Never let a good crisis (or oil spill) go to waste, why not create a new government agency 

Obama isn’t letting the oil spill go to waste. Dissatisfied with how his repeated attempts at job killing drilling moratoriums are being smacked down in court, he’s recycled his coal plant bankruptcy plan and broadcast his intent to drown drillers in regulation. He’s also using it to promote his shiny new National Ocean Council.

Clearly, a “coordinated Federal effort, proactively guided by a senior-level interagency body” will finally protect us from oil spills, overfishing, pollution, coastal development and the impacts of climate change. And reorganizing a lot of smaller agencies and departments under one big one is a great idea. It’s worked out so well at the Department of Homeland Security!

After all, what can’t government agencies do? (Besides basic functions like building adequate levees, securing the border, providing safe health care to veterans, and getting oil skimmers into the Gulf in a timely fashion.)  

If you drill, fish, live on the coast or enjoy boating, the National Ocean Council is going to regulate you because this new government agency will essentially rezone our coasts to achieve these goals:

"Coastal and marine spatial planning identifies areas most suitable for various types or classes of activities in order to reduce conflicts among uses, reduce environmental impacts, facilitate compatible uses, and preserve critical ecosystem services to meet economic, environmental, security, and social objectives."

In fact, even if you don’t drill, fish, live on the coast or enjoy boating, the National Ocean Council will regulate you: “Concerns about water quality would be addressed by promoting and implementing sustainable practices on land.”  

Who’s going to lead and guide us in implementing those sustainable practices? The National Ocean Council will be co-chaired by Obama’s science advisor, John Holdren. If his name sounds familiar, perhaps you remember it from the 1970s, when he co-wrote a book called Ecoscience which suggested compulsory abortion, mass sterilization, and a transnational “Planetary Regime” as solutions for the catastrophic overpopulation problem that absolutely, positively needed to be resolved by the year 2000, (that never happened.) He and his co-authors have walked that back somewhat, though Holdren has never unambiguously disavowed the book.  

The formation of this new Council is a signal that offshore drilling will likely be regulated into nonexistence. The Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will also participate in the National Ocean Council. The Council is also specifically tasked to cede our maritime sovereignty to the United Nations via the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea; if this is ratified, the International Seabed Authority will be able to restrict or limit our access to undersea "solid, liquid or gaseous mineral resources" if it so chooses.  

Obama sees skyrocketing energy costs as a feature, not a bug, of his energy policies. If you recall he even said so before the election. He does not have the support of all Democrats. Mary Landrieu is fighting against the unnecessary and costly moratorium which is fueling the perfect economic storm Obama is inflicting on Louisiana. As she pointed out, this will cost us tens of thousands of jobs, and actually expose us to more environmental risks.

Unfortunately, because he can use Executive Orders and other methods to bypass Congress, he doesn’t need the support of all Democrats. If this Council achieves the goals set for it, Democrats can avoid those pesky Congressional battles to eradicate drilling, an environmental goal near and dear to liberal hearts. They can just use national and international regulations to drive drillers to less restrictive nations like Venezuela, to which American taxpayers just lent billions of dollars for offshore drilling. Two deepwater rigs down and 31 to go

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Laura Curtis

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