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Obama to expand oceanic national monument, clamping fishing, energy digs

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

President Obama is due to announce an expansion to a U.S. sanctuary site in the central Pacific Ocean, creating what would be the world's largest protected sea-based area — and leaving the fishing industry largely out in the cold.

The president's aim is to grow the 87,000-square-mile Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to almost 782,000 square miles, The Washington Post reported.

The preservation tag brings with it a prohibition on fishing, energy exploration and almost all other activities, and would impact several islands that are in the region, Agence France-Presse reported.

Mr. Obama's order, due to be announced on Tuesday, is likely to be met with substantial opposition from Republicans who see the president as using executive orders to go far and beyond his constitutional powers.

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