President changes Great Lakes and oceans policy

23 June, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Grady King
  • Trump scraps Obama policy protecting oceans, Great Lakes

Randall Luthi, the president of the National Ocean Industries Association, said the executive action from the Trump administration is supportive of the offshore energy industry.

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 U.S. ocean resources and those of the Great Lakes. 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.

Trump has revoked an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in 2010 following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

FILE - In this April 21, 2010, file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico following an explosion that killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in the nation's history. Trump says it was too bureaucratic.

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It mandated federal agencies work with state and tribal governments as stewards of the ocean to develop sustainable practices for using its resources.

The order led to the creation of a National Ocean Council and nine regional bodies that met regularly to share research and discuss policy.

Trump's new order calls for replacing the current system with a "streamlined Ocean Policy Committee".

Charter and others also said the new policy, while still only a framework with no immediate mandates, would make it harder for states and other regional players to pursue action on conservation and climate change. Some results from the Obama years, such as detailed mapping of economic activity on the ocean, have served the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as it prepares new offshore energy leases for oil, gas and wind power development.

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"Domestic energy production from Federal waters strengthens the Nation's security and reduces reliance on imported energy", the order states.

Jack Belcher, managing director of the pro-industry National Ocean Policy Coalition, said the new approach would remove "a significant cloud of uncertainty" for marine commerce.

Jacqueline Savitz, a chief policy officer with environmental group Oceana, said in a statement Trump's order "undercuts important conservation measures needed to support strong coastal economies and the millions of Americans who depend on healthy oceans".

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