Feb 14, 2014
The latest battle over the future of America’s ocean frontier is being fought out in a seemingly unrelated bill in Congress. Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) recently introduced his National Endowment for the Oceans rider to the Senate version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which funds the Army Corps of Engineers to work on dams, dredging and flood control. The Endowment would establish a permanent fund – based on offshore energy revenue – for scientific research and coastal restoration.
On the House side Tea Party Republican Rep. Bill Flores (Texas) has a rider to cancel out any funding that might allow the Army Corps to participate in the Obama administration’s National Ocean Policy, which he claims would empower the EPA to control the property of his drought-plagued constituents should any rain (generated by the ocean) land on their rooftops.