Senators who embrace dilatory tactics on exploring Atlantic for oil just practicing artificial scarcity

Fuel Fix:
The Obama administration’s Interior Department is on track this week to release a final environmental analysis that would help pave the way for the first seismic studies in decades to pinpoint oil and gas off the East Coast, as well as potential drilling in the 2020s.

But marine scientists, conservationists and some lawmakers are pushing back against the environmental study even before its expected Friday release, saying the analysis is fundamentally flawed — and legally vulnerable — if the Interior Department doesn’t wait for a separate federal agency to finalize new guidelines on how much sound marine mammals can tolerate.

Going forward without considering the acoustic guidelines still being developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service could mean underestimating the auditory injuries to dolphins, whales and other sea life from the blasts of compressed air used in the seismic studies, 102 scientists and biologists said in a letter to President Barack Obama.

“If the programmatic environmental impact statement moves forward without the newly established acoustic guidelines, it will be scientifically deficient and quickly outdated,” the group said in a Feb. 20 letter. “It will fail to accurately assess the true scope of marine mammal impacts from proposed seismic surveys.”

Signers on the letter included government scientists, research associates with Texas A&M University and marine biologists from around the globe.

Nine senators underscored the scientists’ concerns in their own missive to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Wednesday. Led by Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., the group insisted that the coming environmental analysis should be put on hold until “all of the best available science can be incorporated.”

“There is no reason to rush the (analysis) or permit seismic surveys in the mid- and south Atlantic without considering this new scientific information.”

The last-minute appeals highlight a possible opening for litigation should the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ultimately decide to approve seismic research along the East Coast.
This is not about science.  It is about an excuse to delay the process in hopes of killing it.  These people are the architects of the Democrat policy of artificial scarcity when it comes to oil and gas.   Ed Markey has been making the bogus claim for years that exploring for oil does not create jobs.  He is part of the anti energy left.  The chances that these objections are based on good faith is remote.  If anything, these people are anti science Luddites who object to any scientific study that will produce oil and gas.  They are the true believers of a carbon phobic world.

In the process of pushing this agenda, they are exporting oil and gas jobs that could turn around the miserable labor participation rate in this country and generate revenue to the government too.


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