Steve Southerland Wants Obama's Oceanic Plans Capsized

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: June 27, 2014 3:55 AM
Steve Southerland and Barack Obama

Steve Southerland and Barack Obama

U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., unveiled a bill on Thursday pushing back against President Barack Obama’s proposal to limit energy exploration and fishing in 780,000 miles of ocean. 

Last week, Obama proposed to create the world’s largest ocean preserve which would end fishing and drilling in American waters around Hawaii and American Samoa. Taking a page from President George W. Bush, Obama looked to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and protect more aquatic life.

Obama said last week that increased pollution and fishing are posing a threat for future generations.

"If we ignore these problems, if we drain our oceans of their resources, we won't just be squandering one of humanity's greatest treasures," Obama said. "We'll be cutting off one of the world's major sources of food and economic growth, including for the United States. We cannot afford to let that happen."

While environmentalists cheered the news, Republicans have criticized Obama for ignoring Congress in his decision. Advocates for consumer fishermen have also criticized the proposal, noting that 3 percent of American tuna fishing comes from the area Obama is closing off.

Southerland’s “Marine Access and State Transparency (MAST) Act” mandates Obama’s proposal and any similar actions in the future would need to be approved by state governments bordering the impacted oceans, and Congress.

“The president is brazenly attempting to shut down access to a portion of our oceans that’s larger than Florida, Texas, and Alaska combined,” said Southerland on Thursday. “In response, I introduced common-sense legislation to improve transparency and stop this unprecedented water grab from occurring without the consent of the individual states and their citizens.”

Southerland noted his bill would not impact Florida waters already closed to oil exploration but insisted that it would stop Obama from using the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create marine monuments off the coast of the Sunshine State, limiting commercial and recreational fishing in those waters.

“North and Northwest Florida’s fishermen are already struggling to survive under this president’s overregulation of our oceans, and they deserve to know some in Congress are fighting to stop him from making their jobs even tougher,” Southerland said.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (2)

C Breeze
9:31AM JUN 27TH 2014
Obama has already co-opted hundreds of thousands of acres of land in the Southwest at the bidding of the Sierra Club environmentalists and their ilk;..AND now he plans to "fence off" 780,000 miles of ocean around Hawaii & Samoa ? Can it be that he believes he is protecting his "retirement place" for HIS family, AFTER he has brought continental America "to its knees"? Our "moronic king" is out of control and has rendered himself "naked" before the ENTIRE world !
9:44AM JUN 27TH 2014
Breeze, some research before commenting could enhance your credibility. Like getting all the facts. Obama is simply expanding an area established by G.W. BUSH. Did you complain back then? Due to its remote location, it is hardly fished and no oil exploration is likely because the area is too costly to get to.

We need to encourage Steve to work on REAL issues. My previous post:

Of all the important business Congress needs to attend to – like creating jobs and extending unemployment to job seekers, Southerland is wasting time (time in the Fed govt = tax dollars) on something that not impact the US economy, fishing or oil drilling. And he does it based on lies. I wonder when his base will get fed up with the constant diet of “red meat,” aka anti-Obama schemes.

Highlights from ABC/AP June 17, 2014 report:

“Obama hasn't settled on the final boundaries

“expanding a national monument his predecessor established in waters thousands of miles from the American mainland….President George W. Bush, a Republican, created the monument in 2009 by setting aside waters that encircle an array of remote islands in the south-central Pacific, between Hawaii and American Samoa.

“ maritime law gives the U.S. control up to 200 nautical miles from the coast, forming the outer limit of what Obama could protect using the 1906 Antiquities Act.

“Very little commercial fishing is conducted around the islands.

“strategist for analytics agency IHS Energy, said no one is currently exploring for oil or gas in the area.

"These are fairly long distances from any ports, and they're very expensive to get to,"

“Obama has increasingly invoked his own authority to impose environmental protections during his second term, wary of ceding control to lawmakers who have shown no appetite for major legislation to fight climate change and other ecological challenges.

And here is the real reason for Southerland’s bill -- CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL: “Republicans reacted with similar indignation Tuesday and accused Obama of overreaching…Rep. John Fleming, R-La., who chairs the House subpanel dealing with oceans and wildlife, said Obama was invoking climate change even though the century-old Antiquities Act wasn't intended to deal with global warming.

"This is clearly way outside of his constitutional boundaries," Fleming said in an interview. "It's just another step in the wrong direction for our imperial president."

But look what Obama just did to property the fishing industry. I have not heard Southerland complain this is Obama overreaching:

“In another environmental move, Obama launched a task force to combat black-market fishing and seafood fraud, in which seafood products are mislabeled to hide their origin. One-fifth of wild marine fish caught each year are considered to be part of the black market, the White House said. The black market for fish cost the legitimate fishing industry $23 billion.”

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