Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Landmark Decision Approves Seismic Airgun Testing for Oil & Gas Drilling Off Atlantic Coast

Energy
Landmark Decision Approves Seismic Airgun Testing for Oil & Gas Drilling Off Atlantic Coast

In a landmark decision last week, the federal government approved seismic exploration for oil and gas drilling on the Atlantic coast. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will allow extensive seismic airgun testing off the Mid- and South Atlantic coasts. Seismic testing could cause major impacts to marine wildlife and the ocean ecosystem, and pave the way for offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast.

“Seismic airgun testing will cause catastrophic impacts to the marine ecosystem, including injury or death to hundreds of thousands of whales and dolphins," said Surfrider Foundation in a statement. "It will also set the stage for offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast, a dirty and dangerous practice that threatens the health of our oceans and coastal communities. The Surfrider Foundation, including our 25 local chapters from Maine to Florida, is deeply dismayed by the federal government's decision and will continue to fight the expansion of drilling off the Atlantic coast."

This announcement follows years of intense debate, with 15 public forums and many public comment periods. Tens of thousands of people have expressed opposition to the proposal and urged the government to cancel plans for seismic testing in the Atlantic. 

"The use of seismic airguns is the first step to expanding dirty and dangerous offshore drilling to the Atlantic Ocean, bringing us one step closer to another disaster like the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill," Oceana said in a blog post. "During this process, our government will jeopardize the health of large numbers of dolphins and whales as well as commercial and recreational fisheries, tourism, and coastal recreation—putting more than 730,000 jobs in the blast zone at risk."

Watch this recently released documentary by Oceana, Drill, Spill, Repeat?, that highlights the dangers of offshore drilling to marine life, human health and local economies. This film shows how people and industries impacted by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster are still facing daily struggles.

 

A dugong, also called a sea cow, swims with golden pilot jacks near Marsa Alam, Egypt, Red Sea. Alexis Rosenfeld / Getty Images

In 2010, world leaders agreed to 20 targets to protect Earth's biodiversity over the next decade. By 2020, none of them had been met. Now, the question is whether the world can do any better once new targets are set during the meeting of the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Kunming, China later this year.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Jan. 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

By Andrew Rosenberg

The first 24 hours of the administration of President Joe Biden were filled not only with ceremony, but also with real action. Executive orders and other directives were quickly signed. More actions have followed. All consequential. Many provide a basis for not just undoing actions of the previous administration, but also making real advances in public policy to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Melting ice forms a lake on free-floating ice jammed into the Ilulissat Icefjord during unseasonably warm weather on July 30, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

A first-of-its-kind study has examined the satellite record to see how the climate crisis is impacting all of the planet's ice.

Read More Show Less
Probiotic rich foods. bit245 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Ana Maldonado-Contreras

Takeaways

  • Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that are vital for keeping you healthy.
  • Some of these microbes help to regulate the immune system.
  • New research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, shows the presence of certain bacteria in the gut may reveal which people are more vulnerable to a more severe case of COVID-19.

You may not know it, but you have an army of microbes living inside of you that are essential for fighting off threats, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Michael Mann photo inset by Joshua Yospyn.

By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

The New Climate War: the fight to take back our planet is the latest must-read book by leading climate change scientist and communicator Michael Mann of Penn State University.

Read More Show Less