Tag Archives: obama-administration

Former Obama Official: Bureaucrats Manipulate Climate Stats To Influence Policy

A former member of the Obama administration claims Washington D.C. often uses “misleading” news releases about climate data to influence public opinion. Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told The Wall Street Journal Monday that bureaucrats within former President Barack Obama’s administration spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion. “What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin said, referring to elements within the Obama administration he said were responsible for manipulating climate data.,,  Press officers work with scientists within agencies like the National Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and NASA and are responsible for crafting misleading press releases on climate, he added. Koonin is not the only one claiming wrongdoing. House lawmakers with the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, for instance, recently jumpstarted an investigation into NOAA after a whistleblower said agency scientists rushed a landmark global warming study to influence policymakers. Click here to read the rest, and click here to watch the video 16:06

NOAA Says Its Hot As Ever? A NOAA Whistle Blower Turns The Heat Up On Them!!

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015. The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data. It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised. The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers. Read the full story here 20:55

Canadian seafood industry braces for new U.S. traceability rules

Canadian seafood producers will need to “raise their game” to satisfy new American seafood traceability rules, according to federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc. The Seafood Import Monitoring Program was one of the final acts of the Obama administration. It will require much more detailed information about catches before they are allowed into the United States. “We need to raise our game to ensure that the Americans receive the evidence they require that our fisheries are compliant, as they are,” LeBlanc said. The goal is stop illegal, unregulated and unreported catches from entering the U.S. The measures go into effect next January. Read the story here 08:18

White House removes climate change from website, but don’t blame Trump

Shortly after Donald Trump’s inauguration, George Takei tweeted the administration had removed pages related to Climate Change, the LGBT community, and healthcare from the official White House website. The former “Star Trek” actor and gay rights’ activist created a firestorm when it got re-tweeted 119 thousand times and media outlets started picking it up as actual ‘news.’ Left-wing activist groups like the Sierra Club and Think Progress quickly began a campaign of misinformation. But as PolitiFact points out, the Trump administration had nothing to do with the missing pages. Before Donald Trump was even sworn in, his transition team was toiling away with President Obama’s administration on backing up and transferring the White House website. That involved getting help from the National Archives Records Administration, which is tasked with preserving the “nation’s record.” PolitiFact also notes the Obama administration removed the pages regarding healthcare, LGBT issues, and climate change (plus hundreds more), and not the Trump administration. Read the story here 16:07

NFI sues NOAA over new IUU rule

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) has sued the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Commerce over a recently enacted rule that could cost the commercial fishing industry as much as USD 1 billion (EUR 946 million) annually. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service issued a final rule on 9 December that requires U.S. seafood importers to trace the origin of the fish they import to either the specific boat that caught the fish or to its collection point, as well as the location and date the fish was caught. The regulation was designed to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing regulation, but it will cost the industry at least USD 100 million (EUR 95 million) per year, NFI said in a press release. Read the story here 14:11

Obama Administration Issuing New Rules to Curb Illegal Fishing, Seafood Fraud

The Obama administration is issuing new rules it says will crack down on illegal fishing and seafood fraud by preventing unverifiable fish products from entering the U.S. market. The new protections are called the Seafood Import Monitoring Program, and they are designed to stop illegally fished and intentionally misidentified seafood from getting into stores and restaurants by way of imported fish. The rules will require seafood importers to report information and maintain records about the harvest and chain of custody of fish, officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The program will start by focusing on “priority species” that are especially vulnerable to illegal fishing, such as popular food fish like tuna, swordfish, Atlantic cod and grouper. The government hopes eventually to broaden the program to include all fish species, NOAA officials said. Read the rest here 17:50

Enviros, Fishing interests balk at Obama’s exclusion of S.C. coastlines from drilling ban

“We are extremely disappointed,” Frank Knapp, president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and co-founder of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast, told The Post and Courier. Last week, Knapp’s organization, representing 35,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families, delivered a letter to the Obama administration asking for a ban on drilling and seismic testing. “Oil and gas exploration and development activities threaten the vibrant coastal environment that supports nearly 1.4 million jobs and contributes $95 billion to the annual gross domestic product, mainly through tourism, commercial fishing and recreation,” Knapp and fellow BAPAC members wrote. “Our currently thriving East Coast businesses are reliant upon healthy ocean ecosystems and are inextricably tied to clean, coastal waters.” The pleas appeared to have fallen on deaf ears. Read the rest here 11:42

I.U.U. Fishing/The latest supposed ocean crisis/All the news that’s fit to print?

