Coastal Review: With Feds’ reversal on seismic, what next?

Unfortunately, it’s back: Seismic testing in search of oil and gas resources off the North Carolina coast is once again on the table.

Coastal Review Online reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order May 10 that rescinded the January denial of permit applications from six seismic testing companies aiming to conduct surveys in the Mid- and South-Atlantic outer continental shelf.

“The order reverses former President Barack Obama’s order in January for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, to deny permit applications from companies seeking to conduct geological and geophysical, or G&G, activities off the East Coast from Delaware to Florida.”

A press release from the Interior Department claims Obama’s order “underestimated the benefits of obtaining updated G&G information and ignored the conclusions of BOEM’s Atlantic Environmental Impact Statement, which showed that no significant impacts are expected to occur as a result of these seismic surveys.”

“This statement is contradictory to comments made by former BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper, who, in a written directive denying the applications, expressed concerns about the potential harmful effects of seismic testing on marine mammals.”

Photo credit: offshoreenergytoday.com

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