Washington, D.C. — As the Trump administration considers weakening protection for marine sanctuaries and monuments, the Center for American Progress released a new issue brief today showing how exaggerated claims of economic harm to the commercial fishing industry could be masking an effort to expand oil and gas drilling to the Atlantic Ocean.
In June, President Donald Trump ordered a review of 27 large-scale monuments on land and in the ocean. That includes the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of Massachusetts. The monument was designated by former President Barack Obama last year.
“While the commercial fishing industry has opposed it at every turn, the massive economic damages some have predicted simply do not pass the straight-face test,” said Michael Conathan, director of ocean policy at CAP and co-author of the brief. “So what is this review of marine monument designations really about? Trump’s executive order explicitly paves the way for a return to oil and gas exploration in an area that has rejected it overwhelmingly for decades.”
With Trump’s express desire to open up massive new areas of U.S. waters to offshore oil and gas exploration, protection of fragile marine ecosystems such as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is more critical than ever.
Click here to read “Big Oil Could Benefit Most from Review of Marine National Monuments” by Michael Conathan and Avery Siciliano.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.478.6331.