As it has already done with public lands, the Trump Administration is studying how to roll back environmental protections for the sake of the oil and gas industries. This time, marine sanctuaries are the administration's target.
"The Trump Administration is reviewing whether to shrink national marine sanctuaries and monuments under a recently-released plan that could expand offshore oil and gas drilling," according to an article by KQED.
"In April, President Trump asked U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to evaluate whether 11 national marine sanctuaries and monuments created or expanded since 2007 would be appropriate for opening up to oil and gas exploration," and the "areas that could lose protection span from Central California to the South Pacific to New England, totaling [sic] about 425 million acres."
The article includes an interview between KQED's Broan Watt and Paul Rogers, the managing editor of KQED's science unit and environment writer at the Mercury News, about the impacts of a potential decision to shrink marine sanctuaries would mean, particularly for the state of California.
The Trump Administration's treatment of marine sanctuaries mirrors its treatment of public lands—President Trump dispatched a cabinet member to study the reduction of national monuments, and is pursuing an "energy dominance" agenda that includes an order by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to expedite drilling on public lands.
As noted in the article, "[t]he National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is accepting public comments on the review of all designations and expansions of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments since April 28, 2007. The comment period ends July 26. Submit a formal comment to the National Register."
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