President Donald Trump Revokes National Ocean Policy

President Donald Trump Revokes National Ocean Policy

While most eyes have been on the nation's southern border, the White House this week rolled out a new policy for the coasts, reversing an Obama-era program that sought greater protection of the high seas and angering environmentalists from New England to California.

In his order this week, President Donald Trump said he was "rolling back excessive bureaucracy created by the previous administration", a policy devised by his predecessor for protecting US oceans and the Great Lakes.

Among its imperatives, the Trump order specifies that government must "ensure that Federal regulations and management decisions do not prevent productive and sustainable use of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters".

The National Ocean Policy was established in 2010 as part of an executive order signed by former-president Barack Obama.

In his order this week, Trump did not mention the Gulf spill.

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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The order encourages more drilling and other industrial uses of the oceans and Great Lakes.

Executive action from the U.S. President erased offshore energy planning burdens, an industry group said, though critics said it was a war on oceans.

The Trump administration has proposed drilling in almost all federal waters, a plan still in development.

Overturning the 2010 policy "removes a significant cloud of uncertainty that has been hovering over a wide range of commercial and recreational interests that represent a broad cross-section of the American economy", said NOPC managing director Jack Belcher, "threatening domestic jobs, economic activity, and recreational opportunities through new and unauthorized bureaucracies, mandates to federal agencies, and actions that could needlessly prohibit, limit, or delay access to public lands".

"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, worldwide diplomacy, and national and homeland security", Obama's order stated.

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and ranking member of the committee, demanded a hearing and accused Trump of "unilaterally throwing out" years of conservation work.

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