Trump Upends Policy on Protecting Lakes, Oceans

The president rolls back approach that followed Deepwater Horizon spill
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2018 2:00 PM CDT
In this April 21, 2010, file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico following an explosion that killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in the nation's history.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
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(Newser) – President Trump has thrown out a policy devised by his predecessor to protect US oceans and the Great Lakes, replacing it with a new approach that emphasizes use of the waters to promote economic growth, the AP reports. Trump revoked an executive order issued by President Obama in 2010 following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The largest offshore oil spill in US history, it killed 11 workers and spewed millions of gallons of crude that harmed marine wildlife, fouled more than 1,300 miles of shoreline, and cost the tourism and fishing industries hundreds of millions of dollars. Obama said the spill underscored the vulnerability of marine environments, and he established a council to promote conservation and sustainable use of the waters.

In his order this week, Trump did not mention the Gulf spill. He said he was "rolling back excessive bureaucracy created by the previous administration" and depicted the Obama council as bloated, with 27 departments and agencies and over 20 committees, subcommittees, and working groups. The president said he was creating a smaller Ocean Policy Committee while eliminating "duplicative" regional planning bodies created under Obama. But he said federal agencies could participate in regional partnerships formed by states. Trump's order downplays environmental protection, saying the change would ensure that regulations and management decisions don't get in the way of responsible use by industries. Click for the full story.

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