Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Trump rescinds Obama's ocean-protection order

Trump rescinds Obama's ocean-protection order

"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.

"The National Ocean Policy, although laden with laudable goals, brought additional and duplicative layers of bureaucracy, instead of streamlining a vital process", Luthi said.

Conservation groups slammed Trump's move, saying it puts the nation's waterways at risk. They said the order was doing away with an effective means of collaboration on such issues as fishing, shipping and offshore oil drilling, and would render states voiceless on weighty coastal matters. "This is a precursor to not only expanded offshore drilling and ocean mining, which we all know is coming, but any activity in the ocean that now falls under the exclusive control of the White House".

The National Ocean Policy was established in 2010 as part of an executive order signed by former-president Barack Obama. The new order also aims to promote a strong ocean economy by providing regulatory certainty, according to the news release. His administration has encouraged a "cooperative federalism" approach that shifts more responsibility to state governments. Two of the regional boards along the East Coast developed long-term plans for their coastal areas, seeking a balance between conservation and development - actions that were similarly expected of the West Coast.

The Trump order still speaks to the need for using the best science and coordination among all levels of government to maintain ocean resources, as other administrations have recognized.

The word "stewdarship" appears eight times in Obama's executive order, whereas in Trump's, it appears only once under the section that revokes the old policy. 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.

"America's stewardship of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes is intrinsically linked to environmental sustainability, human health and well-being, national prosperity, adaptation to climate and other environmental changes, social justice, global diplomacy, and national and homeland security", Obama's order stated. An administration proposal to increase drilling leases remains under review.

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