Nils Stolpe/FishNet USA – Over the past several years there has been much discussion, debate, posturing, misrepresentation, exaggeration and incipient empire building on and around the subject of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Most of this has been driven by ENGOs and the mega-foundations that support them because they have all of these fish saviors on the payroll with, since the demise of overfishing, not an awful lot to do. Not surprisingly the Obama administration has been complicit in this. Starting out with a point of clarification, IUU fishing is, or should be, a concern in some areas of the world’s oceans – but for reasons that I’ll get to an a bit, it isn’t, or shouldn’t be, in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). In spite of this you can bet dollars to donuts that that’s where all of the ENGOs will be focusing their IUU efforts, because it’s a lot more comfortable, convenient and safe to assault domestic fishermen from their cushy digs in Philadelphia or Washington DC than from some tropical or sub-tropical Hell hole where most of the IUU activity is based. And, I’m sure the feeling in those cushy digs in Philadelphia and Washington is that the public and the pols aren’t sophisticated enough to realize this, and in all likelihood – thanks to the mega-million dollar PR juggernaut that is backstopping their efforts – never will be. To read the complete article, click here 15:15

Obama Administration Approves Nation’s First Ocean Management Plans

929843-le-president-barack-obama-lors-de-son-intervention-au-sommet-2016-our-ocean-conference-a-washingtonPresident Obama’s National Ocean Council has approved the nation’s first ocean plans for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The plans feature databases about the regions’ marine life and habitats. They’ll inform how to plan commercial and recreational activities at sea, while protecting those resources. Grover Fugate, executive director of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, said the databases are open to the public. “So people can see the information that’s going into federal decisions and also state decisions,” said Fugate, “but also then to create a more coordinated decision-making process.” “We’re looking to the ocean for clean renewable wind energy as well as tidal and wave energy,” continued Brooks. “The ocean is increasingly supporting aquaculture and gas pipelines and cables. So ocean planning is an effort to get out ahead of the increasing use of our ocean and be proactive about managing it comprehensively based on science and with the best data possible.” Read the rest here 18:14

Nations 1st Urban Sanctuary Designation Sought For Popular Offshore Fishing area, Baltimore Canyon

The National Aquarium on Monday announced it is seeking the public’s support in its effort to nominate the Baltimore Canyon off the coast of Ocean City as the nation’s first Urban National Marine Sanctuary. The Baltimore Canyon, a 28-mile long and five-mile wide submarine canyon off the coast of Ocean City lies at the center of the resort’s multi-million dollar fishing industry and contains fragile deep sea corals rarely seen anywhere in the world along with habitat for countless species of marine life. The National Aquarium has launched a petition drive to have it designated as the nation’s first Urban National Marine Sanctuary, presenting a unique opportunity to connect an urban population to the ecological treasure using cutting edge deep sea exploration technology. While an Urban National Marine Sanctuary designation for the Baltimore Canyon does not appear to impact fishing and other recreational uses, it certainly bears monitoring. Earlier this fall, the Obama administration designated a vast area the size of Connecticut off the coast of Cape Cod as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the first of its kind in the Atlantic. Marine National Monuments are far more restrictive than national marine sanctuaries. The long-range plan is to phase out all commercial fishing in the marine national monument off the coast of Cape Cod although recreational fishing will still be allowed. Read the story here 08:48

