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Obama to create world's largest ocean reserve


WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is looking to create the largest marine preserve in the world by protecting a massive stretch of the Pacific Ocean from drilling, fishing and other actions that could threaten wildlife, the White House said.

Aiming to protect marine wildlife, Obama will also direct the government to create a program to deter illegal fishing. The executive steps come as Obama is searching for ways to leave his second-term mark on the environment despite opposition from many Republicans in Congress.

Obama was to announce the steps Tuesday in a video message to those participating in an "Our Ocean" conference that the State Department and Secretary of State John Kerry are hosting.

Officials said Obama is considering a massive expansion to the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The protected waters surround a group of mostly uninhabited islands, controlled by the U.S., that sit between Hawaii and American Samoa.

But the White House hasn't settled on the final boundaries for the preserve. The administration said it planned to solicit input from fishermen, scientists, politicians, experts in conservation and others before the new protections take effect.

The White House's Council on Environmental Quality said the waters in the south-central Pacific Ocean contain "some of the most pristine tropical marine environments in the world."

"These tropical coral reefs and associated marine ecosystems are also among the most vulnerable areas to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification," the White House said in a statement.

Obama is also vowing to create a government program to combat black market fishing and seafood fraud, in which seafood products are mislabeled to hide their origin. The White House said 20 percent of the wild marine fish caught each year are part of the black market, at a cost of $23 billion to the legitimate fishing industry.

"President Obama's announcement is a historic step forward in the fight against seafood fraud and illegal fishing worldwide," said Beth Lowell of the conservation group Oceana. "This initiative is a practical solution to an ugly problem and will forever change the way we think about our seafood."

While drawing on authority that's within his power as president, 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 on U.S. power plants amid signs that Congress wouldn't act soon to combat the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming.

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eurocardriver000 June 17 2014 at 12:22 PM

Does this idiotic President and his losers in his admin realize that the US economy and the world around us is FALLING APART... and this fool is worried about fish??? What the HELL is wrong with this idiot??? You brainless fools that voted for this loser should have your heads examined !!!!

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slowneasy101 June 17 2014 at 12:04 PM

Lurch SUCKS, and so does Obozo The Imperial Ruler.

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Kathy June 17 2014 at 5:26 PM

Send this idiot to the Funny Farm.........What a disgusting excuse for a President!

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jrkastl June 17 2014 at 3:14 PM

This IDIOT is a CHUMP . Can we please get the motion to IMPEACH his DUMB A$$ , so he could take that UGLY AUNT ESTHER with him and get OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE . They do not deserve to be in that OFFICE . Such an embarrASSment TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA .

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1 reply
b.shagnasty jrkastl June 17 2014 at 4:34 PM

Just wait until the same fools put Hillary in there and Slick Willy takes the place of Aunt Ester!!
......You think you're embarrassed now!

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1 reply
wintervision b.shagnasty June 17 2014 at 6:31 PM

That just means more BJ's in the oval office !!

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b.shagnasty June 17 2014 at 4:14 PM

Pay no attention to the crisis in my left hand....look, something shiny!!!

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rthompson1329 June 17 2014 at 12:41 PM

HE IS A SOCIAL WORKER AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZER WHAT DID YOU PEOPLE EXPECT

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arlenefaile June 17 2014 at 1:51 PM

Bush.......lining his pocket with polluted oil greed with no regard to human impact.
President Obama.....selfless acts to make where we live safe from pollution.

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3 replies
rthompson1329 June 17 2014 at 12:38 PM

wtf

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bniel77644 June 17 2014 at 7:21 PM

I keep shaking my head and wondering, based on ALL that he is "mixed up" in, how is it that he is NOT being IMPEACHED!!!!

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tzino2 June 17 2014 at 8:31 PM

If you look for it on the web there is a graph that shows a weather trend. It takes about 10,000 years per cycle. The temp. goes up, then it goes down. I guess we could call it a cycle of NATURE, something we cannot control. DUH! Think about it. During the ice age, North America was covered in ICE. Where did it go? Those Native Americans, if any didn't light enough fires to make it go away. What will these rich and powerful people do when they turn on the lights and nothing happens? Electric cars? Where does the power come from? If nature, God or whatever you think created this world put coal, natural gas, oil, etc. here it was for a reason. To be used. If powerhouses are made to comply in a way they cannot it will be loghts out people.

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