Washington, DC, June 11, 1998 — A Clinton Administration ocean conference now under way is a misguided effort to generate controversy and justify unwarranted environmental regulations, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The Commerce Department-sponsored event exaggerates marine and coastal environmental threats in an effort to generate favorable media coverage for President Clinton and Vice President Gore, charges the free market, Washington, DC-based think tank.
Clinton and Gore are joining hundreds of environmental activists and government bureaucrats at the June 11-12 "National Ocean Conference" at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Incredibly, the Clinton Administration says America is dependent on the ocean for national security, one-sixth of our jobs and one-third of GDP. The Administration intends to save the ocean by producing "America’s Ocean Agenda for the 21st Century," a laundry list of proposals including: ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), $200 million in proposed federal research spending, and a new bureaucracy called the Ocean Policy Commission.
"The Ocean Agenda looks like a desperate attempt to justify federal overspending and bureaucratic bloat," comments CEI research associate James Sheehan. "But the American people are already inundated with rules, regulations, and red tape."
CEI contends that the conference is not a legitimate scientific pursuit, but a propaganda exercise. Intimately involved in the Monterey conference are the extremist groups Greenpeace, NRDC, and over 100 Green pressure groups. Fenton Communications, which orchestrated the discredited Alar scare, is handling PR efforts for the activists. Other marine research groups are in Monterey simply to lobby for more federal research dollars to be funneled their way.
"The ocean conference is a really expensive photo opportunity involving the President, Vice President, four cabinet secretaries, and military commanders," says CEI’s Sheehan. "Clinton has gone overboard with his public display of affection for the ocean."
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan research and advocacy institute dedicated to the principles of free markets and limited government. For more information, contact Emily McGee at 202-331-1010.