To be fair, President Obama’s executive-order output hasn’t unreasonably outpaced that of his predecessors – his especial willingness to actively circumvent Congress and snatch huge gobs of power for the federal bureaucracy only makes it feel like he has.
In July of 2010, President Obama signed executive order 13547 – “Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes.” There wasn’t much hullabaloo about it, since it was just post-BP oil spill and it was ostensibly designed to allow the federal government to better safeguard – er, you know – ecosystems! And, sustainability! And other such politically-soothing environmental buzzwords. The broad policy afforded the feds the authority to zone and regulate the seas and waterways, and all of the activities that take place on them.
There is a great deal of commercial economic activity that goes down on our oceans, including energy, fishing, travel, and shipping, and then when you move upriver and inland, there’s mining, timber, recreation, agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries that make use of our nation’s aquatic networks. As with any large, complex endeavor with many relevant players and countless moving parts, the federal bureaucracy’s attempt to “oversee,” a.k.a. regulate and centrally plan, that endeavor usually just gums up the works and retards economic growth.
In four separate Congresses, legislation outlining the idea of zoning the oceans has been debated and subsequently dropped. Did President Obama bother to ask whether the current Congress would authorize such a move? Well, that would just be silly, when there’s executive fiat to be had, and several effects of this vaguely-defined order have begun to manifest themselves…
The article, with video, continues at HotAir.com
Also, here is our article on Executive Order 13547 from August 2010, Obama Executive Order to Control Coasts and Waterways.