Guest Opinion: Ocean policy reaches far beyond the sea

If there’s one accomplishment President Obama can take credit for during his first term in office, it’s expanding the size and reach of the federal government.  While this may be good for government bureaucrats, the policies and regulations imposed by the Obama Administration are hurting American businesses and impeding economic recovery.  Instead of focusing on creating new jobs, the administration has instead allowed the federal government to insert itself in places it’s never been and doesn’t belong.

One prime example of this, which has largely flown under the radar, is the President’s new plan to zone and regulate our oceans.  Done unilaterally through Executive Order, the President’s National Ocean Policy will change how all federal agencies regulate activities impacting the ocean and Great Lake ecosystems.  Without clear statutory authority, it sets up a new level of top-down federal bureaucracy with authority over the way inland, ocean and coastal activities are managed.  

This has the potential to inflict damage across a spectrum of sectors including agriculture, fishing, construction, manufacturing, mining, oil and natural gas, renewable energy, and marine commerce, among others.  These industries currently support tens of millions of jobs and contribute trillions of dollars to the U.S. economy.

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