Federal officials getting an earful on offshore drilling as comment period ends

As the public comment period for the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan comes to a close this Friday and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) public listening sessions wrap up, the window is closing to let officials know the East Coast is not interested in trading resorts for refineries. Comments can be submitted via protectourcoastnow.com.

Meanwhile the recent round of public meetings held by BOEM are drawing criticism from elected leaders and coastal communities across the Southeast. Rather than engage with affected communities, the meetings were held only in state capitols – often hundreds of miles from the coast—and in locations that were difficult for people to access. For those able to attend, the hearings offered little opportunity for people to get their questions answered and no opportunities for public testimony. BOEM officials have rejected repeated calls from state leaders, even officials who support drilling, to hold public hearings closer to coastal communities.

As the end of the comment period approaches, SELC launched an new interactive tool that explores the many impacts of the proposed drilling plan for the Mid- and South Atlantic through story maps, showing what’s at stake for communities, key resources, economies, and quality of life along our coast and how these factors overlap and interplay.

One layer of the map highlights the numerous sensitive habitats in the area under consideration for drilling. The next expected development will be the federal government issuing draft permits for seismic testing, the first step toward allowing oil and gas exploration. Seismic testing requires blasting massive sonic booms from a boat to the ocean floor as companies try to determine where to drill. SELC and our partners are busy preparing our response to remind federal officials, again, of the many reasons we opposed similar previous permits, most notably the impact on marine mammals and key east coast fisheries.

 

More News

Suit filed to immediately stop ongoing GenX pollution from N.C. facility

North Carolina state officials have the authority to immediately stop the water and air pollution from a chemical manufacturing plant north of Wi...

Court tosses outdated dam license on Alabama’s Coosa River

A federal court has unanimously ruled in favor of conservation groups by throwing out a harmful, antiquated license issued to Alabama Power for o...

New multimedia series explores red wolf viewpoints during critical public comment period

WildSides—an independent nonprofit dedicated to investigating and documenting controversies involving wildlife—has launched Red Wolf Conflict Unt...

SELC: Defenders of Justice

SELC is honored to be named a Defender of Justice in the litigation category for 2018 by the North Carolina Justice Center. Each year, the North...

Suit voluntarily dismissed after timber sale cancelled by Cherokee National Forest

Earlier today, SELC, on behalf of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club, with Knoxville attorney Shelby Ward, on behalf of Heartwood and Tenne...

Virginia officials quietly weakened pipeline standards protecting water

Amid all the hearings, protests, meetings, and headlines bringing attention to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, one aspect of the plans was k...

More Stories