Opinion: Stop the Obama administration from destroying our coastal economy

ObamaThe Obama Administration is very close to unleashing an underwater sonic boom attack off our Atlantic Coast, including South Carolina’s. You probably have two immediate questions. What am I talking about? And why should you care? First, a sonic boom is how Richard Viso, a professor in the Coastal Environment School at Coastal Carolina University, describes seismic testing. Seismic testing is a highly dangerous process that uses intense airgun blasting to send extremely loud sound waves miles below the seafloor in a hunt for oil deposits. One seismic testing vessel can tow up to 96 airguns, which can cover an area 21 times larger than the National Mall in Washington. These sonic booms, which can be heard for thousands of miles underwater, are repeated every 10 to 12 seconds, creating one of the loudest noises in the oceans. Seismic testing under just one lease can go on for up to an entire year. The Obama Administration’s Department of Interior is set to issue up to 9 seismic testing permits because oil companies don’t share information. Read the story here 11:37

NRDC Enviro: Obama Administration is on the verge of weakening the nations fisheries regulations!

ObamaThe U.S. has been a global leader in confronting and effectively tackling the overexploitation of its ocean fisheries. While there’s work still be done—more than three dozen fish populations or stocks (out of 233) remain overfished—American fisheries today are among the most sustainable in the world. Yet, with the job unfinished, the Obama Administration is on the verge of weakening fisheries regulations. Last month, enviro 44 organizations wrote to the president opposing these rollbacks. The changes would represent the first significant weakening of the country’s ocean fisheries policy since 1996, when important conservation provisions were enacted into law. NOAA Fisheries, the agency that regulates U.S. fisheries, is proposing to revise the regulations that implement the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act—the nation’s ocean fisheries law—saying that this will give managers more flexibility to handle current fishery management challenges. Read the rest here 19:39 Read this,  National Marine Fisheries Service Proposes Weakening Magnuson-Stevens Act Regulations click here

Work on Atlantic Marine Monument not done yet, Eric Reid, North Kingstown, Rhode Island

ObamaIn June, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, a Republican U.S. Rep. Utah, visited New Bedford and spoke to several members of the industry regarding their concerns about a potential marine monument off the coast of New England. Following the meeting, I remarked to The Standard-Times reporter that a monument could potentially cost the industry up to $500 million in economy activity, in addition to countless jobs. This estimate has been criticized for being far too high. But it is based on two premises — a conservative estimate of the economic impact of fishing in New England, and the lack of clarity surrounding the marine monument discussion. Currently, the commercial fishing industry from Maine to New Jersey brings in an estimated $1.4 billion per year in landings. These landings support hundreds of millions of dollars more in economic activity for related and shoreside businesses, and employ tens of thousands of people up and down the coast. Read the rest here 08:18

Expanding monument will do more harm than good – Shane Yoshimoto, Honolulu

fisherman-obamaI am writing regarding the proposal to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and to ban commercial fishing there. I work in Hawaii’s fishing industry, but besides it being my livelihood it’s my love and passion. Fish isn’t just a source of food to me or the people of Hawaii; it’s a huge part of the culture. Hawaii’s fishing industry and economy will be impacted if this monument is expanded. I am strongly opposed to the expansion of this monument. We are already limited on locally sourced foods and this would take a significant amount of fresh fish away from Hawaii. Read the rest here 14:04

California’s offshore seamounts at risk of being closed

untitled california seamountIt has long been rumored that conservation groups were hoping to have the President use the Antiquities Act to designate Tanner and Cortes banks as National Marine Monuments.  Finally, this rumor has been put on paper and its reach is far more than just the two areas mentioned above.  The areas in grey below are those being proposed for Monument designation. Unlike the substantial public process that accompanies creation of a National Marine Sanctuary, designation of an area as a National Marine Monument is done outside the public eye – under the Antiquities Act.  The Antiquities Act (54 USC §320301 et seq) empowers the President to, “in the President’s discretion, declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated on land owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be national monuments.”  Read the rest here 17:09

Obama Administration Approves Resumption of California Offshore Fracking

Obama BPClaiming that fracking poses “no significant impact” to the environment, Obama administration officials on May 27 finalized their plans to allow oil companies to resume offshore fracking and acidizing in California’s Santa Barbara Channel. The announcement from the two agencies responsible for oil drilling, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), ended a court-ordered settlement placing a moratorium on offshore fracking and acidizing for oil in the fish and wildlife-rich federal waters off California. The two agencies reported they have completed a comprehensive environmental analysis evaluating the potential impacts from the use of “well stimulation treatments” – acidizing and fracking operations — on the 23 oil and gas platforms currently in operation on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore California. Dan Bacher,  Read the rest here 08:13

