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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Norfolk FBI to Present on Parental Awareness

FBI Norfolk Division Press Release:


Norfolk FBI to Present on Parental Awareness

FBI NorfolkFebruary 28, 2013
  • Media Coordinator Vanessa Torres(757) 455-0100
The Norfolk FBI will hold a free seminar on Parental Awareness on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Westin at Virginia Beach Town Center, 4535 Commerce Street in Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23462, in the Viceroy Room (second floor).
The seminar is a part of the FBI’s Aware.Prepare.Prevent Campaign (A.P.P.), an effort designed to educate the community on a variety of topics. Parents are encouraged to attend and learn ways to protect their children from online predators and gangs.
For information about the A.P.P. Campaign and a calendar of seminars, please visit http://www.fbi.gov/norfolk/, call (757) 455-3161, or e-mail A.P.P.campaign@ic.fbi.gov.

Essex Man Admits Role in Two Bank Robberies

FBI Newark Division Press Release:


Essex Man Admits Role in Two Bank Robberies

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeFebruary 28, 2013
  • District of New Jersey(973) 645-2888
NEWARK—An Essex County, New Jersey man today admitted robbing the Garden State Community Bank in Newark, New Jersey, on two separate occasions, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Alfred Ferguson, 55, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court to an information charging him with two counts of bank robbery. On October 9, 2012, Ferguson was arrested fleeing the scene of his most recent bank robbery on a bicycle.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Alfred Ferguson committed two bank robberies—both of the Garden State Community Bank in Newark—on September 17, 2012, and October 9, 2012. Ferguson used a similar procedure for each robbery: After entering the bank wearing a red bandana over the lower part of his face, Ferguson would verbally threaten the bank teller, vault over the glass partition, and empty money from bank tellers’ cash drawers.
Each charge of bank robbery is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for June 5, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velasquez, with the investigation leading to charges. He also thanked the Newark Police Department for their contribution to the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Eskew of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.

Essex County Man Admits Transporting Explosive Materials

FBI Newark Division Press Release:


Essex County Man Admits Transporting Explosive Materials

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeFebruary 28, 2013
  • District of New Jersey(973) 645-2888
TRENTON, NJ—An Essex County, New Jersey man today admitted transporting explosive chemicals in a piece of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipe to Pennsylvania without a federal license or permit, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Anthony Nicholas Gallo, 20, of North Caldwell, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with transportation of explosive materials without a license or permit issued by the U.S. Attorney General.
According to the Information to which Gallo pleaded guilty and statements made in court:
On January 8, 2012, Gallo went to Pennsylvania and blew up potassium chlorate and magnesium in a PVC pipe, which provided a contained environment for the chemicals to produce a more powerful explosion. The potassium chlorate mixture is considered to be an explosive by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
The charge to which Gallo pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for June 5, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents, detectives, and investigators assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force comprises law enforcement officers from 30 federal, state, and local agencies throughout New Jersey. He also thanked the North Caldwell Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for their significant contributions to this investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce M. Malliet of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark.

Mercer County Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Robbing the Same Bank Twice, Carjacking, and Shooting Two People

FBI Newark Division Press Release:


Mercer County Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Robbing the Same Bank Twice, Carjacking, and Shooting Two People

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeFebruary 28, 2013
  • District of New Jersey(973) 645-2888
TRENTON—A Mercer County, New Jersey man was sentenced today to 30 years in prison for robbing a bank and returning nine months later to rob the same bank, carjacking a vehicle, and shooting two people in the course of that conduct, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Jeffrey Garrett, 36, of Trenton, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to counts one, three, five, and six of an indictment charging him with two armed bank robberies, carjacking, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Garrett robbed the Chase Bank in Hamilton, New Jersey, on November 10, 2010. He handed the teller a note that stated, “I have a gun, give me all the 50- and 100-dollar bills.” He displayed a black handgun before fleeing with the cash. Surveillance cameras revealed clear images of Garrett, and FBI agents determined that Garrett used his own Visa card at the Chase Bank’s ATM just moments before the robbery. Federal authorities charged Garrett by complaint two days later and obtained an arrest warrant, but Garrett remained at large.
Nine months later, on August 23, 2011, Garrett robbed the same bank. To get to the bank, he carjacked a car at 5:30 a.m. He pistol-whipped the victim, and the gun discharged, causing the victim a serious head wound. Garrett locked the bleeding victim in the trunk of the car and shortly thereafter bound his hands with cable and threatened his life.
Garrett arrived at the same Chase Bank in Hamilton in the stolen vehicle around 10 a.m., after driving around for hours. He wore a dark baseball cap and sunglasses when he entered the bank. Showing a chrome revolver, he demanded that the teller give him all the money. When she complied, he asked for more money and threatened to shoot her if she turned any keys at her station. The handgun discharged and the teller was shot in the abdomen.
Garrett drove off in the stolen car and later abandoned it in a shopping mall parking lot in Moorestown, New Jersey, with the bound carjacking victim still locked in the trunk. Both victims survived.
Garrett was arrested in Florida on October 17, 2011.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Garrett to five years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez; officers of the Hamilton Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief James W. Collins; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Joseph S. Juniak; and the U.S. Marshals Service, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Joseph Gribko and John E. Clabby of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

