Despite a 5 year ban on drilling, the Atlantic ocean is still being blasted every 10 seconds and it's killing marine life. Click here to tell President Obama to stop deafening the whales while searching for oil.
Energy companies wanted to open up the waters off the southeastern coast of the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas drilling. But Environmental Action members joined dozens of coastal communities and environmentalists to say "NO WAY!" And earlier this year we won a (small) victory when the Obama administration dropped its plan to open the coasts of Virginia, Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas to oil and gas drilling.
The move came as part of a revised proposal from the Department of the Interior handling offshore fossil-fuel drilling from 2017 to 2022. The proposal is not yet final, and as a result, oil companies are still allowed to use seismic blasts in search of oil off the coast.1
So we were delighted to hear that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has introduced the Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act, which would place a temporary ban on geological and geophysical activities related to oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic. And he's since been joined by six Senators who have co-sponsored the bill.2
"It's like having explosions outside your house," Booker told CBS New York. "Imagine that happening over and over. You know the damage that would do to your ears, your hearing, your well-being."3
But that handful of cosponsors is a long way short of the 60+ votes we'll need to pass Booker's legislation in the Senate. So let's show the world that we want our oceans permanently protected from oil and gas exploration and development. Click here to protect marine life, stop new oil exploration, and tell President Obama to stop off-shore seismic surveys -- and tell your friends too!
There is a growing concern over the effect the loud blasting of seismic survey have on marine life and coastal economies. Seismic tests involve airgun blasts of up to 180 decibels — louder than a jet engine at 100 feet — as frequently as every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, for days or even weeks at a time. The federal government has acknowledged that seismic blasting in the Atlantic could injure as many as 138,000 dolphins and whales and disturb millions more animals.
It’s not even clear how much oil and gas there is off the Eastern seaboard where seismic testing could be used. Industry studies and the region’s own governors ignore the fact that there is already an existing economy along the Atlantic coast, a $15 billion-a-year ocean economy that is built on industries like tourism and fisheries. All of that would be put in jeopardy by oil and gas development.4
We need to raise our voices and stop it! The expanded use of seismic airguns could devastate marine life, harming fisheries and coastal economies. Click here to stop seismic testing to take Atlantic offshore drilling off the table for good -- and share with your online network through social media or / and email.
Thank you for everything you do,
Sally and the Save the Whales and Our Oceans Team at Environmental Action
1. Interior Department Announces Next Step in Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Planning Process for 2017-2022. U.S. Department of the Interior. March 15, 2016.
2. Ouzts, Elizabeth. Atlantic Coast leaders urge Obama to drop offshore drilling plans. Environment America. November 19, 2015.
3. Sen. Booker Calls For Ban On Seismic Testing For Fossil Fuels In Atlantic. CBS News New York. April 22, 2016.
4. Warrick, Joby. As decision nears, opposition builds to offshore drilling along Atlantic Coast. The Washington Post. December 20, 2015.
5. Page, Samantha. How Offshore Drilling Could Become A Bipartisan Issue. Think Progress. December 18, 2015.
6. Parks, MaryAlice. Democratic Presidential Candidates: Where They Agree and Disagree on Climate. ABC News. December 17, 2015.