Obama setting aside massive Pacific Ocean preserve

President to expand national monument established by his predecessor
Associated Press
Jun 17, 2014

Vowing to protect fragile marine life, President Barack Obama acted Tuesday to create the world's largest ocean preserve by expanding a national monument his predecessor established in waters thousands of miles from the American mainland.

The designation for a remote stretch of the Pacific Ocean marks a major symbolic victory for environmentalists, who have urged the president to take action on his own to protect the planet as Congress turns its focus elsewhere. But the initiative will have limited practical implications because little fishing or drilling are taking place even without the new protections.

Protecting the world's oceans and the vibrant ecosystems that thrive deep under the surface is a task that's bigger than any one country but the U.S. must take the lead, Obama said, announcing the initiative during an ocean conservation conference.

"Let's make sure that years from now we can look our children in the eye and tell them that, yes, we did our part, we took action, and we led the way toward a safer, more stable world," Obama said in a video message.

Obama hasn't settled on the final boundaries for the expanded Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, and will solicit input from fishermen, scientists and conservation experts. Obama's senior counselor, John Podesta, said that process would start immediately and wrap up "in the very near future."

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.

Bush's protections extend about 50 miles from the shore of the U.S.-administered islands, but 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.

Conservation groups urged Obama to be bold. If Obama opts for the full 200 miles, conservation groups said, he could roughly double the amount of ocean that's protected worldwide.

A geographic analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts estimated Obama could protect more than 780,000 square miles — almost nine times what Bush set aside — and far more if he included the waters around other U.S. islands in the Pacific Ocean.

"Our oceans are feeling the strain of human activity from increased acidification, overfishing, and pollution, and we need to take bold action to protect this vital natural resource," said Carol Browner, the former Environmental Protection Agency administrator.

But in practical terms, the expanded sanctuary will likely have a modest impact.

Very little commercial fishing is conducted around the islands. And Bob Fryklund, chief upstream strategist for analytics agency IHS Energy, said no one is currently exploring for oil or gas in the area.

But conservation groups said it's critical to take proactive steps to safeguard underwater ecosystems even if direct human damage isn't imminent.

"These are fairly long distances from any ports, and they're very expensive to get to," said Lance Morgan of the Marine Conservation Institute. "Still, we don't know what all the future uses are going to be."

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. Earlier this month Obama unveiled unprecedented pollution limits on power plants, enraging Republicans and even some Democrats.

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."

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. The presidential memorandum calls for the task force to submit recommendations within six months.

 

Comments

Darwin's choice

"Conservation groups urged obama to be bold..."

And yet, millions of citizens urge obama to anything, and get nothing.

'ol clueless!

obama/failing

coasterfan

Apparently, Darwin didn't get the memo that Obama caught the main Benghazi terrorist today. Would this count as "doing something"?

Darwin's choice

Really? how convient!

How about stopping the thousands of illegals weekly crossing into the U.S.?

You should jump and cheer though, his failures are monumental, and he should designate a star system after himself, and the dozen of newspeople who have interviewed the "perp". LOL !!!

Obama/still failing

Darwin's choice

Here's the real obama.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O...

Poor obama doesn't know which way to lie!

Licorice Schtick

Don't waste a click. It's just Lying O'Reilly on Faux News.

Contango

Thought it was funny to hear Brit Hume say that we're 'finally' learning how incompetent the prez is.

H*ll, I knew that sh*t back in IL when he was my 'incompetent' U.S. Senator.

He 'promised' the people of IL to serve out his term and not run for POTUS. lol

Contango

Re: "Obama caught the main Benghazi terrorist today."

Pres. Obama was in Libya and personally tracked this dude down? Amazing!

Abu Khatallah's defense: It was a video which ticked me off. Just like your president said!

Why the h*ll was there a consulate in Benghazi when the capital is Tripoli?

Why the h*ll did Pres. Obama stick his big jumbo ears into the Libyan civil war and then tell Congress to 'stuff it'?

freespeech1

Hey toaster, I thought it wasn't an organized attack? That's what obummer made us believe! So now it was an organized attack, you on the left really have no shame.

Donegan

"main Benghazi terrorist" LOL! The guy was in plain sights for almost 2 years and they have just now picked him up. Obama has done nothing besides going 1 over par before hitting the campaign dinner.

mikeylikesit

the 58th state..

The Answer Person

What an ignorant boring bunch of blatherings. It says "comment" not "vomment".

Darwin's choice

Please put yourself on ignore from reading comments.

jazzbo

Fox News/still failing

Darwin's choice

This is failing....

"As the nation sees a never-ending stream of illegals crossing our southern border, aided and abetted by Obama officials who are sending them in droves to other states and giving them attorneys rather than sending them back home, Barack Obama will honor illegal aliens at the White House today. The Hill reports on this honor being bestowed on 10 young adults who are in this country due to the nation’s laws being broken. Each qualified for the program to defer deportation actions implemented by Obama via yet another abuse of executive orders."

