State Rep. Chip Brown (R-Hollinger's Island) is taking aim at "far left environmental advocates" for suggested federal regulations that would force the Port of Mobile to shut down its nighttime operations.
Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced it was considering a proposal to restrict certain activities in the Gulf of Mexico to protect Rice's whales, an endangered species.
The proposal would include speed restrictions and shutting down nighttime operations across a stretch in the Gulf that is known to contain Rice's whales.
The proposal was submitted in 2021 by environmental advocates.
Brown, who chairs the House Ports, Waterways & Intermodal Transit Committee, called the move "liberal extremism at its worst." He further claimed the restrictions on the Port of Mobile would have a severe economic impact on the state and reduce commerce by shutting down nighttime operations.
"Alabama has spent millions of dollars to upgrade and improve our state docks and make them the finest facility on the Gulf coast, but now the federal government plans to forbid nighttime shipping operations because whales swim in the water," Brown said. "Literally every moment of every day shipping operations are taking place at our state docks, and any pause hurts our state's economy and adversely affects the job of every Alabamian who works in the industry."
According to Brown, representatives from the Port of Mobile say the restrictions would result in financial losses at the facility. The facilities annually handle 55 million tons of domestic and international cargo and produce a $85 billion economic impact in the state each year.
"The fact that the Biden administration and the NOAA are eager to bow to the demands of a handful of environmental leftists represents government overreach and liberal extremism at its worst," Brown continued. "Every few years the radical environmentalists attack the business sector by manufacturing a false crisis, and this is simply their latest attempt."
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