A Few More Days for Public Comments on Offshore Drilling Plan
Monday, August 14, 2017
RICHMOND, Va. -- The public has until Thursday to comment on the first step towards a proposal that could open the Virginia coast to offshore drilling.
The Trump administration may roll back an Obama-era plan to make much of the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil and gas exploration and development. Attorney Steve Mashuda with Earthjustice’s oceans program said Obama's position was driven in part by an outpouring of public opposition from individuals, businesses and local governments.
He said many on the coast feel oil leaks and spills would be just too damaging.
"Vibrant fishing communities up and down the Atlantic coast; vital tourist economy, driven by the clean waters - oil and gas drilling off those shores is just not worth the risk,” Mashuda said.
Some in the Trump administration describe offshore drilling as part of an energy policy that increases domestic production and boosts jobs. But critics argue it would put important coastal job creators at risk.
Laura Wood Habr is a Virginia Beach restaurant owner who helped found the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast. She said that group represents 41,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families along the Atlantic coast.
She said those communities would see few jobs and little tax money from the drilling, and they don't need help with energy or economic development.
"Tourism's growing, our military's growing, and so is our seafood industry,” Habr said. "There’s not any revenue-sharing for the state of Virginia, so there's no benefit. It's all risk and no benefit."
Another issue is the air gun surveys that would come before the drilling. Mashuda said the sonic survey craft would tow the air guns around hundreds of miles of coastal waters, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, blasting constantly for months.
"Fire every 10 to 15 seconds with incredibly loud sounds, loud enough to deafen permanently whales and other marine mammals that depend on sound,” he said. "Loud enough to cause physical injury."
Comments can be filed online with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, at boem.gov/Submitting-Comments.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Ron DeSantis is promising to block any state money from going to the parent company of ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry's unless …
LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas is trying to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to get to their appointments with social service agencies by in…
BILLINGS, Mont. - Montanans are being challenged this month to eat locally grown foods, every day of August. The Northern Plains Resource Council is …
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- COVID-19 has given a whole new meaning to the term "Extraordinary Session," as state lawmakers are in Little Rock again today to …
Health and Wellness
SEATTLE - Speaking to folks who are hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine has gained a new sense of urgency as the Delta variant pushes cases up…
MINNEAPOLIS - Cities such as Minneapolis are getting attention over waves of gun violence in recent months. A statewide group hopes a new documentary …
FARGO, N.D. -- The people behind efforts to recall four Fargo School Board members have until August 25th to collect signatures. Ahead of that …
By Katie Fleischer for Ms. MagazineBroadcast version by Lily Böhlke for Tennessee News Service/Public News Service NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After …