President Barack Obama announced plans today to use executive power to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which would create the largest ocean preserve in the world by banning drilling, fishing, and other activities in a massive stretch of the Pacific Ocean. Carbon pollution is making the world’s oceans more acidic, pollution is threatening marine life, and overfishing could wipe out entire species, Obama warned.
If we ignore these problems, if we drain our oceans of their resources, we won’t just be squandering one of humanity’s greatest treasures.
President Barack Obama
The executive steps, first reported by The Washington Post, come as Obama is searching for ways to leave his second-term mark on the environment despite opposition from many Republicans in Congress. The moves could rankle some GOP lawmakers who say Obama is exceeding his authority by going around Congress to promote his agenda on issues like the environment, immigration, and gay rights. Earlier this month Obama unveiled sweeping new pollution limits amid signs that Congress wouldn’t act soon to combat climate change.
We’ll be cutting off one of the world’s major sources of food and economic growth, including for the United States. We cannot afford to let that happen.