Dallas Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court, Admits He Aimed a Laser Pointer at an Aircraft

FBI Dallas Division Press Release:


Dallas Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court, Admits He Aimed a Laser Pointer at an Aircraft

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeFebruary 28, 2013
  • Northern District of Texas(214) 659-8600
DALLAS—Kenneth Santodomingo, aka “Juan Goel Pagan” and “Juan Joel Pagan,” 22, appeared this morning before U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor and pleaded guilty to an indictment charging one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. SaldaƱa of the Northern District of Texas. Santodomingo was arrested on January 28, 2013, after a criminal complaint was filed for the offense, and he has been in custody since that time. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The court set Santodomingo’s sentencing hearing for July 25, 2013.
According to documents filed in the case, at approximately 4:08 a.m. on January 28, 2013, two Dallas Police Department (DPD) officers were operating a DPD helicopter over a residential area in search of a motor vehicle burglary suspect when the cockpit was illuminated by a laser pointer approximately four times over a 10-minute period. The intensity of the light refracting across the aircraft’s windscreen obscured the pilot’s vision and impaired his ability to view the instruments and the ground, forcing the pilot to turn the aircraft in a different direction to avoid vision damage and maintain aircraft control.
After pinpointing the origin of the laser, the pilots observed, via the onboard camera’s thermal imaging, an individual in the backyard of a residence in the 7000 block of Lake June Road. When patrol officers arrived at the house, Santodomingo answered the door, admitted to having pointed the green laser light at the helicopter out of curiosity as to how far it would go, and handed over the laser pointer to the officers.
The case is being investigated by the DPD, the FBI, and the Transportation Security Administration’s Federal Air Marshal Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Miller is in charge of the prosecution.

Pelham Man Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Laundering Money in Scam with Daughter

FBI Birmingham Division Press Release:


Pelham Man Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Laundering Money in Scam with Daughter

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeFebruary 28, 2013
  • Northern District of Alabama(205) 244-2001
BIRMINGHAM—A federal judge today sentenced a Pelham man to three years and one month in prison for laundering money in a scheme with his daughter that collected more than $400,000 for expenses of a lawsuit that never existed, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, Alabama Securities Commission Director Joseph P. Borg, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein, Jr.
U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr. sentenced PAUL Haskell Lane, Jr., 69, to prison and ordered him to pay $343,900 in restitution to 20 victims of the scam he perpetrated with his daughter, Katherine Hope Lane, 28. The judge also ordered Paul Lane to forfeit $10,500 to the government as proceeds of illegal activity. Paul Lane pleaded guilty to the money laundering charge in August.
“The crime in this case was plotted and executed over more than three years’ time. As part of that scheme, Lane peddled a false story about a lawsuit for which his family ostensibly needed money,” the government said in its sentencing memorandum to the court. “After Lane seeded the ground, Katherine fertilized and watered it with myriad lies and stories designed to engender additional sympathy and obtain more money from Lane’s friends and associates. At critical times, Lane spoke to key money sources [i.e., victims] to ensure that the funds continued to flow to him and Katherine.”
Lane’s sentencing caps a six-year investigation and prosecution effort by federal and state authorities. In late 2009, Lane and his daughter were separately indicted for wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering for their roles in a plan to get people in other states to wire money to Lane’s bank account. Those who sent money were led to believe it would go toward costs for a personal-injury lawsuit filed by the Lane family after Katherine Lane suffered a brutal assault at work.
The Lanes represented that proceeds from the lawsuit would be used to repay people who donated. Most who provided money also believed that they would get back from the Lanes more money than they sent. Katherine Lane, however, had not been assaulte,d and the Lanes had no lawsuit.
Over the course of several years, Lane took the money that was wired into his account and gave it to his daughter.
Katherine Lane pleaded guilty in 2010 to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. She was sentenced in 2011 to seven years and three months in federal prison. Katherine Lane also pleaded guilty to felony state securities fraud charges related to her actions. Her sentence of seven years and three months on the state charges was ordered to run concurrently with the federal sentence.
The Internal Revenue Service, the FBI, and the Alabama Securities Commission investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa K. Atwood prosecuted the case.

