On Friday, Trump signed an executive order, America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, aimed at reducing restrictions on oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic. Trump said it would create “thousands and thousands” of jobs and “unleash American energy.” This will reverse drilling bans put in place by Obama last year.
Executive Order 13754, the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience, was issued by President Obama on December 9, 2016. It was the product of years of hard work by Alaskans, Tribes and nonprofits who sought to create a way for them to have a say in what happens in their waters. The key component of the order was the creation of the Bering Sea Intergovernmental Tribal Advisory Council. This council gave those who use the waters of the Bering Sea every day representation in how the federal government managed their waterways and food supplies.
As Trump signed his executive order, he stated,
Our country’s blessed with incredible natural resources, including abundant offshore oil and natural gas reserves, but the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production.
So, once again, the government is screwing over native Americans because money speaks louder than their climate concerns. “Living off the land” is not what Trump thinks it means. A person cannot eat oil. A person cannot eat seafood that has been tainted by pollution. Trump should have just exclaimed, “Let them eat cake!”
The Bering Sea Elders Group issued a statement criticizing the order that would allow the federal government to pollute the waters they use for their main food supply.
The Bering Sea Elders Group, that worked long and diligently to protect our 40 tribes along the Northern Bering Sea, are shocked and appalled by the action of President Donald Trump to eliminate the protections extended by President Obama under Executive Order 13754. Everything we have worked for has pretty much gone out the window. Indigenous people rely on resources in areas that we live. This may destroy our way of life.
Trump is proving to be too big of a threat for all of us. For money, he would take away our National Parks, climate protections, our food and our peace of mind. It is unconscionable. Haven’t we screwed our indigenous enough? We don’t need this giant pumpkin head taking away another vital piece of their lives.