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Rep. Young / Sen. Begich comments re: Obama Administration's National Ocean Policy


National Ocean Policy Outlines Vision for Marine Planning, Arctic
By Stephanie Joyce
Tuesday, April 16 2013
The Obama Administration released its final plan for managing the nation’s oceans Tuesday. The National Ocean Policy has been in development for several years, and a draft stirred up controversy....

Obama Ocean Plan Aims To Protect Economy, Environment

By Environment Correspondent Deborah Zabarenko

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) – The White House released a plan on Tuesday aimed at protecting oceans, coastal and Great Lakes environments around the United States while safeguarding related businesses that support more than 44 million jobs.

The plan drew criticism from some Republican lawmakers who called it bureaucratic overreach but was lauded by environmental groups as smart management that supports...

Rep Young:

Washington, D.C., Apr 16, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – - Alaskan Congressman Don Young released the following statement today after the Obama Administration issued the final implementation plan for the National Oceans Policy:

“From the very beginning, I have voiced my opposition to this red taped monstrosity the Administration calls a National Ocean Policy. Through hearings, in both Washington D.C. and Anchorage, and in meetings with fisherman from across the country, it’s become clear that this National Oceans Policy will bring a variety of negative implications, from both an economic and management prospective," Rep. Young said. "From oil and gas, to fishing, agriculture, or home building, no industry on land or at sea escapes the net of this new policy."

“Through my position on the House Natural Resources Committee, and as Co-Chairman of the House Oceans Caucus, I will continue to look for opportunities for true, bipartisan, ocean policies.”

Sen. Begich:

Apr 16, 2013
Administration Includes Begich Request for “Simpler Plan” in National Oceans Policy
State Opt-Out Included, Greater Focus on Economic Impact of Oceans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - A revised National Oceans Policy implementation plan released today incorporates key recommendations made by U.S. Senator Mark Begich.

Begich criticized the initial plan, requesting a simpler approach and objecting to the original call for multiple planning agencies that would expand an already bureaucratic system and make it difficult for states to navigate. The redrafted plan was released today by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

“We asked the Obama administration to go back to the drawing board to revise and simplify their top-down approach,” said Sen. Begich. “Their original Oceans Policy was really just ocean zoning with no meaningful role for the affected states and regional fish councils and did not include opt-out provisions. I appreciate the administration’s willingness to listen to my concerns and urge Alaskans to look closely at this revised plan to see if it works for them. If not, they now have options.”

The National Oceans Policy was designed by the National Ocean Council, a group of 27 agencies and groups, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Coast Guard. The plan is intended to improve the nation’s approach to our oceans policy and advance ocean health by better managing information, streamlining decision-making, improving coordination between states and communities and spurring economic growth.

“Alaskans depend on our oceans to support local economies, create jobs, and to put food on our tables,” said Sen. Begich. “With the increasing demands from shippers and other users, the oceans need increased attention and research. But any plan must include a meaningful role for the states, the regional fish councils, and others. I urge the Parnell administration to look closely at this revised plan and take the next step to ensure Alaskans’ interests are protected.”

Among changes critical for Alaska incorporated in today’s revised implementation plan include:

• Addition of ‘Economic Growth’ as a policy priority and more focused priority objectives;

• Shorter, simpler text – down from 100-plus pages to 30;

• Elimination of regulatory milestones; plan emphasized as NOT regulatory;

• Makes explicit that participation in planning is entirely voluntary. If Alaska (or any state) wishes to opt out, it can. No regional planning body would be formed if a state in the region doesn't want it.