Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Trump Administration Offers 77 Million Acres in Gulf of Mexico to Oil Industry

Popular
Trump Administration Offers 77 Million Acres in Gulf of Mexico to Oil Industry

The Trump administration is holding the biggest offshore oil and gas lease auction in U.S. history Wednesday, offering all 77 million acres of unleased, available federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

The sale comes as administration officials seek to rescind drilling safety rules approved after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, reduce royalties paid by oil companies, and expand offshore drilling into every ocean in the country.


"Trump is selling off our oceans and selling out coastal communities and marine life to the oil industry," said Kristen Monsell, oceans program legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "Whales, dolphins and Gulf seafood are already marinating in oil spills and industry wastewater. More drilling and less regulation will make the next Deepwater Horizon disaster only a matter of time."

The Center for Biological Diversity last month sued the Trump administration for failing to evaluate how oil wastewater dumping in the Gulf harms wildlife.

Oil companies have drilled more than 52,000 wells in the Gulf of Mexico and installed more than 7,000 platforms, many of which are inactive and still littering the Gulf. A recent New York Times investigation found dangerous conditions on Gulf platforms and taxpayers being left to cover the costs of cleanups and decommissioning of old drilling infrastructure.

Whales, sea turtles and other imperiled wildlife are being harmed by offshore oil drilling and exploration. A federal study conducted as part of the settlement of a lawsuit involving the Center for Biological Diversity found more than 30 million marine mammals in the Gulf would be harmed by seismic oil and gas exploration.

Oil spills are a routine part of offshore drilling. The Center for Biological Diversity has calculated that drilling the offshore parcels being offered in today's lease could result in about 2,700 oil spills dumping more than 16.7 million gallons of oil into the Gulf over the life of the lease, based on industry data. That doesn't include catastrophic spills such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 oil workers and thousands of marine animals, from which the Gulf still hasn't recovered.

The federal government also allows toxic fracking chemicals and other oil wastewater to be dumped into the Gulf without regard for its harm to wildlife. Federal documents show more than 75 billion gallons of oil wastewater were dumped into the Gulf in 2014 alone.

The federal government approved more than 1,500 fracks in offshore oil wells in the Gulf in one recent five-year period. Center for Biological Diversity scientists have found that at least 10 toxic chemicals routinely used in offshore fracking could kill or harm several marine species, including marine mammals and fish.

"Trump is turning over Gulf waters to oil companies with no regard for the devastating consequences," Monsell said. "This is a bad deal for people and the planet."

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Sept. 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington comforts Marsha Maus, 75, whose home was destroyed during California's deadly 2018 wildfires, on March 11, 2019 in Agoura Hills, California. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Governor Jay Inslee

Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.

In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.

Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch