U.S. House Committee Chair Repeats Request for Extension of Comment Period and Production of Information, Responds To National Ocean Council Decision Denying Request

On February 23, 2012, House Natural Resources Committee Chair Doc Hastings (WA) sent a letter to National Ocean Council Co-Chairs Nancy Sutley and John Holdren seeking a 90-day extension of the public comment period on the draft Implementation Plan, as well as responses and documentation by March 5, 2012 on a number of items related to the funding and activities of the National Ocean Council.
 

Following up on that correspondence, on March 20, 2012, Chairman Hastings sent another letter urging the extension of the public comment period by a full 90 days (rather than just 30), requesting an answer as to when documents requested in the February correspondence can be expected, and asking for the production of any National Ocean Policy budget guidance documentation previously provided to federal entities by March 26, 2012.
 
Yesterday, Chairman Hastings announced that the administration had given notification that the 90-day extension request would not be granted.  Calling the decision “another example of the Obama administration’s prioritizing their job-destroying agenda over the livelihoods of Americans from coast to coast,” Chairman Hastings said that it is “unreasonable that the…Administration won’t allow the American people more than just 75 days to review and comment” on a plan that the federal government has spent more than years developing.
 
In addition, Chairman Hastings said that the Administration “continues to refuse to tell Congress what programs they are cutting to provide the money to fund this new bureaucracy,” and that they have “failed to comply” with requests for funding and staffing-related information.