In the wake of NOAA’s decision to reject the proposed 10-knot speed limit in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Senator Katie Britt, R-Ala., commended the agency’s move. This came following the concerns raised by Britt and the Alabama delegation about the potential economic impacts the rule might have had, especially regarding the Port of Mobile and fishing industries in the region.
“I am happy to say that NOAA heard our request and today rejected the nonsensical Rice’s whale petition pushed by far-left activists,” said Senator Britt. “This proposal would have significantly impeded operations at the Port of Mobile, damaged Alabama’s economy, and harmed commercial and recreational fishing operations off the Gulf Coast.”
NOAA’s proposal aimed to expand the critical habitat for the Rice’s whale. However, in their correspondence with NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad, Britt and fellow Members questioned the lack of “scientifically robust data” that supported the proposed habitat extension. The senator was also vocal about the anticipated negative implications on Alabama’s economic structure.
Senator Britt has consistently championed this stance, having previously collaborated with Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La.,to introduce the Warding Off Hostile Administrative Lease Efforts (WHALE) Act. The legislation seeks to restrict the U.S. Departments of Commerce and the Interior from passing maritime regulations pertaining to the Rice’s whale, which might obstruct offshore energy and military operations.
The battle isn’t over for Senator Britt, as she urges the administration not to finalize the Rice’s whale’s critical habitat designation due to an absence of solid scientific data. She expressed her continued commitment, stating, “I will continue to fight for common sense to prevail, so that hardworking families in every corner of our nation have the opportunity to live their American Dream.”
NOAA’s decision is seen as a significant milestone by many, yet the debate on the conservation of the Rice’s whale in relation to economic activities remains a topic of contention.