Tag Archives: Barack Obama

We must fight any plan to drill off the Jersey Shore

Drilling for oil and natural gas off the coast of New Jersey is a bad idea that never goes away.,,, Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, oil companies actually drilled exploratory wells off Atlantic City. They didn’t find significant enough deposits to continue the effort. But here we are again. New Jersey’s two U.S. senators and House members from coastal districts are opposing the latest push for offshore drilling, just as they have done every time this issue has bubbled to the surface, no matter their party. And the argument — a good one — against offshore drilling is always the same: Why endanger the state’s $44 billion-a-year tourism industry and the 500,000 jobs it supports? Half of that revenue is generated from counties along the coast. Offshore drilling could also threaten the state’s $7.9 billion-a-year fishing industry and the 50,000 jobs it creates. click here to read the story 17:54

New England Fishery Management Council seeks voice in marine monument review

New England fishery regulators might seek to reclaim some of the authority they lost when President Barack Obama virtually walled off thousands of square miles of ocean south of Cape Cod to commercial fisheries. On Tuesday, the New England Fisheries Management Council’s Habitat Committee recommended that the regulatory council provide feedback to the Trump administration about the designation of the 4,913 square-mile area by the continental shelf. “I would strongly suggest we take the opportunity to comment,” said Eric Reid, a council member and the general manager of Seafreeze Shoreside, a seafood processing facility in Galilee, Rhode Island. While the committee members did not delve into what the letter should say during Tuesday’s meeting, the council chairman, former Rep. John Quinn, the director of public interest at the UMass School of Law in Dartmouth, made clear he believes the council should have jurisdiction. click here to read the story 07:57

Fishermen, Conservationists Go Head To Head Over East Coast Underwater National Monument

New England fishermen are hoping President Donald Trump will reverse an undersea monument designation they say has cut them off from nearly 5,000 square miles of valuable fishing grounds off the coast of Cape Cod. Trump last month directed the Department of the Interior to conduct a sweeping review of national monument designations over the last two decades, including the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, which President Barack Obama declared the first undersea national monument in the Atlantic Ocean in September. But Joseph Gilbert, owner of Stonington-based Empire Fisheries, said since the designation, “we’ve been pushed to other areas” creating unnecessary competition and pressure as more boats are fishing in a smaller area. Fishermen, who have been using the area for 200 years, Gilbert said, were given just two months to get out. Though the area represents only 1.5 percent of U.S. waters off the East Coast, Gilbert said it’s another example of fishermen “losing, one nibble or bite at a time, access to historic, productive fishing areas.” click here to read the article 08:01

Barta: President Trump Should Stop the Obama Attack on New England Fisherman

In the waning days of his administration, Barack Obama decided to seriously cripple the American fishing industry. By executive order, the former president designated a vast underwater expanse off the coast of New England as the nation’s first aquatic national monument. This decision, driven by evidence-free environmental concerns, effectively banned all commercial fishing in the area. It’s well within President Trump’s powers to modify this decision, and he ought to do so immediately. Left alone, this designation will undermine the regional economy and deprive countless families of their livelihoods. The monument, officially announced in September, covers about 5,000 square miles of ocean located 130 miles from Cape Cod. For over 40 years, commercial fishermen have harvested this area for crab, squid, swordfish, tuna, and other high-demand seafood. It’s particularly rich in lobster, of which some 800,000 pounds are caught every year. This order ends all that activity. Some fishing companies had just 60 days to leave the area. continue reading the story here 14:37

South Atlantic Offshore drilling fight is still on

Despite a major victory in November, the fight against drilling for oil off South Carolina’s coast isn’t over yet. President Barack Obama used his executive power Tuesday to invoke a rarely used 1953 law to ban oil exploration indefinitely from parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, but South Carolina’s offshore waters inexplicably weren’t included. President Obama cited a number of deep offshore canyons, wellsprings of marine life, as reasons for moving to permanently protect offshore waters from the Chesapeake Bay northward. But similar, ecologically important structures also exist off our coast, such as the “Charleston Bump.” The bottom feature, 80-100 miles offshore, acts as a speed bump in the Gulf Stream and is believed to be important to about 35 fish species. For example, it is the only known spawning ground in U.S. waters where wreckfish occur in numbers large enough to support a fishery. Read the story here 08:41

