On Capitol Hill Wednesday, lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have called on President Barack Obama to reconsider the U.S. Department of Interior's plan to use seismic surveys to search for deposits of oil and gas in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean. The plan, proposed by the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management last year, would open the Mid-Atlantic to seismic surveys, using sound blasts louder than a jet engine to penetrate thousands of feet into the seabed. In addition to being the first step towards drilling in the Mid-Atlantic the effects of the exploration itself are hazardous to marine life big and small causing a range of impacts to from panic to death for miles.
“While the region copes with the impact from Sandy, the threat of seismic exploration adds insult to injury for our fishing communities and marine life,” said Clean Ocean Action Executive Director Cindy Zipf.
Leading the delegation of members of Congress is New Jersey's own Senator Frank Lautenberg in the Senate, and Representative Frank Pallone in the House. Other members from New Jersey’s delegation included Senator Robert Menendez and Representatives Rush Holt, Bill Pascrell, and Albio Sires. In New York, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and Congressman Chuck Rangel signed on.
“We applaud those members of Congress who have taken a stand today against seismic exploration, especially those from New Jersey. We are proud of New Jersey's dedication to protecting our shores from industry and thank Senator Lautenberg and Congressman Pallone for leading the charge. As was evidenced in Atlantic City last year when BOEM held a public hearing on seismic surveys, the people of New Jersey have no interest in allowing industry off our shores, and will continue to make our voices heard and stand up to big oil,” added Zipf.
In April of last year, the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management held a public hearing in Atlantic City to allow members of the public to voice their opinion on the proposed surveys. Members of the public opposed to the surveys outnumbered those in favor 10-1.
For a complete list of signers, please visit COA’s Blog Post