Via E&E News
"The White House science office has lost most of its energy and environment staff, including nearly all employees dedicated solely to climate change, according to records obtained by E&E News."
Struggling to stay up-to-date with the dizzying array of news coming out of the White House? Here's the news you need to know that pertains to ocean and coastal conservation.
Via Foreign Policy
"[...] the Vietnamese ambassador in Beijing was summoned to the Chinese Foreign Ministry and told, bluntly, that unless the drilling stopped and Vietnam promised never to drill in that part of the sea ever again, China would take military action against Vietnamese bases in the South China Sea."
"Early Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to express displeasure with Murkowski's vote. By that afternoon, each of Alaska's two Republican senators had received a phone call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke letting them know the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy."
"The recent directive by President Donald Trump for a “review” Barack Obama and Bill Clinton's use of the Antiquities Act and his comments about government “abuse” and “land grab” serves only his objective in making more areas available to oil, gas, mining and fisheries extraction operations. Totally lacking is any mention of the public trust doctrine and the fact that these specially designated areas (national parks, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas, marine sanctuaries, monuments) and our natural resources belong to the U.S. citizens, not the corporate/industrial establishment."
Via E&E News
"The House Appropriations Committee late yesterday approved a $31.4 billion spending bill for U.S. EPA, the Interior Department and related agencies, giving them over $800 million less than fiscal 2017 but rejecting many of the administration's steeper cuts for programs popular with lawmakers and constituents."
"The draft budget resolution before the House Budget Committee, they say, kick starts a Rube Goldberg machine-like series of parliamentary procedures that, unless derailed, would lead to the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to drilling through only simple-majority votes in the House and Senate. The Budget committee plans to mark up and vote on the budget draft today."
Via Coastal Point
"Meanwhile, the seismic testing must be done to even determine the best places for drilling. Seismic airguns shoot intense blasts of compressed air — one of the loudest manmade sounds. During testing, the blasts constantly pierce the ocean floor and reflect back up to help ships create a map of likely oil reserves in the Atlantic."
"But the appointment of fisheries biologist Chris Oliver to lead NOAA Fisheries — the agency within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that is charged with sustainable management of commercial fisheries worth more than $140 billion — represents a striking departure from the Trump administration’s scientific and environmental personnel and policy choices."