Tag Archives: Trump administration

Federal review of offshore wind projects raises concerns over delays

The Trump administration’s unexpected review of “potential impacts” of offshore wind-energy projects could be published early this year, but it remains unclear whether publication will clear a logjam that has stalled one of the country’s first large-scale projects, and the dozen to follow.,,, Last year, when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced an analysis of offshore wind projects slated for construction in U.S. waters, Vineyard Wind, the first affected by it, was caught off guard. Vineyard Wind is proposing a project off the Massachusetts coast.  >click to read< 07:31

US lobster industry hopes new deal renews trade with China

One group that is cautiously optimistic about the trade deal signed Wednesday between the U.S. and China is the lobster industry. The hope is that the deal will reopen one of the biggest markets in the world for lobsters. China is one of the biggest export destinations for lobster, which are trapped in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean by American and Canadian fishermen. >click to read< 06:59

Maine lobster industry will benefit from the China trade deal, Sen. Collins says>click to read<

Feds Tap 300,000 Square Miles of Pacific for Humpback Whales

The proposed rule is the result of a settlement with the National Marine Fisheries Service, who were sued last year for not following through on a 2016 plan to designate two groups of Pacific Ocean humpback whales as endangered and a third group as threatened. The Center for Biological Diversity, joined by Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Wishtoyo Foundation, filed a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of California claiming the lack of action by the Trump administration violated the Endangered Species Act. >click to read<  16:25

Trump aide offers no guidance on Vineyard Wind

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management put the offshore wind farm on hold indefinitely in early August while it tries to gain a better understanding of the cumulative impact of the many East Coast wind farm projects currently in the pipeline. With the project in danger of being canceled if the delay lasts too long, James Bennett, the renewable energy program manager at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, gave no indication of when the agency’s review will be completed. >click to read<  08:33

PCFFA Reacts to News of Jeopardy Finding for Salmon, Southern Resident Killer Whales

As reported today in the LA Times, the National Marine Fisheries Service determined in an important draft biological opinion [link to the document here] that the changes to California’s Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) operations championed by the Department of the Interior would result in jeopardy to spring and winter run Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and southern resident killer whales (SRKW). The draft opinion was transmitted to the Department of the Interior, which immediately convened a team of outside lawyers and scientific staff from its own agencies to adulterate NMFS science and suppress the document’s findings. >click to read< 20:18

Vineyard Wind, welcome to our world…

Headline – Trump admin throws wrench into offshore wind plans – The Trump administration is ordering a sweeping environmental review of the burgeoning offshore wind industry, a move that threatens to derail the nation’s first major project and raises a host of questions for future developments. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division of the Interior Department, is ordering a study of the cumulative impact of a string of projects along the East Coast. The review comes in response to concerns from fishermen about the impact of offshore wind development on East Coast fisheries. Must watch video! >click to read< 17:15

Rep. Young fights fish farms

In his 46 years as Alaska’s lone representative in Congress, Don Young helped toss out foreign fishing fleets from Alaska waters with the onset of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976, and today he is intent on doing the same with offshore fish farms. The MSA established an ‘exclusive economic zone’ for US fleets fishing from three to 200 miles from shore. Young’s effort follows a push that began a year ago by over 120 aquaculture and food-related industries to have lawmakers introduce an Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act, which failed to get any traction. The campaign is organized under a new trade group called Stronger America Through Seafood and includes Cargill, Red Lobster, Pacific Seafoods and Seattle Fish Company.  >click to read<15:50

Opinion: Atlantic drilling issue dries up again, without lasting resolution

The curtain has come down on the latest of “to drill or not to drill in the Atlantic.” It ran two years, just a bit longer than the one before it in a series dating to the 1980s. The ending, as expected, was the same, since deepwater drilling in the Atlantic wouldn’t be profitable and is broadly opposed. A renewed federal effort begun in May 2017 to offer leases to drill for oil and natural gas off the East Coast was suspended indefinitely by the Trump administration. A similar push by the Obama administration ended with reinstatement of a temporary moratorium on drilling. Other than the presidents, most of the players remained the same. Opposition was led by state and local officials in both parties the length of the coast,,, >click to read<18:36

