SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8024
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Second Special Session
By Senators Jacobsen, Eide, Regala, Fraser, Constantine, Spanel and Costa
Read first time 06/07/2001. Referred to Committee on Natural Resources, Parks & Shorelines.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, AND TO THE SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The National Energy Policy Development Group chaired by Vice President Richard Cheney has recommended that the President direct the secretaries of the departments of interior and commerce to undertake a review of congressional, executive, and administrative actions withdrawing or restricting coastal zone and outer continental shelf submerged lands (hereinafter OCS lands) from leasing for the exploration, drilling, and development of oil and gas resources; and
WHEREAS, The OCS lands of the Washington coast are among the nation's coastal waters that are the subject of this recommendation; and
WHEREAS, In the words of the United States Supreme Court decision in United States v. Locke, the "State of Washington embraces some of the Nation's most significant waters and coastal regions", and its coastal waters in their natural state provide enormous benefits to the state, region, and the nation for its biological productivity, fisheries propagation, coastwise and international waterborne commerce, scenic and recreational enjoyment, and other benefits; and
WHEREAS, Most of the OCS lands off the Washington coast have been designated by Congress as the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and such area contains many types of crucial habitat, including nearshore kelp beds, subtidal reefs, rocky and sandy intertidal zones, submarine canyons, and plankton‑rich upwelling zones that all support great biodiversity; and
WHEREAS, Included within the sanctuary area of Washington's OCS lands are three national wildlife refuges ‑- Flattery Rocks, Quillayute Needles, and Copalis Rock ‑- that protect over 800 named and unnamed offshore rocks, seastacks, and islands, and these refuges are home to 29 species of marine mammals, nesting seabirds, haul‑outs for Steller sea lions, nest sites for peregrine falcons, and numerous other wildlife species; and
WHEREAS, All areas of Washington OCS lands have been effectively withdrawn from oil and gas leasing since 1990 through a combination of congressional and executive actions, including congressional authorization for such withdrawal and an executive order acting upon such authority to withdraw these and other OCS lands through the year 2012, a withdrawal with an indefinite termination date of such OCS lands currently designated as national marine sanctuaries, administrative regulations prohibiting oil and gas exploration, development, or production within the Olympic coast sanctuary, and an agreement between the federal government and the state of Washington, entered by the Bush administration in 1990, that such areas of the Washington coast would not be included in recurring five-year OCS leasing plans without extensive environmental and other studies having first been completed; and
WHEREAS, The Washington legislature and governor have prohibited leasing of Washington's tidal or submerged lands to the 3-mile limit of state jurisdiction for purposes of oil or gas exploration, development, or production;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the President, in acting upon the recommendations of the National Energy Policy Development Group, exclude all Washington OCS lands from any national review of currently withdrawn OCS lands with the objective of initiating planning for leasing for oil or gas exploration, development, or production. Your Memorialists further pray that the Congress and President reaffirm the actions of prior congresses and presidents in withdrawing Washington OCS lands from active consideration of leasing for oil or gas exploration, development, or production.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States, the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior, the Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
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