Word seems to be getting out about President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force and the need for all groups that use the oceans to be included in the discussion. Some 69 members of the House of Representatives have sent a letter to the task force, expressing concern that it could set in place new policies that would block offshore oil development and impose other restrictions that could cost American jobs.

As Doc Hastings, the representative from Washington state put it, “We can protect our oceans without inflicting more economic damage in the middle of a serious recession.”

CEA, which has in the past successfully organized letter-writing campaigns to the Interior Department over contested offshore drilling leases, more recently rallied our members and supporters to weigh in on the Ocean Policy Task Force, and its initial report that proposed a new system of governance of the country’s Great Lakes and coastal areas.

It seems a lot of people agree that this is a very complex and sensitive matter that deserves the input of many parties before any new policy is established.

In recent months CEA has been repeatedly pleased, not just by our members’ efforts to engage in this challenging grassroots work, but also in the results that we’ve achieved. Last month, our letter writers arguing in favor of responsible offshore drilling, out-wrote the other side.

What’s gratifying about the strong response to the Ocean Policy Task Force is that it is so far-reaching. Objections have poured in from places ranging from San Francisco to Louisiana, and representing industries from oil to wind power to fishing. As our own blog-bot (see blog from October 15) said, we all want to do what’s right to protect the oceans. But clearly a lot of people are concerned about doing the right thing in the right way. Keep up the good work!