Quantcast

New Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Schedule Ignores Science

Energy

Oceana

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released the Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2012-17 on June 28, which sets a schedule of offshore lease sales between 2012 and 2017. Although the plan protects the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and eastern Gulf of Mexico from leasing, it includes sales in the Arctic and central/western Gulf of Mexico, putting those areas at increased risk of an oil spill.

 “Sadly, our government has released yet another plan on how to drill for more oil and gas, without making any effort to develop a plan for the desperately needed transition to clean energy. We have known for a decade that we need to shift from fossil fuels, yet there is still no analysis of how to minimize our reliance on oil and gas. Instead the government keeps promoting risky offshore drilling that jeopardizes the health of the entire Gulf and Arctic regions,” said Jacqueline Savitz, vice president for North America at Oceana.

“Encouraging clean energy investments would create jobs without risking people’s lives and livelihoods. Instead, this plan sets us up for another devastating oil spill, which endangers human lives, coastal economies and marine life," Savitz said.

Although the decision to include Arctic and Gulf lease sales in the 2012-2017 Program is disappointing, Oceana is encouraged by BOEM’s statements about a new approach to leasing in the Arctic, which includes scheduling sales late in the process, protecting some important areas and committing to better science and more targeted leasing. However, this new direction does not address significant deficiencies in earlier sales or approvals. These activities should not proceed and new lease sales should not be held until basic scientific information and demonstrated response capacity are available.

 “Today’s news is a mixed bag,” said Oceana’s Senior Pacific Director, Susan Murray. “BOEM has taken one step forward by stating a commitment to better science, but it has taken two steps backward by including lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. It is just common sense—we should not be proceeding without basic science or demonstrated response capability.”

 The Five-Year Plan is subject to a 60-day review in Congress before final approval.

“As Americans, we the people own any oil and gas that might be under our Arctic seas,” added Murray. “It is a public resource, and our government is choosing to sell rights to that resource to multi-national companies who will walk away with the profits while we assume all the risks.”

Visit EcoWatch's ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The staircase to a subway station in SOHO with a temporary closure, flood control installation sign. Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

The Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City tested out a new system designed to protect its subways stations from flooding when another super storm hits, creating a bizarre sight on Wednesday, as The Verge reported.

Read More Show Less
Flat-lay of friends eating vegan and vegetarian Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dinner with pumpkin pie, roasted vegetables, fruit and rose wine. Foxys_forest_manufacture / Royalty-free / iStock / Getty Images

Thanksgiving can be a tricky holiday if you're trying to avoid animal products — after all, its unofficial name is Turkey Day. But, as more and more studies show the impact of meat and dairy consumption on the Earth, preparing a vegan Thanksgiving is one way to show gratitude for this planet and all its biodiversity.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Residents wear masks for protection as smoke billows from stacks in a neighborhood next to a coal fired power plant on Nov. 26, 2015 in Shanxi, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

While most of the world is reducing its dependence on coal-fired power because of the enormous amount of greenhouse gases associated with it, China raised its coal fired capacity over 2018 and half of 2019, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Children run on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in California. Bureau of Land Management

By Matt Berger

It's not just kids in the United States.

Children worldwide aren't getting enough physical activity.

That's the main conclusion of a new World Health Organization (WHO) study released Wednesday.

Read More Show Less

By Tim Ruben Weimer

Tanja Diederen lives near Maastricht in the Netherlands. She has been suffering from Hidradenitis suppurativa for 30 years. Its a chronic skin disease in which the hair roots are inflamed under pain — often around the armpits and on the chest.

Read More Show Less