Trump Officials Push for Atlantic Oil Exploration Using Harmful Seismic Blasting. Permits Would Hurt Endangered Whales, Open Way to Offshore Drilling Opposed by East Coast Communities.
The Trump administration today issued draft authorizations to five companies to search for oil off the Atlantic Coast — from Florida to Delaware — using loud seismic airgun blasts that hurt whales, dolphins and other animals. The exploration activities are the first step to opening the Atlantic to new oil drilling.
“Deafening whales and dolphins to hunt for dirty oil in these sensitive coastal environments is reckless and cruel,” said Kristen Monsell, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Seismic blasting is opposed by people along the East Coast who don’t want the oil industry wreaking havoc in the Atlantic. It’s outrageous that the Trump administration is catering to Big Oil by ignoring the needs of wildlife and coastal communities.”
The proposals would allow the firing of seismic airguns from ships every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at a noise level that would rupture a human eardrum. Nearly 100 municipalities from New Jersey to Florida have adopted resolutions rejecting seismic blasting off the East Coast. And more than 40,000 local businesses and business associations have publicly opposed it, citing threats to marine life and local economies.