Donald Trump’s new policies can have widespread imnplications on the environment. (Photographer: Michael Vadon)
Science

Donald Trump signs executive order aimed at lifting bans on Arctic drilling

by Maria Collins

He previously claimed he was actually an ‘environmentalist,’ but it was simply just way ‘out of control.’ So once again, not only has Donald Trump contradicted himself with another one of his ‘false truths,’ but he has also recklessly decided to damage our ecosystem in order to supposedly ‘create thousands of jobs.’

President Trump signed an executive order Friday that could lead to the expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, reversing what his processor Barack Obama had previously prohibited. In his announcement of the executive order, Trump claimed that the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production, and now he feels it right to ‘implement’ an America-First offshore energy strategy. This will direct a ‘review of the locations available for off-shore oil and gas exploration.’ Which when translated in terms of ‘Trump politics,’ is to irresponsibly damage the environment; all for the purpose of what Trump predicts will work out in ‘billions of dollars of wealth.’

But there is a potential fold within this executive order, as it is debatable how much income might be generated from this executive order. More specifically, despite Trump’s assertion that the nation needs to wean itself of foreign oil, U.S. oil imports have declined in recent years as domestic production boomed, mainly through improved drilling techniques that opened up production in areas once out of reach.

Having said this, it is unlikely that this executive will reach its goals (or try to) anytime soon, as environmental groups have already said they will challenge Mr Trump, as they have questioned his Trump’s authority to reverse Obama’s withdrawal of certain areas in the Arctic or Atlantic to drilling, a question that will likely be decided in the courts. In addition to requiring a new five-year drilling plan, it also requires Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to review previous presidents’ designations of marine national monuments and sanctuaries.

Environmental groups such as Oceana and The Center for Biological Diversity, are already preparing for the fight to come, noting how opening up vast areas to drilling harms whales, walruses and other wildlife and exacerbates global warming; with both groups promising to take Trump to court.

But for the man in question himself, this is arguably just another day in the office, as Mr Trump has faced many criticisms for the executive orders he has already signed so far. Such as with the US travel ban affecting certain Muslim countries like Syria and Iran, which at the moment has temporally been suspended by the federal government, much to Trump’s anguish.

So it’s pretty fair to say his first 100 days in office certainly haven’t exactly gone off without a hitch, and now he could potentially start the next 100 off a years long review and a legal battle; which unfortunately will probably be one of many more controversial legal battles to come.

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