President Obama's nomination of John Bryson for Commerce Secretary is generating opposition in some unexpected places, thanks to the nominee's status as a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Two Massaachusetts Democrats, Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. John Tierney, have issued a joint statement expressing dismay over the nomination. Central to their concern is the heavy-handed way in which the Commerce Department has imposed a version of Cap-and-Trade on the east coast commercial fishing industry.
The plan forces commercial fishermen to observe quotas and has put hundreds of people out of work as a result because the permissible catches are too small to be profitable. The plan is the brainchild of former National Oceanics and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) adminstrator Jane Lubchenko. The NOAA is part of Commerce.
The Examiner's Ron Arnold detailed the terrible toll taken by the Lubchenko fishing plan in a special report last year. You can read it here.
Frank and Tierney pointed to the Lubchenko plan and Bryson's role as a co-founder of NRDC as the source of their concerns about the Obama Commerce nominee:
"We were especially troubled to see that the number one credential listed for him outside of his business experience was membership in the Natural Resources Defense Council," the Massachusetts Democratic duo said.
"There are many aspects of the NRDC's work with which we agree, but they have unfortunately been one of those environmental organizations that has reflexively attacked the fishing industry inaccurately and without any real environmental basis," they said.
"For the president to nominate someone for the position of Secretary of Commerce, without consultation with those of us most concerned with fairness for fishing, and for the NRDC membership to be listed as one of his major qualifications is troubling."
You can read their full statement here.