At the beginning of this month, President Barack Obama shocked environmentalists by announcing that he would violate the Clean Air Act by refusing to provide strong regulations to prevent smog. Now, he is delivering another kick in the teeth to the environmental community that made his 2008 election possible: President Obama has announced that he will not obey a law that requires him to place economic sanctions against nations that hunt and kill endangered whales.
“I am not directing the Secretary of the Treasury to impose trade measures on Icelandic products for the whaling activities that led to the certification by the Secretary of Commerce,” told Congress. The Pelly Amendment requires that the President impose economic sanctions against countries that violate global agreements on fisheries – which includes anti-whaling measures. President Obama, however, has decided that protections for whales aren’t very important, and has waived the Pelly Amendment.
The action is practically an invitation for Norway, Iceland and Japan to expand their hunting of endangered whales – and for other nations to join in the whaling too. Obama might as well have taken a knife and jabbed it into the heart of a harpooned whale himself.