Trump scraps policy protecting oceans and Great Lakes

Trump scraps policy protecting oceans and Great Lakes

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) on Friday voiced support for President Trump's action this week to rescind a policy created under the Obama administration in 2010 designed to protect USA ocean resources and those of the Great Lakes.

President Donald Trump is throwing out a policy devised by his predecessor for protecting USA oceans and the Great Lakes, replacing it with a new approach that emphasizes use of the waters to promote economic growth. Christy Goldfuss, senior vice president for energy and environment at the Center for American Progress, said the Trump administration has been reckless with offshore policies.

Obama's executive order creating the National Ocean Council followed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest offshore oil spill in USA history.

The order had also created a council to promote conservation and sustainable use of water. President Barack Obama issued his policy in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Not only is there no mention of the spill in the new policy, but it references the importance of oil drilling as well as commercial fishing, shipping, and other industries. Still, she says Trump's order, combined with his efforts to roll back Great Lakes restoration funding, is cause for concern. The directive called on state and federal governments to work together to promote "healthy ocean ecosystems".

The Republican president said he was creating a smaller Ocean Policy Committee while eliminating "duplicative" regional planning bodies created under Obama.

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A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said there's been a lack of investments in offshore production in the United States because the industry is focused on shale oil, which is quicker to bring to production.

Environmentalists said it erases a national mandate to improve ocean health.

But the order created "more layers" of unnecessary planning, much of it already required by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, Luthi said, adding the five-year planning process for offshore oil and gas lease sales already requires consultation with state governors.

Industry and energy are prominent in the Trump order, which states at the outset "ocean industries employ millions of Americans and support a strong national economy".

"To promote our nation's energy security, the National Ocean Policy should promote the responsible development of renewable offshore wind and reject dirty and unsafe offshore oil drilling", Savitz said.

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