Johnson, Issa, Goodlatte: Public Should Have Input, Answers on Regulations

Senator Ron Johnson News Release:


Washington, D.C. – Senator Ron Johnson (WI) today joined several congressional colleagues in a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulatory affairs office encouraging greater public input into the rulemaking process. In addition to Senator Johnson, the letter is signed by Chairman Darrell Issa (CA) of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA) of the House Judiciary Committee.
Johnson explained, “the federal government answers to the American people. When agencies propose new rules with dramatic effects on jobs, investment, and the day-to-day lives of millions of Americans, they should allow those impacted to review the rules and comment on them before they go into effect. That’s simply common sense.”
“The independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently found that the percentage of major rules that are announced without opportunity for public comment nearly doubled between 1998 and 2010 – increasing from 18% to 35%. The GAO recommended that agencies solicit and respond to public comment, but the OMB has refused to take this counsel. With this letter, we are encouraging them to reconsider.”
Chairman Issa said, “the Government Accountability Office’s recommendation to the White House Office of Management and Budget to improve certain rulemakings was made after nearly two years of extensive and thorough analysis. The fact that the Administration thinks it knows better and refuses to fully address the problems GAO identified is troubling.”
Chairman Goodlatte added “public participation is at the heart of our democracy. When it comes to government regulation, the public should have every right to expect transparency, review such rules and voice their concerns for the sake of improving quality and lowering costs for all Americans. OMB should follow the GAO’s recommendation to ensure public input plays this crucial role in the rulemaking process.”
The text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. Bershteyn:
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently completed a report, Federal Rulemaking: Agencies Could Take Additional Steps to Respond to Public Comments. This report studies how often agencies cite the “good cause” and other statutory exceptions to avoid publishing notices of proposed rulemakings (NPRMs) before they issue new rules. GAO found that agencies are using these exceptions more than ever before to issue major rules. This means that the public has a diminishing opportunity to both provide feedback, and have that feedback considered by the agency. This trend is particularly troubling since public input often helps agencies improve the rules and lower their costs.
As a result of its findings, GAO recommended that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), issue guidance to encourage agencies to respond to comments on major rules issued without NPRMs. We are disappointed to learn that you disagreed with GAO’s recommendation. Every year federal agencies write thousands of new regulations. In order to better serve the American people, agencies must have a consistent, transparent process for the public to respond. We therefore ask you to implement GAO’s recommendation.
Agencies are required to publish NPRMs in the ordinary course of rulemaking. This is a critical part of the rulemaking process. The publication of NPRMs ensures that the public is allowed to comment on proposed rules. Agencies are required to respond to those comments. In certain instances agencies may invoke the “good cause” or other statutory exceptions to issue rules without NPRMs. In limited circumstances, it can be appropriate for agencies to do so. However, rulemakings without NPRMs should not be common. This is particularly important in major rulemaking.
GAO found that approximately 18 percent of final major rules were published without NPRMs in 1998. This number nearly doubled by 2012. From 2003 through 2010, agencies invoked exceptions and did not publish NPRMs for approximately 35 percent of major rules and 44 percent of non-major rules. The largest number of major rules finalized without NPRMs occurred during the Obama Administration.
While GAO found that agencies sometimes sought comments after the fact on regulations previously issued without NPRMs, GAO also found agencies frequently failed to respond to these comments. This is an important concern because “courts have recognized that the opportunity to comment is meaningless unless the agency responds to significant points raised by the public.”
GAO found that when agencies did respond to comments after rules were issued, they often made changes to the rules. In some instances, the changes resulted in less costly rules. When agencies fail to respond to comments they waste public resources expended in seeking and receiving comments. They also forgo potentially beneficial modifications to rules.
GAO determined that the public would benefit and the “quality and transparency” of rulemakings would improve if OMB directed agencies to respond to comments on major rules issued without NPRMs. GAO cautioned that agencies may otherwise “create the perception that they are making final decisions about the substance of major rules without considering data, views, or arguments submitted in public comments.” ACUS has previously recognized the importance of agency requests for and responses to public comments even after rules are finalized. According to GAO, “ACUS recommended that agencies request comments whenever they invoke ‘impracticable’ or ‘contrary to the public interest’ reasons under the good cause exemption and publish a responsive statement . . . .” Agencies have yet to implement this recommendation.
In response to GAO’s recommendation, you stated that agencies currently respond to such comments on a case-by-case, “discretionary” basis, and that you do not believe “a more general, undiscriminating policy . . . would offer substantial benefits” (emphasis added). GAO’s recommendation, however, is based on extensive research, and GAO has found that the benefits of implementing the recommendation would be substantial. Furthermore, GAO is not suggesting that OMB implement an undiscriminating policy. Rather, GAO recognized that OMB could develop guidance that maintains needed flexibility for agencies. We therefore respectfully request that you work with ACUS to implement GAO’s recommendation. This will help ensure the public has a fair chance to comment on new rules and agencies better and more promptly identify when regulatory quality can be improved and regulatory costs lowered.
Sincerely,
Senator Ron Johnson
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight
Representative Darrell Issa
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Representative Bob Goodlatte
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary

Ryan's hope | U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan

Ryan's hope | U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan

ConocoPhillips to Present at IHS CERAWeek 2013


02-28-2013


ConocoPhillips to Present at IHS CERAWeek 2013

HOUSTON – ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) today announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance will deliver one of the keynote addresses at the IHS CERAWeek® 2013 Executive Conference. His keynote is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5 at 9:40 a.m. CST.
The presentation will address the new energy landscape and its transition from resource scarcity to abundance. In addition, Lance will discuss the steps needed for the United States and other nations to fully benefit from the shale revolution’s resulting economic stimulation and job creation potential.
For additional information about CERAWeek, please visit www.ceraweek.com.

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About ConocoPhillips
ConocoPhillips is the world’s largest independent E&P company based on production and proved reserves. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ConocoPhillips had operations and activities in 30 countries, $58 billion in annual revenue, $117 billion of total assets and approximately 16,900 employees as of Dec. 31, 2012. Production from continuing operations averaged 1,527 MBOED in 2012, and proved reserves were 8.6 billion BOE as of Dec. 31, 2012. For more information, go to www.conocophillips.com.

Senator Rubio Responds To Constituent Letters On School Choice Bill


Press Releases

Feb 28 2013

Senator Rubio Responds To Constituent Letters On School Choice Bill

Rubio: "This is very simple. This has to do with giving parents more choices."

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio recently introduced the Educational Opportunities Act to help families pay for more school options through a new tax credit. In today’s installment ofMarco’s Constituent Mailbox video series, Rubio responds to two letters regarding this legislation and discusses the importance of empowering parents through school choice. Earlier this month, the Educational Opportunities Act was announced, the first of several bills Rubio will introduce this Congress as part of an effort to help build a 21st century middle class through opportunity. 
In his response to letters questioning the merits of school choice policy, Rubio explained, “This is very simple. This has to do with giving parents more choices. So the fundamental question is who should be the number one arbiter, who should be in charge of children’s education first and foremost: a school teacher, a public school administrator, a politician or a parent? And my answer is a parent. Parents first and foremost should have as many options available to them as possible to where they put their kids in school.”
To watch the video, click here.
BACKGROUND: EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES ACT IN THE NEWS: 

Miami Herald: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio immediately followed his rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night by releasing a “school-choice” bill to allow taxpayers to subsidize private-school education for poor kids. By putting legislation where his mouth is, Rubio wanted to reinforce the theme of his speech — that conservative policy is good for the poor and working class.
 
Washington Times: Following through on his promise to promote school choice, Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a measure Wednesday that would create tax incentives aimed at helping students cover the costs of private school, including charter schools.
 
Mr. Rubio, the Florida Republican who delivered the official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, said his “Educational Opportunities Act” would open up tax breaks for individuals and corporations that send charitable contributions to scholarship-granting organizations, which provide money to eligible students who attend private elementary and secondary schools.
 
Orlando Sentinel: Similar to a program Florida already has in place, that fund would help poor students pay for private school tuition and other expenses.
 
“The more choices parents have, the better educated children will be,” he said.
 
Can’t say I disagree with that. The reality in this country is that families of means already have school choice for their children. They can afford to pay for private school or move into a school district with a high-performing public school.
 
Poor families don’t have those options. They’re stuck with their neighborhood school no matter how good or bad it is.
 
That doesn’t mean we abandon public schools in poor neighborhoods. They should be invested in. But those changes don’t happen overnight and, while we’re waiting, students and parents shouldn’t be limited in their choices simply because they can’t write a big check.
 
WPLG ABC 10 Miami:  
Rubio: “Well this is a corporate scholarship program. What it does, and it’s similar to what we have in Florida, is it allows corporations, in lieu of paying federal tax, in this case, to contribute it to an eligible scholarship giving organization that then helps needy families send their kids to the school of their choice. 
 
“Unfortunately in America, the only people that do not choose where their kid goes to school, are working class and poor families. Even middle-class families, if they’re willing to give something else up in their budget, might be able to afford to send their kids to the school of their choice. Poor families don’t have that option and that’s wrong. 
 
“So this would allow companies to do is in lieu of paying the federal corporate tax, up to $100,000, they could donate to an eligible scholarship granting organization that will in turn give scholarships to needy families to send their kids to the school of their choice…”
 
Putney: “And that would include religious schools as well as private schools?”
 
Rubio: “Sure. That’s up to the parents where they want to send their kids.”  
Newsmax: Rubio is introducing education legislation today, including a school voucher program. He tells Newsmax: “I’m proud of that. In Florida we have a corporate scholarship program where corporations, in lieu of paying state corporate tax, can make a contribution to a qualified scholarship organization that helps parents send their kids to the school of their choice. We’re just expanding that to the federal level.  
“We’re creating a federal corporate tax credit where in lieu of paying corporate taxes, a corporation can give up to $100,000 a year to a qualified scholarship organization so that organization can in turn help needy students and their parents pick a school of their choice and pay for the cost of attending that school.”

Senator Rubio Asks For Review Of Stock Assessments To Protect Fisheries & Fishing Communities In Gulf


Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and senators from Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and North Carolina today sent a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office requesting a review of how the Department of Commerce conducts stock assessments in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic. The stock assessments conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service are critical in maintaining the vitality of the fisheries, the fishing communities, and related industries in Florida and the region.  
“Stock assessments are the foundation of sound fishery management,” said Rubio. “It is vital that, as we work to preserve the waters and resources surrounding Florida and other states, we base our management decisions on sound science.  The report we’ve requested today will shed light on the decision-making process within the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and will help us to determine the best path forward so that we can ensure the economic livelihood of the fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic and the industries that depend on them.”  
Rubio is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard. The letter is signed by Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), David Vitter (R-LA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) and can be viewed by clicking here.  
WHAT INDUSTRY EXPERTS ARE SAYING:  
“Fishing organizations in the southeast, both commercial and recreational, salute Senator Marco Rubio for leading the effort to require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) to provide the basic science needed for honest stock assessments,” said Bob Jones, Executive Director of Southeastern Fisheries Association. “The numbers of fish calculated in the federal waters through stock assessments are critical in determining quotas, seasons, allowable gear, bycatch and all aspects pertaining to the commercial and recreational harvest of seafood. The fishing and tourism industry dependent on fresh local seafood thanks all the Senators who are working to improve the management of our sustainable marine resources.”  
“As Chairman of the Data Collection Committee at the Gulf Council, I see first-hand how our lack of updated fisheries data strikes at the heart of our ability to make sound management decisions that protect both our natural resources AND our fishermen,” said Harlon Pearce, member of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. “We need to get to the bottom of where our data collection resources are being spent and this full GAO investigation is a great step in the right direction.”
“Robust biological and socioeconomic data are critical to the management of our nation’s fisheries,” said Gordon Robertson, vice president of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). “Unfortunately this information has been lacking for many important fisheries, particularly those in the southeast. ASA is grateful that Senator Rubio understands the need for improved science to drive management and is working towards that end.”
“Sound science matters,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation.  “Senator Rubio’s leadership brings focus to the critical need for science-based management of America’s marine fishery resources.”
FACTS ABOUT THE FISHING INDUSTRY:  
  • According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, nearly 40 million licensed anglers generate over $46 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • In 2009, the South Atlantic Region’s seafood industry generated $13 billion in sales impacts and 65,000 jobs in Florida, according to NOAA’s Fisheries 2009 Fisheries Economics Report.(NOAA)
  • In the Gulf of Mexico region, an average of 23 million fishing trips were taken annually from 2000 to 2009. (NOAA)
  • Over 42,000 full- and part-time jobs were generated by recreational fishing activities in Florida in 2009. (NOAA)