Mid Atlantic: National Ocean Policy threatens new regulatory burdens

oceanpolicy-crop-300x185Since its creation by Executive Order in 2010, the Obama administration has hailed its National Ocean Policy (NOP) as a non-regulatory, stakeholder-driven initiative that will lead to reduced burdens and less uncertainty for ocean user groups. In reality, it’s nothing of the sort. This was highlighted recently during a hearing held by the U.S. House Natural Resources’ Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee on the implications of the NOP, where House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop summed up many of the concerns of stakeholders when he noted that “it’s creating more uncertainty, and it certainly is not helping the industry and it’s not helping the environment.” You know what? He’s right. The Long Island Commercial Fishing Association (LICFA) has been closely monitoring the development and implementation of the NOP since its establishment six years ago.  We’ve had no other choice, as we represent stakeholders in New York’s $1.4 billion boat-to-table seafood industry, with Long Island in particular landing 99 percent of the state’s wild-caught seafood. Read the rest here 16:42

Regardless of legally caught sharks, California’s ban on possession and sale of shark fins stands

judgementCalifornia’s ban on the possession and sale of shark fins survived a legal challenge Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Bay Area suppliers and sellers of shark fin soup, a traditional dish in the Chinese American community. “The purpose of the (California) shark fin law is to conserve state resources, prevent animal cruelty, and protect wildlife and public health,” the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in a 2-1 ruling. The court said opponents of the state law had acknowledged that it still allows the use of about 95 percent of any legally caught shark for meat, skin and oils. The Obama administration at first supported opponents of the state law, filing arguments in 2013 that disputed California’s authority to restrict the sale of sharks that had been legally caught in federal waters. But it later changed its position after discussions with state fish and wildlife officials and said the two laws could be harmonized, with federal rules governing shark fishing while California regulated commerce within the state. Read the rest here 12:29

Enviro’s spar with Obama administration over fish catches!

A proposed federal rule that would give regional councils more say in setting catch limits on fish has sparked rare friction between the Obama administration and environmental groups. The proposal, years in the making, could take effect this summer. It would provide the eight councils “additional clarity and potential flexibility” to comply with the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. Groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and Earth Justice say the change could roll back nearly a decade of progress in rescuing once-overfished populations. Read the rest here 20:58

Editorial: ‘Monument’ plan dries up

It turns out there are limits to how far even the Obama administration will go to please the green lobby. The White House has opted not to designate an area of the Atlantic off Cape Ann as a national monument, which would have closed it to commercial fishing and activities such as oil or gas exploration or extraction — permanently. Gov. Charlie Baker last fall had written to President Obama of his objections to the pending national monument designation for Cashes Ledge and a second area known as the New England Canyons and Seamounts, largely because of the unilateral nature of the decision. Some members of the state’s congressional delegation had also raised concerns. Read the rest, Click here 09:14

Maine congressional delegation asks Obama to rebuff ban on lobster exports to EU

10-lobsters1Maine’s congressional delegation on Monday asked the Obama administration to resist efforts to ban the import of live Maine lobsters by European Union countries, saying the discovery of American lobsters in Swedish waters doesn’t warrant such harsh measures. “Since only a small number of Maine lobsters have been found in foreign waters, we believe regulators should take a more finely tuned approach before calling this an ‘invasion,'” Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin wrote in the letter. Read the rest here 08:08

Opinion: Cashes Ledge decision a victory for open government

cashes ledge closedThe decision by the Obama administration to pass on a proposal to make a large swath of the Gulf of Maine a national monument is not only a victory for fishermen. It’s also a win for those who favor open government. News came late last week that the administration would not, in fact, use the federal Antiquities Act to make the area around Cashes Ledge a permanent “maritime national monument” by executive decree. The environmental lobby is not abandoning its efforts. Read the rest here 07:49

