Jul 26, 2007

GOM Right Whale Protection Stymied by Bush Admin

July 24, 2007. The White House is currently delaying enactment of a final rule intended to protect the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.

What's going on here? According to NOAA, the chief cause of accidental deaths of North Atlantic right whales is "ship strikes" i.e. being run over by oil tankers and other big vessels while drowsing away on the surface. Not lobster pot-warp entanglements, not fishing of any kind. The US and Canadian fishing fleets already have a brace of strictures on their operations to protect our cetacean relatives sharing the Gulf of Maine.

But big global trade vessels have big money, big lawfirms and big lobbyists to keep themselves as free of profit-threatening regulations as possible. These are the chief culprits. A little known administration bureaucracy, the "White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs" (OIRA) is holding things up. Under Executive Order 12866, issues by Clinton, all federal agencies have to run their new regulations past OIRA before it can go on the books and be enforced. OIRA looks at the regulation's costs and benefits. It is supposed to make its decisions swiftly
But in this case....Not! Read the details here as assembled by public interest watchdog group OMB Watch

No comments: