PRIORITIES

Trump Scraps Obama-Era Protections for Oceans

President Trump has done away with Obama-era policies aimed at protecting the world’s oceans and instead issued an executive order calling for marine environments to be used to promote economic growth. Trump said in a statement explaining the move that he is “rolling back excessive bureaucracy created by the previous administration” in order to grow “the ocean economy.” “From sea to shining sea, Americans benefit from the ocean’s bounty—from the industries it supports and the jobs it creates,” he said. Trump’s order downsizes the Ocean Policy Committee established by former President Barack Obama in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Several regional planning bodies will also be eliminated. Perhaps most alarming to conservationists, however, is Trump’s apparent dismissal of environmental protections and focus on easing rules for industries that he says “employ millions of Americans, advance ocean science and technology, feed the American people, transport American goods, expand recreational opportunities, and enhance America’s energy security.”