of the legislative session. The letter called on the president not to consider expanding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, stating that “there is no scientific justification or conservation benefit in doing so.” In all, 30 House lawmakers, including Speaker Joe Souki, signed the May 3 letter. Just days earlier, Hawaii Senate President Ron Kouchi sent Obama a nearly identical one. This opposition, which lawmakers kept out of public view, has been overshadowed by a strong public push to expand the monument, officially designated by President George W. Bush as Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in 2007. Read the rest here 08:27

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