API hires Christian Zeigler to lead Ohio Petroleum Council

API News Release:


API hires Christian Zeigler to lead Ohio Petroleum Council

COLUMBUS, OHIO, February 28, 2013 – Chris Zeigler, former chief of staff to Congressman Pat Tiberi, is the Ohio Petroleum Council’s (OPC) new executive director, the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced today.

“Zeigler joins the council at one of the most exciting times in Ohio’s energy history,” said API Senior Director of State Relations Rolf Hanson. “Ohio is poised to become one of the nation’s leading energy producers, which can be an enormous economic benefit for the state. Zeigler will be focused on fostering smart regulations and fiscal policies to sustain the economic prosperity that shale energy development offers hard working Ohio families.”

Zeigler, who brings over 20 years of experience in successfully bringing together diverse groups of government, civic and business stakeholders, will lead OPC’s advocacy efforts and serve as principal spokesperson. In addition to serving as Congressman Tiberi’s chief of staff since 2001, Zeigler has worked for several Ohio legislators, including former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson. He received a BA in Political Science from the Ohio State University. He begins work with OPC on March 11.

OPC is a division of API, which represents all segments of America's technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its 500-plus members provide most of the nation's energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
- See more at: http://api.org/news-and-media/news/newsitems/2013/feb-2013/api-hires-christian-zeigler-to-lead-ohio-petroleum-council.aspx#sthash.ZbsQz1i0.dpuf

White House Adopts Directive from Sen. Paul’s Alternative Sequester Plan

Senator Rand Paul News Release:


White House Adopts Directive from Sen. Paul’s Alternative Sequester Plan

Feb 28, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, following a plan introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, the White Houseannounced their intention to meet sequestration spending targets by directing all federal agencies to freeze new hires and curtail travel. Last week, Sen. Paul unveiled his sequester alternative plan, "A Sequester Without Layoffs," which would offset the sequester's anticipated spending cuts by reducing the travel budget and preventing new hire in federal agencies. Sen. Rand Paul issued the following statement:

"Our nation has a serious spending problem that must be re-evaluated. Last week I unveiled a plan that would reduce the anticipated layoffs by cutting spending, such as government travel budgets and the rehiring of federal employees. I am encouraged to hear that the White House is adopting these two measures in their assessment of the sequester cuts, but these cuts barely begin to scratch the surface of the problem," Sen. Paul said. "If we are serious about addressing our debt crisis, sequestration is only the beginning. We need much larger cuts and we need them sooner rather than later."

Click HERE to read Sen. Paul's "Sequester Without Layoffs" in its entirety.


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Photo Release -- Northrop Grumman, Los Angeles Kings Light the Lamp for STEM Education During National Engineers Week (NYSE:NOC)

Photo Release -- Northrop Grumman, Los Angeles Kings Light the Lamp for STEM Education During National Engineers Week (NYSE:NOC)

Graham Introduces Resolution Expressing Support for U.S.-Israeli Relationship & Concerns about Iranian Nuclear Program

Senator Graham Press Releases
Contact: Tate Zeigler (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
Date: 02/28/2013

Graham Introduces Resolution Expressing Support for U.S.-Israeli Relationship & Concerns about Iranian Nuclear Program


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today introduced a bipartisan Senate resolution expressing concerns about the Iranian nuclear threat and the need for the United States to stand with Israel.

“We have no better friends in that part of the world than Israel,” said Graham“Last year President Obama told the people of Israel, ‘We have your back.’ Our resolution builds upon that statement and makes it clear that if Israel is one day forced to protect themselves we will stand with Israel.”  (Audio/Video of Graham Remarks is Available Here

The resolution:

  • Declares that the United States has a vital national interest in and unbreakable commitment to, ensuring the existence, survival, and security of the State of Israel.

  • Reaffirms the United States support for Israel’s right to self-defense.

  • Urges that if Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States will stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.

The resolution was co-sponsored by fifteen Senators including Senators Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York).

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