Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Sci-tech | By Javier West

Post-oil-spill policy revoked by Trump

Post-oil-spill policy revoked by Trump

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 United States ocean resources and those of the Great Lakes.

President Trump called it overly bureaucratic.

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. Still, she says Trump's order, combined with his efforts to roll back Great Lakes restoration funding, is cause for concern.

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

"The repeal of the National Ocean Policy is another attack in the Trump administration's all-out assault on the nation's public lands and oceans for the sake of private exploitation and profit", said Priscilla Brooks, director of ocean conservation at the New England-based Conservation Law Foundation.

As a result of the new policy, productive partnerships regarding ocean use can make progress and lead to increased economic, environmental and energy security for America, he said. The Obama policy set the stage for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Ocean plans, the first regional frameworks to come out of the planning process.

His order drew praise from a group representing offshore energy producers and criticism from environmentalists. "Domestic energy production from Federal waters strengthens the Nation's security and reduces reliance on imported energy".

"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.

However, the National Ocean Policy Coalition, a group made up of oil and gas companies, fishermen and other industries, applauds Trump's move.

"The offshore energy industry has successfully operated side by side with other ocean users, without major conflict", said Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association.

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said Trump's approach would "help the health of our oceans and ensure local communities impacted by ocean policy have a seat at the table".

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