On Friday, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approved a plan that five companies should legally conduct earthquake off the Atlantic coast an area that stretches from Delaware to Florida.
The seismic tests are a first step to hire oil companies that want to drill there, offshore federal waters. In January, the Trump administration opened more than 90 percent of the offshore federal territory for potential leasing sales.
Individual states largely reject offshore drilling and fear that another Deepwater Horizon disaster could ruin their tourism industry. But with the waters of the state ending three miles off the coast and the federal waters not subject to government regulations, the states tried to negotiate with a curious federal government. Florida received exemption from lease sales from the Home Office (at least until 2022 if a federal drill moratorium is lifted). But New Jersey has not done so, and the state has sued the Interior Ministry to find out why.
These latest permits (PDF) do not permit offshore oil drilling, but they allow seismic test companies to map the seabed providing information for offshore oil companies to begin exploratory testing. The seismic test companies are allowed to "casually harass marine mammals", whereby harassment is defined as "any persecution, agony or harassment" that … has the potential to "injure" marine mammals or "cause a problem." Marine mammals or marine mammal populations in the wild by impairing behavioral patterns, including migration, respiration, breastfeeding, breeding, feeding or protection of animals. "
The companies approved to conduct the seismic tests are Ion GeoVentures, Spectrum Geo Inc., TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company, WesternGeco and CGG. 19659004] States abutting the federal waters depicted in the above map reject offshore drilling off their state waters, Washington Post . Just last week, the US Geological Survey published a study in it was found that fossil fuels from federal states (including offshore oil drilling) contribute to nearly a quarter of the US's carbon dioxide emissions.
According to Post, A 2014 model prediction by the Federal Agency for Marine Energy Management found that " nearly 2.5 million Dolphins each year in the Middle and South Atlantic are harassed or possibly killed by acoustic noises and nearly half a million pilot whales would be affected. "The endangered North American right whale is also a resident of the region.
Offshore oil drilling reverses the Obama Administration's policy of nullifying Atlantic waters for oil production.