Yesterday's news,todays.... obama's approval rating this morning..36%...and falling.

obama/failing

jazzbo

What rating are you referring to?
Foreign policy rating...?

Darwin's choice

"MSNBC’s Chuck Todd described the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll as a “disaster for the president” and argued that the American public is essentially saying Obama’s “presidency is over.”

This poll is a disaster for the president. You look at the presidency here: lowest job rating, tied for the lowest; lowest on foreign policy. His administration is seen as less competent than the Bush administration, post-Katrina.
And

“On the issue of do you believe he can still lead? A majority believe no. Essentially the public is saying your presidency is over.
The Wall Street Journal adds more details:

As clouds gather abroad, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds Mr. Obama’s job approval rating at 41%, matching a previous low. Approval of his handling of foreign policy hit a new low of 37%. Both numbers are driven in part by conflicts largely outside the president’s control, including a new wave of sectarian violence in Iraq.
*
*
At the same time, Americans seem to be losing faith in Mr. Obama’s ability to accomplish his goals, with 54% of those polled saying they no longer feel the president “is able to lead the country and get the job done,” compared with the 42% who said he could. And 41% said his administration’s performance has gotten worse over the past year, compared with the 15% who noted improvement.
Unfortunately, it isn’t 2016 yet. And with a President who loves executive orders, doesn’t mind making up the rules to Obamacare as we go along, enjoys using the IRS to spy on conservatives, or loves releasing dangerous Taliban terrorists… there is still plenty of damage Barack Obama can do to America.

But Chuck Todd is an Obama supporter on a network which essentially exists to prop up the Administration, and it’s nice to hear even they are willing to admit defeat."

freespeech1

Here is a record of Obama admin planning for this orchestrated crisis. Obama’s Plot to Import Illegal Alien Children Uncovered – http://www.teaparty.org/breaking... This is a carbon copy of Obama’s gun running Fast & Furious operation done for political objectives, except he is using children this time. This using the children operation is another example of the Cloward-Piven Strategy in full bore orchestrated/manufactured crisis mode and is being implemented by Obama along our southern border to overload the system, our southern
border security, to try and garner political support for his open borders agenda and political objectives on immigration. And if he can’t get it he is willing to destroy our sovereign border integrity: http://www.scribd.com/doc/610048....

jazzbo

Do you have any proof outside of the Teaparty camp ?

Darwin's choice

Proof? Just how stupid are you?
Do you not believe these kids are coming here?
Where do you get your information? Can you prove the above statements aren't true??
Idiot obamabot.

obama/failing

jazzbo

I'm waiting for freespeech1 give me outside proof that what his post says is true, you stupid ass-hole.

Darwin/loser

There you go again

This isn't the top news story.....missing IRS emails, 50,000+ illegals and gang members entering the US, Iraqi chaos. Now those are top stories!!!

freespeech1

They wont publish stories that make Obama look bad. Shows how pathetic our media is anymore.

Donegan

The only ones gullible enough to believe the IRS lost 3 years worth of E-mails from 6 different people is people like Coaster and Dog. Not really a news story when the headline reads "Admin lies..Again!!"

Contango

Re: "Obama setting aside massive Pacific Ocean preserve,"

Wealthy, 'set for life' bureaucrats have their agendas and don't care how their diktats affects the livelihood of the "little people."

Contango

Pres. Obama: "Let's make sure that years from now we can look our children in the eye and tell them that, yes, we did our part, we took action, and we led the way toward a safer, more stable world,"

A "safer, more stable world" is gonna be accomplished by expanding a Pacific ocean preserve that most Americans in their lifetime will never visit?

Pure unadulterated sophistry.

Meanwhile:

"According to a recent Rand study, between 2010 and 2013, there was a 58% increase in the number of Salafi-jihadist terror groups around the world.

During that same period, the number of terrorists doubled."

Reads less safe and "stable".

http://online.wsj.com/articles/d...

Contango

Pres. Obama may expand a Pacific Ocean preserve that only the one percenters like himself will ever visit, but:

"Social Security closes offices as baby boomers age"

"Social Security has closed 64 field offices since 2010, the largest number of closures in a five-year period in the agency's history."

Don't the Dems keep telling us that Soc. Security is solvent?

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2...

Contango

"Over 75% of West Point Cadets Refuse to Give Obama Standing Ovation!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g...

http://investmentwatchblog.com/o...

Why wasn't this reported by the Obama News Media?

looking around

LOL @ conmantango....as you always like to say deflect.....deflect....deflect. Your getting to be quite the sword fencing artist!

Contango

Ya learn from the best, Sport.

When the world is coming down around his big jumbo ears, what does the Messiah do? Deflect, deflect, deflect.

Last wkend:

The President had time to get in a fundraiser, a commencement speech about global warming, a round of golf and possible house hunting.

http://blog.pe.com/politics/2014...

So tell me EXACTLY how this Pacific Ocean preserve is gonna lead to a
"safer, more stable world,"?

kURTje

Looking around is right.

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