Today, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 412015, the ‘Establishment of the Crown Estate Outercontinental Shelf Area.’ “Today is a new day for America,” began President Obama at a telepress conference. “Monarchs can be extremely effective at governance, something I have come to recognize over the past several years. That is why today, I am issuing a new Executive Order for the Establishment of the Crown Estate Outercontinental Shelf Area.”
The Crown Estate is property owned by the Sovereign of the United Kingdom – in other words, it’s land and sea owned and managed by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The Outercontinental Shelf (OCS) is an area offshore the United States from 3 nautical miles out to 200 nautical miles. EO 412015 would allow the Crown Estate to purchase the United States’ OCS, all 1.7 billion acres, for “at least $11,000 per acre, adjusted for fair market value of existing resources, including offshore wind energy resources.” The Executive Order could generate more than $18 Trillion USD, enough to eliminate the national debt.
The Executive Order is widely seen as a boon to the United States’ offshore wind energy industry. The Obama Administration approved the nation’s first offshore wind farm, the Cape Wind project, off Massachusetts in 2008; however, the project has stalled. Clark Kent, White House spokesman, stated that, “The Crown Estate – which manages the entire seabed around the United Kingdom out to the 12 nautical mile territorial limit, has a rigorous offshore wind energy development policy that could quickly be harmonized with the United States OCS area.” He noted that offshore wind farms already provide more than 3% of the United Kingdom’s electricity. The Executive Order would also eliminate the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the federal agency in charge of managing all federal waters offshore. “Some may be opposed to the sale and the disbandment of BOEM, but it’s not like we had an effective offshore wind energy policy anyway. We figure, let’s let the Brits have a go at it,” said Kent.
Charles Carson, a spokesman for the Crown Estate, explained that a “public-private partnership will enable the Queen to purchase America’s OCS outright. We have received favourable commitments from dozens of major companies that are already dabbling in American waters. After 200 years, the United Kingdom will finally be able to reclaim the seabed from her former colony. Her Majesty remains cautiously optimistic that this initial effort could lead to eventual reunification with the American Colonies,” Mr. Carson said in a prepared statement. (UPDATE: Carson later clarified the Queen only meant the original 13 colonies, not Florida).
One company is eager to join the proposed public/private partnerships. British Petroleum (BP) has issued a statement saying that the company would be “contributing substantially to the purchase.” Jim Moriarty, spokesman for BP, stated, “As American elections become more expensive, costs for purchasing politicians are rising faster than all other capital expenditures. The Crown Estate’s public-private partnership would reduce our operational costs, as well as alleviate our liability for ruining the Gulf of Mexico back in 2010.” Cost savings for BP are expected to be in the billions, Moriarty said.
By employing an Executive Order, the President is effectively circumventing the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, which is currently chaired by Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota). The committee has jurisdiction over the OCS, but is not likely to object to the Executive Order, “I received a phone call from the Queen of England a couple days ago about supporting this Executive Order idea. South Dakota is about as far away from the coast as you can get but I’m all in favor of eliminating Obama’s socialist offshore energy policies so this seems like a no-brainer,” said Senator Thune. Sources report that a letter from 47 senators will be sent to the Crown Estate in support of the sale, regardless of the Executive Order.