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California Coastal National Monument grows; House GOP member criticizes Obama’s action
It is the first onshore addition to the monument, established in 2000 by President Bill Clinton to protect 20,000 small islands, reefs, rocks and pinnacles off California’s coast.“In my State of the Union address, I said that I would use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.” Obama said. “Our country is blessed with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. It’s up to us to protect them, so our children’s children can experience them, too.”
The action, which would prohibit activities such as energy exploration, drew criticism from Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, who called it “an unnecessary use of excessive presidential power.”Noting the Republican-controlled House last year easily passed the California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act, Hastings said, “Instead of using imperial powers, the president should pick up the phone and call upon Senate Democrats to take action.” Senate bills can draw controversial amendments that can bring down the measures, however.
It is the 10th time Obama has used his executive power to establish or expand a national monument.
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