Con Groups File Intent to Sue to Protect Atlantic Sharks, Giant Rays From Lethal Longlines, Gillnets

On behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice today filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to protect oceanic whitetip sharks and giant manta rays from being killed by longlines and huge nets used by U.S. fishermen in Atlantic fisheries. >click to read<13:59

Conservation groups threaten lawsuit against Trump administration over salmon fishing

Two conservation groups say the federal government is violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to consider how salmon fishing off the West Coast is affecting endangered killer whales. The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity and the Washington state-based Wild Fish Conservancy on Tuesday notified President Donald Trump’s administration that they intend to file a lawsuit within 60 days unless officials reevaluate whether the fishing further jeopardizes orcas that frequent the inland waters of the Pacific Northwest. Video, >click to read<15:39

Trump administration readies to lease Atlantic offshore for oil exploration

The Trump administration Friday authorized five companies to conduct seismic testing for oil and gas off the East Coast from Delaware to central Florida, prompting protests from environmental groups. Opponents argued sound waves from seismic blasts not only would harm ocean species, including a declining right whale population, but would represent a first step toward offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in 30 years.,, The governors of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have taken stands against testing and drilling. In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal has expressed concerns but hasn’t taken a formal position. >click to read<

Judge tosses fishermen’s suit against Obama ocean monument

A federal judge tossed a lawsuit Friday from a group of fishing associations that challenged the creation of an underwater monument in the Atlantic Ocean. The fishing groups sued in federal court in Washington against creation of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument by former President Barack Obama in 2016. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg granted the Trump administration’s motion Friday to dismiss the suit. His ruling said the groups failed to adequately explain why the monument is too large. >click to read<15:14

Trump administration settles lawsuit, agrees to protect humpback whale habitat

The suit by the Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation, a nonprofit that represents American Indian tribes, was settled Friday in federal court in San Francisco. The National Marine Fisheries Service agreed to designate critical habitat for the animals by mid-2019 and finalize those boundaries a year later. It means the migration routes of three endangered or threatened populations of humpbacks on the West Coast will be protected. >click to read<09:40

Pingree Helps Lead Effort to Provide Trade Relief to Fishermen

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) has signed on as an original cosponsor of legislation that Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) introduced today to provide disaster relief to fishermen who have been harmed by the repercussions of the Trump Administration’s trade actions. “Farmers haven’t been the only ones to suffer the consequences of the Trump Administration’s sloppy trade actions. The bill would provide disaster relief for commercial fishery failures due to tariffs imposed by the United States or another country. >click to read<18:12

USDA Rolls Out Trade Aid – Trump Administration Details One-Time Aid Programs to Help Farmers Facing Tariff Pains

Under a plan announced Tuesday by the Trump administration, farmers growing soybeans, corn, sorghum, wheat, cotton, milk and hogs will be able to apply for tariff aid payments sometime this fall to offset the impact of lost trade markets. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, stressing that President Donald Trump continues to support U.S. farmers, announced an aid package of up to $12 billion for agriculture, which will be available through three separate programs.  Perdue called the trade response “a short-term solution” that would give President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals that would end the retaliatory tariffs.  Perdue said the $12 billion figure “is directly in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of illegal tariffs on agriculture.” >click to read<21:43

Trump Effort to Lift U.S. Offshore Wind Sector Sparks Interest from Europe

The Trump administration wants to fire up development of the U.S. offshore wind industry by streamlining permitting and carving out vast areas off the coast for leasing – part of its ‘America First’ policy to boost domestic energy production and jobs. The Europeans have taken note. The drive to open America’s offshore wind industry has attracted Europe’s biggest renewable energy companies, who see the U.S. East Coast as a new frontier after years of success across the Atlantic.,,, “This would be American produced energy, and American jobs,” said Vincent DeVito, energy policy advisor to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. “It fits well with the America First agenda.” >click to read<14:32