BREAKING – Cashes Ledge dropped from National Marine Monument plan

cashes ledge closedThe proposal to place a National Marine Monument around the area of Cashes Ledge about 80 miles off of Cape Ann has been “taken off the table,” members of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality told fishing stakeholders Thursday at a meeting in Boston. The Obama administration’s decision not to use the Antiquities Act to designate the area of Cashes Ledge as a Marine National Monument is a victory for fishing stakeholders and others who characterized the proposal — pushed largely by environmentalists and conservationists — as an end-run around the existing fisheries management system and wholly unnecessary given the existing protections already afforded the area that currently is closed to commercial fishing. Read the rest here 11:31

Cooper: Hypocritical winds blowing over Atlantic

cape-wind-power-farm-b1Just a day after saying it will ban commercial oil drilling off the Atlantic Coast, the Obama administration dedicated more than 125 square miles off Long Island in the Atlantic for the development of commercial wind energy. The hypocrisy could be heard up and down the more than 2,000 miles of Atlantic coastline. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was the administration point person sent out to make the case. The oil drilling decision, she said on Tuesday, “protects the Atlantic for future generations. Now is not the time to start leasing off the Atlantic Coast.” Read the rest here 14:09

Obama reverses course, won’t allow Atlantic coast oil drilling

Obama BPThe Obama administration is reversing course on opening Atlantic waters to a new generation of oil and gas drilling, after a revolt by environmentalists and coastal communities that said the activity threatened marine life, fishing and tourism along the East Coast. The proposed offshore leasing program to be released Tuesday eliminates the administration’s initial plan to auction off drilling rights in as many as 104 million acres of the mid- and south-Atlantic in 2021, according to an Interior Department official who requested anonymity because the plan wasn’t yet public. Read the rest here 14:10

Jersey Shore Rally Urges Obama Admin to #KillTheDrill, #ProtectOurAtlantic

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressman Frank Pallone (N.J.-06) today were joined by over 100 local leaders, environmental and tourism groups, Jersey Shore business owners and residents at a rally on the Asbury Park boardwalk to demand action to guard the Atlantic against offshore oil and gas exploration. The Obama Administration is currently planning to allow oil production off the coast of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia, putting New Jersey’s economy and shore communities at significant risk of a catastrophic oil spill.  The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is expected to release its revised plan in the coming weeks. Read the rest here 08:07

White House, Greens target Atlantic fishing grounds

Fishermen and seafood-dependent communities in New England are battening down the hatches, fearing that an Obama administration move to create a giant Atlantic Marine Monument will spell the end to their way of life. Led by Earthjustice, the Conservation Law Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic Society, and the Pew Charitable Trust, environmentalists are urging the White House to use the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate a 6,000-square-mile area in the  and off the coast of Massachusetts as a National Monument. Read the rest here 09:25

Md. seafood survives another round on guest worker program

Leaders of Maryland’s seafood industry are cheering an expansion of a guest worker program they deem critical for crab season as part of the $1.1 trillion federal spending bill signed by President Barack Obama this month. But industry leaders say they are concerned about the future. Labor unions, civil rights groups — and, increasingly, political conservatives — have taken aim at the program that brings tens of thousands of seasonal workers to the country annually, including for the crab-picking and oyster-shucking seasons on the Eastern Shore. Read the article here 14:33

Op-Ed: The risks oil lobbyists don’t want you to know

Obama BPAs the Obama Administration nears a final decision about opening the Virginia coast to offshore drilling, outsider oil and gas industry representatives have ramped up their campaign to drill. But these oil lobbyists do not represent the many Virginians that stand firmly opposed to the proposal to open our coasts to offshore drilling — business owners, community members, fishermen, and families along the coast. After all, we’re the ones whose jobs would be put at risk if offshore drilling begins off our coast. Read the op-ed here 16:14

Officials calling for more accurate fish counts

The federal agency in charge of the nation’s fisheries should do a better job counting fish so it can develop proper catch limits for recreational anglers, a report by Congress’ investigative arm concludes. The analysis by the Government Accountability Office was requested nearly three years ago by several Republican senators from the Gulf Coast who believe the Obama administration may have been overly restrictive in imposing catch limits on several popular fish, including red snapper. Read the article here 09:10