In an effort to promote domestic offshore energy production, President Trump Tuesday formally revoked an order that former President Barack Obama issued after the massive BP oil spill eight years ago.
The new Trump order, called “Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States,” promotes the economy, domestic energy production in federal water, and national defense priorities.
“Ocean industries employ millions of Americans and support a strong national economy,” Trump’s order reads. “Domestic energy production from federal waters strengthens the nation’s security and reduces reliance on imported energy.”
In addition, the U.S. military “protect our national interests in the ocean and along the nation’s coasts,” the order continues. “Goods and materials that support our economy and quality of life flow through maritime commerce. Our fisheries resources help feed the nation and present tremendous export opportunities. Clean, healthy waters support fishing, boating, and other recreational opportunities for all Americans.”
Trump said the order “recognizes and supports” federal participation in regional ocean partnerships to advance the benefits of the ocean.
The order also establishes the interagency Ocean Policy Committee co-chaired by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and including many Cabinet heads.
The order does not spell out what the committee will prioritize, but will develop its goals in the coming months.
The president declared June National Ocean Month and said he would be taking action in June to streamline permitting to open the oceans to development.
That proclamation said the Exclusive Economic Zone, areas of the ocean where the U.S. has the right under international law to exploit its resources, is “underutilized.”
Trump vowed in the statement to “develop and deploy new technologies in partnership with American academic institutions and innovators” to “harness the vast resources” of the zone.
“We will streamline regulations and administrative practices to promote economic growth, while protecting our marine environment for current and future generations,” it stated. “We will also create new opportunities for American products in the global marketplace, including through continued support of our commercial fisheries and promotion of domestic aquaculture.”
Trump replaced the Obama order that included conservation directives and task forces.