Trump scraps Obama policy protecting oceans, Great Lakes

Waianapanapa State Park in Hawaii. On June 19 &mdash during National Ocean Month &mdash President Donald Trump revoked

"In another attempt to reverse progress made under President Obama, the Trump administration is recklessly tossing aside responsible ocean management and stewardship", said Arian Rubio, legislative associate for the League of Conservation Voters. Obama had said that the incident pointed to the importance of marine environments and the need to create a sustainable use of water.

Trump late Tuesday signed an executive order that revoked a 2010 Obama order which set protections for U.S. oceans, coastlines and waters of the Great Lakes.

In its criticism of the Obama policy, NFI in a statement issued Friday claimed the National Ocean Council fell short of achieving its goals of addressing "key ocean challenges by giving communities greater input in government decisions".

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".

In a blog post, Alison Chase, a senior policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the order no longer requires federal planning with states and tribes.

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

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The order drew praise from a group representing offshore energy producers. "This renewed broad vision will hopefully encourage productive partnerships, recognizing a wide variety of ocean uses, all leading to increase economic, environmental and energy security for America through job creation, economic activity, and energy development".

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

"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.

Jack Belcher of the pro-industry National Ocean Policy Coalition said the new approach would remove "a significant cloud of uncertainty" for marine industries. "Domestic energy production from Federal waters strengthens the Nation's security and reduces reliance on imported energy".

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

But 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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