President Barack Obama has an ambitious plan for Washington bureaucrats to take command of the oceans—and with it control over much of the nation’s energy, fisheries, even recreation in a move described by lawmakers as the ultimate power grab to zone the seas.
The massive undertaking also includes control over key inland waterways and rivers that reach hundreds of miles upstream, and began with little fanfare when Obama signed an executive order in 2010 to protect the aquatic environment.
“This one to me could be the sleeping power grab that Americans will wake up to one day and wonder what the heck hit them,” said Rep. Bill Flores (R –Texas).
“This is pure administrative fiat,” said Sen. David Vitter (R –La.). “It’s very troubling.”
“This is purely a unilateral administrative action with no real congressional input or oversight,” Vitter said. “I think it clearly threatens to have a big impact on a lot of industry, starting with energy, oil and gas, and fishing.”
Read More: Zoning the ocean