National monuments should not be one-man shows, must include local input

Barack ObamaThere is a good argument that one person acting unilaterally should not be able to set aside hundreds of thousands of acres under the guise of conservation without adequate debate or discussion about what makes that acreage so very valuable in its pristine form. Likewise, there is a good argument that one person should not be able to put all those acres back into play without adequate public debate or discussion about why that was the wrong decision. Call it a breakdown of our nation’s system of checks and balances. More specifically, call it a gaping hole in the 110-year-old Antiquities Act. Under the act President Barack Obama has established 28 national monuments –President Bill Clinton designated 19. President George W. Bush created two. Sixteen presidents have used the act to establish national monuments; Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush are the only presidents of either party since 1906 who have not. Read the post here 16:09

Sure, let’s protect the oceans, but we still need to fish – Jim Meek

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are getting as common as hipster sightings along the south end of Agricola Street. Just last week, the world’s largest MPA (600,000 square miles) was announced for Antarctica’s Ross Sea. The new MPA was the result of a multilateral negotiating marathon involving nations that don’t get along — like Russia and the U.S. — so let’s hope it all works out for the environment. Speaking of the Americans, their outgoing president has burnished his legacy by using executive orders to announce two massive “national marine monuments” off Hawaii and New England. By massive, I mean 5,000 square miles of MPA territory. We’re not talking the Sailors’ Monument in Point Pleasant Park here, or the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen. Normally, Americans declare marine sanctuaries instead of marine monuments, but the former would involve pre-consultation with a bunch of noisy people including disgruntled fishermen — who can raise an awful ruckus once they’re riled up. So Barack Obama got around all that “let’s-listen-to-the-people-first” nonsense by declaring marine monuments under a century-plus old piece of legislation called the Antiquities Act. So, you’re asking yourself, who can blame a president for using an executive order or two during his last months in office? New England fishermen, that’s who. Read the op-ed here 11:07

Scientist says expanding Hawaii monument is abuse of law

fisherman-obamaUnited States President Barack Obama announced a series of measures in 2014 to protect parts of the world’s oceans which include expanding Hawaii’s Papahanaumokuakea monument under the Antiquities Act. The plan would increase the monument, or reserve, fivefold and could reduce the available fishing grounds in the US exclusive economic zone waters around Hawaii from 63 percent to 15 percent. Members of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council said it would be detrimental to Hawaii’s economy, food security and food production as 95 per cent of its fisheries rely on domestic fishing. Paul Dalzell said claims that the expansion would improve conservation were false. “The Antiquities Act was meant to protect small places. Stop them from being overrun by tourists or being stripped by souvenir hunters. And it’s supposed to be the for the smallest area possible. It was never intended to parcel off great large areas of land or indeed to be applied to make these huge expansions of water.” Link 09:19

Pacific trading partners release Trans-Pacific Partnership pact details

The long-awaited text of a landmark U.S.-backed Pacific trade deal was released on Thursday, revealing the details of a pact aimed at freeing up commerce in 40 percent of the world’s economy but criticized for its opacity.,, Republican White House contender Donald Trump has labeled it a “disaster.” The TPP would be a boon for factory and export economies like Malaysia and Vietnam. Anticipated tariff perks are already luring record foreign investment into Vietnamese manufacturing and both countries are expected to see increased demand for their key exports, from palm oil and rubber to electronics, seafood and textiles. Read the rest here 07:37

BushBama’s Executive Order 13547 on National Ocean Policy is Obscene and Illegal

Background

Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13547 on July 19, 2010, formally adopting the recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force Report regarding the oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes; and directing the agencies to implement those recommendations under the guidance of a National Ocean Council. By doing so, Obama assumed legislative powers not granted to him under the Constitution and…….Read more