Obama's national ocean policy, created during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, called on the federal government to work with states and local governments to enhance and protect oceans.
China's ban on importing most of the scrap material that it accepted for a quarter-century could overwhelm recycling programs in the U.S.
Nearly half a million dollars had already been spent when the study was halted, the Interior Department's inspector general found.
The widening global campaign to rid the world of plastic straws and bags — to keep millions of tons of them out of the ocean — has been endorsed by individuals such as Tom Brady and groups such as the Girl Scouts.
Revision has long been sought by conservative allies of President Trump.
The exchange came during a White House meeting called “Cut the Red Tape: Liberating America from Bureaucracy.”
Millions of people who breathe polluted air around the world will die of heart attacks and respiratory illnesses that are preventable.
"Knowledgeable experts within the University have questioned the methodology and accuracy of the report,” President Philip B. Oldham wrote to Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt and Tennessee Rep. Diane Black.
The decision to convert the study launched in the final days of the Obama administration into a less-stringent environmental assessment could have major policy implications.
The plastic sits on ocean coral, cutting its skin and causing other abrasions. That's when diseases move in for the kill.