2014 Photo by Paul Nicklin
Marking the 15th time the Center for Biological Diversity has taken Trump to court since he officially became President of the United States, the environmental group is one of the many plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging Trump’s recent executive order to overturn Obama’s permanent ban on new oil drilling in the Arctic and parts of the Atlantic; putting thousands of square miles of the ocean ecosystems, including critical habitat for polar bears, in severe danger.
“Trump’s attempt to let the petroleum industry suck oil out of every last corner of our oceans is reckless and unlawful,” said Kristen Monsell, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity in a Press Release issued by the organization. “We’re taking Trump to court to stop his assault on our oceans and make sure Arctic waters and the Atlantic stay off limits to dirty, dangerous drilling.”
The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit that was filed in federal district court in Alaska include: The League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Alaska Wilderness League, Defenders of Wildlife, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands), Greenpeace and The Wilderness Society.
The coalition issued the following joint statement: “President Trump’s April 28 executive order exceeds his constitutional and statutory authority and violates federal law. Responding to a national groundswell of opposition to expanded offshore drilling, President Obama permanently ended oil and gas leasing in most of the Arctic Ocean and key parts of the Atlantic Ocean in December, using his authority under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). Until Trump, no president has ever tried to reverse a permanent withdrawal made under OCSLA, which does not authorize such a reversal.
“Trump’s executive order could open up more than 120 million acres of ocean territory to the oil and gas industry, affecting 98 percent of federal Arctic Ocean waters and 31 biologically rich deep water canyons in the Atlantic Ocean. Offshore drilling in these undeveloped regions threatens to harm irreplaceable wildlife, sensitive marine ecosystems, coastal residents and the businesses that depend on them, and our global climate.”
White House spokeswoman Kelly Love reportedly said by email, as noted in an Associated Press article reported on by FOXBusiness, that “the administration is confident Trump’s commonsense decision to boost the country’s energy sector will be vindicated by the courts.”
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which has Polar Bears listed on its Red List of Threatened Species, estimated on its latest IUCN report that there are approximately 26,000 Polar Bears still in existence in the wild today, but their species is sadly in decline.
Please consider donating to the Center for Biological Diversity’s Trump Resistance Fund today.