By MICHAEL HANSENMAGEDONThe Trump administration has quietly begun a controversial dredging program aimed at dredging up the remnants of a U.S. military fleet that ran aground off the coast of Cuba in the early 20th century.
The new project, codenamed Project Drown, was quietly announced Thursday in a statement by President Donald Trump.
The dredging project is a test run for the Trump administration to test its ability to use its military assets to fight climate change and other environmental challenges, according to the statement.
It is expected to produce up to $150 million in economic benefits and will also be used to develop alternative energy projects.
The White House did not elaborate on the economic benefits, which would include jobs, infrastructure investments and tourism, the statement said.
The Trump campaign has not released the names of the contractors involved in the dredging effort, and it is unclear how much money the dredge project will produce.
The Pentagon has not made a formal announcement about the dredges and said it is still gathering information on the project.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said the United States will be one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change.
The project has been controversial for decades.
After Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, Trump ordered the construction of dredges to clear the Gulf of Mexico.
He has been accused of using the program to push for his controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which will ship crude from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf coast.
Dredging is one of several strategies the Trump team is using to combat climate change, including a plan to build a vast, underground saltwater aquifer in the Arctic.
The Trump administration also plans to use the military’s nuclear weapons arsenal to deter Iran from building nuclear weapons.
The United States has long used the Cold War-era U. S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay to detain terrorism suspects, including some of the country’s most wanted terrorists, including the 9/11 hijackers.
Trump said he would close Guantanamo Bay after the end of his presidency and has promised to reduce the prison population.
The Associated Press