Florida Representative proudly posted on his Facebook page an endorsement by Ocean Champions:
But who is Ocean Champions?
According to its website:
Ocean Champions is a 501(c)(4) organization with a connected political action committee – the first national organization of its kind focused solely on oceans and ocean wildlife. Our goal is to create a political environment where protecting and restoring the oceans is a national government priority. By helping to elect pro-ocean Congressional candidates and engaging with Congress to pass pro-ocean laws and shoot down bills that would harm the ocean.
What does Ocean Champions mean by having a goal to “create a political environment where protecting and restoring the oceans is a national government priority” and to “pass pro-ocean laws and shoot down bills that would harm the ocean?”
Under the Obama administration this meant implementation of the National Ocean Policy on July 19, 2010, known as “Ocean Zoning.” This policy was fully supported by Ocean Champions and twelve other environment groups. In a July 19, 2010 press release titled “Conservation Groups Applaud National Ocean Policy” David Wilmot, Ph.D., President and Co-Founder of Ocean Champion stated:
The nation can now look to the National Ocean Policy to provide a guiding vision for all federal agencies and a needed mandate for the future protection and restoration of our coasts, oceans, islands and Great Lakes.
The House Committee on Natural Resources wrote this about the Obama administration’s National Ocean Policy:
- In four separate Congresses, legislation has been introduced to implement similar far-reaching ocean policies, and to-date NO bill has passed the House or been reported out of a Committee. Despite numerous requests from the Committee, the administration has yet to cite specific statutory authority on which this policy is based.
- Rather than streamline Federal management, the policy adds layers of additional Federal bureaucracy that could significantly impact the economic and recreational uses of our oceans, ocean lands, and potentially all rivers, tributaries and lands that drain or adjoin our oceans. In total, the Executive Order creates: 10 National Policies; a 27-member National Ocean Council; an 18-member Governance Coordinating Committee; and 9 Regional Planning Bodies. This has led to an additional: 9 National Priority Objectives; 9 Strategic Action Plans; 7 National Goals for Coastal Marine Spatial Planning; and 12 Guiding Principles for Coastal Marine Spatial Planning to be created.
- Restrictive national standards, along with ocean zoning, could slow and potentially stop the permitting of activities such as commercial and recreational fishing and energy production. This will harm the economy and cost jobs.
- Although the policy is portrayed by the administration as primarily targeting Ocean related activities, recently released documents show just the opposite. The draft implement plan specifically states that the policy plans to address “the major impacts of urban and suburban development and agriculture—including forestry and animal feedlots.”
- The policy establishes a Federally-controlled system of regional planning bodies that could override local and state zoning authorities. These bodies will have broad authority to issue regulations potentially impacting all activities that occur on lands adjacent to rivers, tributaries or watersheds that eventually drain into the ocean, yet these bodies will allow no representation by the people, communities and businesses that will actually be impacted by the regulations.
- The new national standards will also create a whole new class of lawsuits that could further restrict permitting of coastal and ocean activities and create a new way to challenge state permitting decisions for activities that “might affect” the ocean environment. This initiative is poised to become a litigation nightmare.
- Over 80 national and local organizations representing agriculture, forestry, energy, fishing, boating, mining, transportation and construction wrote to Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers requesting a prohibition on funding for the implementation of the President’s National Ocean Policy.
- This new policy will affect already budget-strapped agencies such as NOAA, Department of Commerce, Department of the Interior, EPA, Department of Transportation, USDA, Homeland Security, and the Army Corps of Engineers. As Federal budgets are further reduced, it is unclear how much funding the agencies are taking from existing programs to develop and implement this new initiative. [Emphasis added]
So Buchanan is against Florida’s fishing, boating, agricultural, forestry and energy industries. He wants to take control of Florida’s shorelines and give oversight to unelected bureaucrats. He wants less permitting for construction along Florida’s shores and more lawsuits.
So is Rep. Buchanan pro-Florida? Pro jobs and for a growing Florida economy. Is he for the working people of Florida or not.
According to the House Committee on Natural Resources you can’t be pro-ocean and pro-growth. Pick one: the people of Florida or the ocean.
We report, you do your own research.