Trump administration moves towards future offshore drilling in Atlantic

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 1, 2018
Adjust font size:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Trump administration on Friday issued final authorizations that would allow companies to conduct geophysical surveys in the Atlantic Ocean, taking an important step toward possible future oil and natural gas drilling off the Atlantic shore.

The National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of the U.S. Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said it has issued permits for five companies to use seismic airguns to "incidentally" harass marine mammals as part of their testing to find oil and gas deposits under the Atlantic Ocean floor.

"The authorizations require monitoring, reporting, and mitigation measures to reduce the impacts of survey activities on marine mammals," the agency said in a statement.

It marks the first time since the 1980s that the federal government has allowed seismic testing with airguns in the Atlantic Ocean, which could lead to the first oil and natural gas drilling there, according to the Hill, a U.S. political website.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), the lobbying group for the oil and gas industry, hailed the administration's authorizations.

"Today's announcement is one of many steps along a rigorous permitting process that helps to ensure that any future geophysical surveying in the Mid-and South Atlantic OCS would be properly managed and conducted so they have minimal impact on the marine environment," the API said in a statement.

"The industry can make the discoveries of resources that our economy will need for decades to come," the group added.

However, Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups slammed the administration's decision as the seismic testing using airgun blasts could disturb, harm and potentially kill marine mammals.

"Seismic testing risks injuring and killing critically endangered species, severely disrupting economically important fisheries, and threatening the Jersey shore," New Jersey Democratic Representative Frank Pallone said Friday in a statement.

"Members from both sides of the aisle will work tirelessly to fight this reckless decision by the Trump administration," said Pallone, who is in line to lead the House Energy and Commerce Committee in January.

Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat, also called for Congress to swiftly consider his bill that would ban seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic.

"Seismic blasting and offshore drilling pose a threat to marine life and the coastal economies which depend on them," Beyer said in a statement.

"There is no justification for intentionally welcoming this kind of damage, particularly at a time when oil prices are low and fossil fuel corporations are posting record profits," he said. Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from