Richard Charter, Senior Fellow at the Ocean Foundation, strongly objected to the order—especially since it overturns protected marine sanctuaries.
“Each of America’s national marine sanctuaries is the product of decades of bipartisan consultation with elected officials at all levels... These waters are clearly the absolute last place Trump should even consider for dangerous offshore drilling."
Offshore drilling is incredibly dangerous for workers and the environment, and deeper drilling depths greatly increase the risk of accidents, spills and fires, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
"Big Oil has perpetuated a dangerous myth that coastline drilling is a completely safe endeavor, but accidents like this are a sober reminder just how far that is from the truth," said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez in a press statement. "The fact is that 509 oil rig fires have broken out in the Gulf of Mexico since 2006."
Obama used an obscure provision of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to issue a permanent ban on offshore drilling in large parts of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, so some observers question whether Trump's executive order is even legal.
While Obama Protected Oceans,Trump Signs Executive Order On Offshore Drilling And Marine Sanctuaries : NPR https://t.co/LuFux5DsPw
But others argue the Obama era policy was restrictive and wrong, and say this order is an important step toward energy independence and job creation:
“We are pleased to see this administration prioritizing responsible U.S. energy development and recognizing the benefits it will bring to American consumers and businesses,” said American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard in a statement.