Trump admin. approves seismic tests for Atlantic offshore oil drilling

whales swimming near the surface of the ocean

Enlarge / Humpback whales
(credit:
NOAA
)

On Friday, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
approved a plan to make it legal for five companies to conduct
seismic testing off the Atlantic coast, in an area stretching from
Delaware to Florida.

The seismic testing is an initial step toward leasing federal
offshore waters to oil companies that may want to drill there. In
January, the Trump Administration opened up more than 90 percent of
the federal offshore area to potential lease sales.

Individual states largely oppose offshore drilling, fearing that
another Deepwater Horizon disaster could ruin their tourism
economies. But because state waters end three miles off the coast
and federal waters aren’t subject to state rules, states have found
themselves trying to negotiate with a mercurial federal government.
Florida
received an exemption from lease sales
 from the Interior
Department (at least until 2022, when a federal moratorium on
drilling is lifted). But New Jersey hasn’t, and the state has
sued the Interior Department
to find out why.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Trump admin. approves seismic tests for Atlantic offshore oil drilling