"U.S. Marine Sanctuary Oil Drilling Report Sent To Trump, Not Public"

"WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross sent a report to the White House on Wednesday containing recommendations on whether to change the boundaries of 11 marine sanctuaries to allow more oil and gas drilling, but the report was not made public.

Commerce reviewed sanctuaries containing 425 million acres of coral reefs, marine mammal habitats and pristine beaches, as part of an administration strategy to open new areas to oil and gas drilling. The goal was to 'put the energy needs of American families and businesses first,' according to the order Trump signed in April that triggered it.

Previous presidents designated the 11 marine sanctuaries for protection. Oil industry executives have said there is little appetite for drilling in the marine sanctuaries, citing costs, public opposition and other factors. Environmental groups have said the Commerce report should be made public."

Valerie Volcovici reports for Reuters October 25, 2017.

Source: Reuters, 10/26/2017