Ranking Member Grijalva, Committee Dems Request Hearing as Trump Cancels Major Portions of the Successful National Ocean Policy
Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said today that President Trump’s destructive cancellation of much of the National Ocean Policy (NOP), which he announced in an executive order this afternoon, demands a Natural Resources Committee hearing as soon as possible. Grijalva and six House Democratic colleagues sent a letter to Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) requesting the hearing and underscoring the damage that could be done to ocean health without the environmental safeguards and priorities included in the NOP.
The letter is also signed by Reps. Nanette Barragán, Jim Costa, Jared Huffman and Alan Lowenthal, all Democrats of California; Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.); and Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam). Huffman is ranking member of the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans, and Lowenthal is ranking member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
Trump’s cancellation of much of the policy threatens the U.S. economy, as the authors write to Bishop today, citing a 2015 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report:
Healthy oceans are important from an ecological standpoint, but they are also central to the livelihoods of millions of Americans. In 2015, the U.S. ocean and Great Lakes economy accounted for $320 billion in gross domestic product. Unfortunately, the oceans face significant threats, including illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, harmful algal blooms, marine debris, overfishing, and more.
The letter, available at http://bit.ly/2M72OYr, points out that the Natural Resources Committee has a long history of involvement with the NOP, holding hearings and advancing legislation in previous congresses. Trump, the authors write, “is unilaterally throwing out . . . decades of work and input from Congress, two previous Administrations, policy experts, and the American public that went into its creation.”
The NOP is a framework for managing competing uses of our maritime resources, and some elements significantly impact national security. The NOP was formalized through Executive Order 13547 in 2010, which formally adopted the recommendations of a task force created by the Oceans Act of 2000. The policy prioritizes maritime climate resilience, marine ecosystem restoration, agency consideration of ocean acidification and sea level rise in policymaking, and more.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management offers a full explanation of the NOP and its implementation at https://www.boem.gov/National-Ocean-Policy/.
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