Federal Zoning, Anyone? How About the Nationalization of Our Energy Industry Without Congressional Approval?

Washington, D.C. – Secretly and behind closed doors, the Obama Administration has cooked up a new scheme to subject all of America’s waterways — oceans, rivers, bays, estuaries, and the Great Lakes — to federal zoning.

So says a new policy paper by Bonner Cohen, Ph.D., a preview of which has been published this afternoon in the Daily Caller.

The new policy, imposed July 19 in the form of a presidential Executive Order, so far has received scarcely any attention from the press, Congress or policy community.

“The scope of what the administration is putting together is no less ambitious than its healthcare and cap-and-trade initiatives,” says Bonner Cohen, Ph.D., author of the analysis and Senior Fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Industries — from agriculture, timber, and shipping to fishing, mining, and oil and gas — stand to be affected. The inclusion of the Great Lakes in the plan signals the reach of the new policy. Indeed, the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio River Valleys will be targeted every bit as much as coastal North Carolina or Alaska.”

The initiative is so broad in scope, Dr. Cohen says, it could lead to the nationalization of our energy industry even if Congress declines to adopt controversial cap-and-trade legislation.

Under Obama’s Executive Order, Dr. Cohen says, “The EPA — far and away the nation’s most powerful regulatory agency — could, for example, determine that emissions from power plants are harming the oceans. And if Congress fails to pass a cap-and-trade bill, the EPA could use the pretext of protecting the oceans to clamp down on greenhouse-gas emissions as another extra-legislative way to pursue the administration’s global-warming agenda.”

Despite its low profile and immense impact, Cohen says, a White House-directed interagency task for spent over a year on the project. No Congressional approval or meaningful Congressional input was sought.

The Daily Caller preview of Dr. Cohen’s study is available at http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/09/obamas-ocean-policy-initiative-washingtons-latest-power-grab/ .

For interviews with Dr. Cohen, please contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11 or (703) 568-4727 or Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.