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Administration struggles to clarify intent and advantages of an ocean planning system to House of Representatives Republicans

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Over the course of two hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources the Republican majority on the committee posed a lengthy series of questions which demonstrate their resistance to planning for ocean uses, but more so it showed that the concept of ocean planning, coined as “Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning,” or CMSP, in this Administration, remains poorly understood.

See the archive of the live tweets from the hearing on Storify at http://storify.com/enviroxpert

stor·i·fy|stôrəfī|

verb [trans.]

  1. To form or tell stories of;
    to narrate or describe in a story
    .
  2. To make stories using social media.
screengrab of Will Nuckols enviroxpert Storify page

Link to the Storify archived live Tweets from the House Natural Resources Hearing

(From the House Natural Resources Committee)

“BACKGROUND:

This hearing is the second hearing to focus on the National Ocean Policy and the Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning initiative. The hearing will feature testimony from Administration officials and impacted industries on President Obama’s Executive Order 13547, which established a new National Ocean Policy and Council that could severely restrict the recreational and commercial uses of our oceans and create uncertainty for inland activities.”

Other Hearings in the Series:

  • House Natural Resources Committee Hearing – Full Committee Oversight Hearing on “The President’s New National Ocean Policy – A Plan for Further Restrictions on Ocean, Coastal and Inland Activities” held on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. in the Longworth House Office Building.
image of House Natural Resources Chairman Rep. Doc Hastings

House Natural Resources Chairman Rep. Doc Hastings

image of House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Rep. MarkeyH

House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Rep. Markey

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

Nancy Sutley
Chair, U.S. Council on Environmental Quality
Co-Chair, National Ocean Council

Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Under Secretary of Commerce, Oceans and Atmosphere
Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Panel II

Jim Donofrio
Executive Director  Recreational Fishing Alliance
Randall Luthi
President
National Ocean Industries Association

Michael Conathan
Director of Ocean Policy
Center for American Progress

screenshot of video of Nancy Sutley, Chair White House Council on Environmental Quality testifying before the Natural Reources Committee

Nancy Sutley, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality, testifying before the Natural Resources Committee. Click on the image to link to the full hearing video recording

The author is a scientist by training and the owner of W.H. Nuckols Consulting, an environmental policy firm.
A bio for Mr. Nuckols is located at www.WilliamHNuckols.com

You can follow Will Nuckols on Twitter at @enviroxpert

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Non-partisan and Optimistic: Oceans bring out the best in Congress

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On Tuesday September 13, 2011, a non-partisan and optimistic group of senators came together to kick off the establishment of the Senate Oceans Caucus in the United States Senate. With remarks centered around bragging about who has more coastline or whose state borders not just one but two oceans, the mood was refreshingly friendly and full of optimism. With remarks about the common ground (water?) that brings them together these group of Senators seemed, well, positively senatorial. Acting with a sense of leadership and a commitment to protect those things that Americans hold dear, tonight there not only was an absence of the partisan bickering that has caused the Capitol to come to a virtual screeching halt but there was also actual friendly optimism indicating that we can work together in D.C.

Kicked off by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and followed up by co-chair Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) the remarks by all tonight centered around what we can do together rather than what we can do to do to undermine each other.

And if bi-partisan wasn’t enough, Representative Sam Farr, chair of the House Coastal Caucus, stopped by expressing his enthusiasm for the formation of an ocean-minder coalition in the Senate making oceans a bicameral effort.

As Senator Whitehouse remarked “this is day one.” The real test of the effectiveness of the caucus begins now.

The remarks of Senators Whitehouse and Murkowski from the Senate Oceans Caucus reception are available as MP3 files for download below.

microphone   http://whnuckolsconsulting.com/audio/whitehouse.MP3

  http://whnuckolsconsulting.com/audio/murkowski.MP3

photo of Senators kicking off the Senate Oceans Caucus

Senators Whitehouse and Murkowski will co-chair the bi-partisan Senate Oceans Caucus that was formed on September 13, 2011.

The members of the Caucus are: Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Scott Brown (R-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), John Kerry (D-MA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Also in attendance were a number of Obama Administration officials including Dr. John Holdren from OSTP, Nancy Sutley from CEQ and Jane Lubchenco from NOAA.

The author is a scientist by training and the owner of W.H. Nuckols Consulting, an environmental policy firm.
A bio for Mr. Nuckols is located at www.WilliamHNuckols.com
You can follow Will Nuckols on Twitter at @enviroxpert