Trump administration replaces Obama-era ocean policy

The Trump administration has revoked an environmental and economic management program for the United States’ coastal ecosystems and replaced it with a program that the president says “streamlines federal coordination.” The National Ocean Policy (NOP), created by an executive order by President Barack Obama in July 2010, established a comprehensive program to ensure the sustainability of the country’s coastal areas and the health of oceans and the Great Lakes. According to a White House news release issued Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s repeal of the 2010 executive order was done because of “excessive bureaucracy created by the previous administration,” citing the National Ocean Council’s 27 departments and agencies. >click to read<17:17

From the White House – Executive Order Regarding the Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States – >click to read<

Administration looks offshore for wind energy boom

The Trump administration is “bullish” about offshore wind, working with governors in the Northeast to transform what was once a fringe and costly investment into America’s newest energy-producing industry. “When the president said energy dominance, it was made without reference to a type of energy,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Washington Examiner in an interview. “It was making sure as a country we are American energy first and that includes offshore wind. There is enormous opportunity, especially off the East Coast, for wind. I am very bullish.” On a recent tour of coastal states, Zinke found “magnitudes” more interest in offshore wind than oil and natural gas drilling. >click to read<11:20

Trump administration defends Obama’s Atlantic monument – Requests Judge dismiss Fishermen’s lawsuit

The Trump administration on Tuesday defended an underwater monument established by former President Barack Obama to protect marine life in the Atlantic Ocean and asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit from fishermen trying to eliminate it. The fishing groups sued in federal court in Washington, challenging the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument by the Democratic former president in 2016. It’s a 5,000-square-mile area off of New England that contains fragile deep sea corals and vulnerable species of marine life, such as right whales. >click to read< 13:22

President Trump to make decision on monuments by April 16

President Donald Trump has until April 16th to either follow his Interior secretary’s recommendations to relax fishing restrictions in marine monuments key for American Samoa and Atlantic coast fishermen or let a court challenge to the monuments proceed. A federal court has agreed to allow Atlantic fishermen and lobstermen to proceed with a lawsuit that seeks to reverse Obama-era protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument off the New England coast. But the case could have a direct bearing on when or how American Samoa’s tuna industry gets relief from fishing restrictions in the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll marine monuments. >click to read<16:02

Zinke acknowledges opposition to oil, Feds seek offshore wind off NY/ NJ, 2 areas off Mass available

The federal agency in charge of leasing land for alternative energy in the ocean is looking for companies interested in building wind turbines in shallow waters between Long Island and the New Jersey coast. >click to read< The Department of the Interior has announced that two additional areas located off Massachusetts are now available for commercial wind energy development. >click to read< On the same day his agency announced two additional areas located off Massachusetts are now available for commercial wind energy development, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke  acknowledged there is “a lot of opposition” to President Donald Trump’s plan to open  most of the nation’s coastline to oil and gas drilling. >click to read<20:03

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Failure to Protect Pacific Humpback Whales Threatened by Fishing Gear, Ship Strikes, Oil Spills

The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Wishtoyo Foundation today sued the Trump administration for failing to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean, where the animals face threats from fisheries, ship strikes and oil spills. Today’s lawsuit, filed in federal district court in San Francisco, aims to force the National Marine Fisheries Service to follow the Endangered Species Act’s requirement to designate critical habitat within one year of listing a species as threatened or endangered and not authorize actions that,,, >click to read< 16:12

