Obama policy on protecting oceans, Great Lakes scrapped by Trump

23 June, 2018, 01:05 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
  • Waianapanapa State Park in Hawaii. On June 19 &mdash during National Ocean Month &mdash President Donald Trump revoked

You may have heard the Trump administration is rolling back policies created to protect the USA ocean coastlines.You may not know it applies to the Great Lakes, too.

President Donald Trump is throwing out a policy devised by his predecessor for protecting US oceans and the Great Lakes, replacing it with a new approach that emphasizes use of the waters to promote economic growth.

President Barack Obama's oceans policy was largely a response to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico industrial spill that unleashed hundreds of millions of gallons of oil and ravaged marine life.

NFI said the council, instead, created another level of federal bureaucracy that "excluded the perspective of the men and women who work the water and imposed costly and legally dubious mandates on local communities".

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Critics of Trump's symbolic move said the new policy puts the oceans at risk. Still, she says Trump's order, combined with his efforts to roll back Great Lakes restoration funding, is cause for concern.

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. His administration has encouraged a "cooperative federalism" approach that shifts more responsibility to state governments.

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

His order drew praise from a group representing offshore energy producers and criticism from environmentalists. 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", Trump said in his order, which also mentioned shipping, fishing and recreation as among industries standing to benefit from his plan.

"We now have the opportunity to start with a clean slate", Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, said Thursday.

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".

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