Posts Tagged Commerce Secretary

Jun 4 2011

Commerce Secretary nominee should champion policies that rebuild fish stocks and strengthen coastal economies

By Talking Fish on June 2, 2011

Last week, President Obama nominated John Bryson, a former energy company CEO, to be the next Secretary of Commerce.  According to the Boston Globe, Bryson has a long history of business leadership, having spent nearly two decades as chairman and CEO of Edison International, a major electric utility. He is also a director of Boeing and Walt Disney and an adviser to a large private-equity firm in New York.

Why should this matter to Talking Fish readers? The Department of Commerce houses NOAA, so the Secretary of Commerce plays a significant role in creating and enforcing federal fisheries policy and all ocean matters.  While President Obama’s announcement of the nomination emphasized Bryson’s business expertise, he was also co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

That heritage may be controversial among fishermen and a few politicians in New England, but we think it reflects a perfect blend to guide the nation forward in obtaining full economic benefits from our marine resources without compromising the ocean’s ability to sustain these benefits.

Read the rest here.


Jun 1 2011

Fishing interests wary of Commerce nominee

By Steve Urbon
NEW BEDFORD — President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next secretary of commerce raised concerns among fishing interests today.

When Dr. Brian Rothschild, dean emeritus of the UMass School of Marine Science and Technology, heard that nominee John Bryson was a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, his reaction was, “Oh, wow.”

But the NRDC was founded 40 years ago, and today Bryson is better known for being chairman and CEO of the power company Edison International until he retired in 2008.

Today he is a senior adviser to the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravits Roberts & Co. and since 1995 he has sat on the board of directors of the Boeing Co. and since 2000 at Walt Disney.

In a prepared statement, President Obama said, Bryson “understands what it takes for America to succeed in a 21st century global economy. John will be an important part of my economic team, working with the business community, fostering growth, and helping open up new markets abroad to promote jobs and opportunities here at home.”

Apart from the boilerplate, there was immediate concern among fishing interests about Bryson’s personal attitude toward commercial fishing, given that NRDC has long been involved in litigation to tighten fishing restrictions.

Read the rest here.


May 31 2011

Obama Commerce pick sets up showdown on trade with Senate GOP

President Obama introduces commerce nominee John Bryson (Charles Dharapak / AP)

By Daniel Strauss and Sam Youngman

President Obama’s nomination Tuesday of John Bryson as secretary of the Department of Commerce immediately triggered battles with congressional Republicans on trade and the environment.

By nominating a former CEO who has extensive ties to corporate America as secretary of Commerce, Obama continued his aggressive courtship of the business community, which began almost immediately after Democrats lost their House majority last year.

Yet Senate Republicans quickly warned that Bryson’s nomination would be stuck until the administration sends Congress legislation implementing three trade deals, with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

Other Republican lawmakers took Bryson to task for his work with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which he co-founded at the beginning of his career. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) called him a “green evangelist,” while Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) warned he might place a hold on the nomination.

Read the rest at The Hill.