A number of news sources reported this weekend on the White House approving the use of underwater sonic blasts to pinpoint oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic Ocean. This is a step in the process to large-scale offshore oil drilling in federal waters.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management acknowledged that thousands of sea creatures will be harmed but ultimately decided to approve this exploration in the outer continental shelf from Delaware to Florida.
The sonic blasts are, of course, just the very start.
Energy companies need the data as they prepare to apply for drilling leases in 2018, when current congressional limits expire.
Oil companies, with the government’s blessing, plan to drill offshore all along the East coast, with only the North East off limits.
A quote by an engineer for American Petroleum is particularly ominous:
“One thing we find is, the more you get out and drill and explore to confirm what you see in the seismic, you end up finding more oil and gas than what you think is out there when you started,” Radford said.
Florida communities have pushed back, in particular:
Florida has already felt the devastating effects of an uncontrolled oil release with the Deepwater Horizon event, of which cleanup efforts are still ongoing,” said John Morris, a county commissioner whose constituency includes the beach town.
However, the drilling would happen on federal waters, outside of reach from any local ban. While the article emphasizes the devastating effects of sonic booms on marine life and possible pollution from drilling, the dangers of such deepwater drilling extend even further. The thoughtlessness is mind-boggling, unless the whole thing is seen as desperate attempts in the era of extreme energy.