Posted by 06 December 2018
The Trump Administration took another step down the road of expanding offshore exploration for oil and natural gas this week. The federal government approved permits for companies to use seismic testing off the Atlantic coast to determine how much oil and natural gas exist there.
The process of seismic testing involves companies using airguns to test the seabed. The loud blasts help determine where energy deposits are and how much oil and natural gas may be in certain areas.
This testing has been opposed by many coastal politicians. They argue that the loud airguns will disrupt wildlife. Many of the elected officials also opposes offshore drilling, and they view this as only the first step towards that type of energy development being approved. Supporters of seismic testing say that it has minimal disruption to sea life. They also note that it is necessary to determine where oil and natural gas exist in order to pinpoint where any new drilling would occur. They say without testing that drilling would be much more widespread.
The debate over offshore oil and gas drilling has being ongoing for years. The Outer Continental Shelf is currently off-limits to oil and gas production. The Obama Administration initially supported expanding areas for energy exploration, but reversed course. The Trump Administration has signaled that it would like to see more areas opened up for drilling.
The permits issued by the federal government for seismic testing could cover areas from New Jersey to Florida. It is unclear where testing will actually take place, however.
Do you support using seismic testing to see how much oil and natural gas exist off the Atlantic coast? Do you think the U.S. should expand offshore drilling?