A prominent California oil industry lobbyist not only served as a high ranking official overseeing the creation of marine protected areas in California, but also currently sits on a federal marine protected areas advisory panel, according to information published on the NOAA website.
In one of the biggest conflicts of interest in recent California history, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called “marine protected areas” in Southern California from 2009 to 2011.
During the period from 2004 to 2012, she also served on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast. Under her leadership, she and other corporate interests made sure that oil industry operations, including fracking operations in Southern California waters, weren’t impacted at all by the creation of “marine protected areas.”
While grassroots environmentalists, Tribal leaders and fishermen have blasted Reheis-Boyd’s leadership role in what passes for “marine protection” in California, few people are aware of her service on a federal marine protected areas panel also.
The National Marine Protected Areas Center website lists Reheis-Boyd as a member of a 20 member MPA (Marine Protected Areas) Advisory Committee.
According to the website, the Committee members “include representatives from different geographic regions, including the Great Lakes and U.S. territories. They represent a wide variety of interests including resource management (state, territory, and tribal), science (economics, anthropology, and marine sciences), policy (environmental and social), and industry (commercial and recreational fishing, oil and gas production, shipping and ports, and recreation and tourism).”
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