U.S. States Slow Trump’s Offshore Drilling Expansion Plan

The Trump administration’s plan to broadly expand drilling in U.S. offshore waters is moving slowly due to opposition from coastal states and indifference from oil companies that have turned their focus to other opportunities. The administration hopes encouraging U.S. energy development outside of shale oilfields will further its goal of “energy dominance.” But existing Obama administration lease rules remain in place through 2022 unless the new rules gain approval. The Department of the Interior this year proposed opening vast new acreage in the U.S. outer continental shelf to drilling. >click to read< 08:56

Court Slaps Down The First Legal Challenge To Trump’s ‘1-In, 2-Out’ Policy

A federal court dismissed a coalition of liberal activists’ lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s executive order that two regulations be repealed for every new one that’s proposed, also known as the “1-in, 2-out” policy. Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) argued Trump’s deregulation order was unconstitutional, but the D.C. district court ruled the plaintiffs failed to show Trump’s executive order caused any injury that would give them standing to sue. >click to read< 12:10

Moulton: NOAA cuts ‘recipe for disaster’

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cuts more than $1 billion from the agency that manages the nation’s fisheries and coastal ecosystems, explores space and forecasts weather and changing environmental conditions. On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Salem criticized the proposed cuts, saying the proposed 14 percent decline reflects the administration’s shallow understanding of the importance of NOAA’s programs to coastal communities,,, He characterized the president’s budget proposal as a “a guideline” and said it will be up to Congress to determine the ultimate levels of funding through the appropriation process. >click to read< 20:31

Washington State: Council unanimously opposes coastal oil and gas drilling

The Ocean Shores City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution that opposes offshore oil and gas activities off the coast in response to a pending Trump administration proposal to permit drilling in most U.S. continental-shelf waters. “Our Washington coast is one of the most wonderful places in this entire world,” said Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler.,, Larry Thevik, the president of the Washington Dungeness Crab Fishing Association and a 47-year resident of Ocean Shores, said he was also speaking on behalf of the Washington Trollers Association and the Westport Charterboat Association. >click here to read< 17:24

DFO minister: No compromise on independence of inshore fishery

Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans says there will be no backtracking on measures to preserve the independence of Atlantic Canada’s inshore fishery.”I’m not interested in weakening or diluting these policies,” Dominic LeBlanc told CBC News in a wide-ranging interview Tuesday. LeBlanc was responding for the first time to overtures from lobster buyers and plant owners in southwestern Nova Scotia who have floated schemes that would allow the companies ownership of a fisherman’s catch while somehow maintaining the independence of the fisherman.,,LeBlanc declined to discuss the impact on Atlantic Canada’s seafood exports to the United States in the event the Trump administration pulls out of the North American Free Trade Agreement. >click here to read<21:29 

Nearly every governor with ocean coastline opposes Trump administration drilling proposal

The Trump administration’s proposal to open vast portions of US coastline to oil drilling was met with ferocious opposition from a number of the coastal governors it would affect. At least one governor, Florida’s Rick Scott, a Republican, asked for and received a waiver from the administration. That move by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke drew accusations of favoritism, which have been denied. But the fact remains that nearly every governor with ocean coastline opposes drilling off their coast or, in one case, has concerns. >click here to read<11:12 

Why the Trump offshore drilling plan is another Canada-U.S. complication

As much as half a million kilograms of haddock caught on the rich fishing grounds of Georges Bank this weekend will be landed in ports in southwestern Nova Scotia, as the winter fishery gets underway after a storm-delayed start to 2018.,,, Canada and the U.S. jointly manage fisheries on Georges Bank through various trans-boundary committees that agree on quotas, resource sharing and stock health. >click here to read<

Drilling plan may not change much locally but still worries fishermen

Last week the Trump administration proposed to drastically increase the amount of Alaska waters open for oil and gas leasing. Along with keeping Cook Inlet open, it would also make areas near Kodiak and the Gulf of Alaska available for drilling, both of which are currently closed. Yet, it’s unclear if companies will be interested in drilling there even if the plan is approved. Still, the move worries local environmentalists and fishermen. click here to read the story 10:54