A recent report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) within the Department of the Interior has revealed some condemning information about the oversight of offshore drilling operations. The analysis conducted by OIG, which is charged with auditing and investigating executive departments, focuses on the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) offshore oil and gas permitting program.
On Thursday morning, a broken oil pipe spewed 50,000 gallons of oil in the streets of the Los Angeles suburb of Atwater Village. In some areas, the oil was reported to be knee-deep. The break occurred at a pumping station, where footage shows that oil sprayed 20 feet into the air, causing local businesses to be evacuated.
In February 2014, the government issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on seismic activity in an area offshore the Atlantic Ocean from Delaware to Florida. This document predicts that if seismic blasting happens in the Atlantic Ocean, over 138,000 whales and dolphins could be injured or killed.
We all know that drilling for oil is risky business. But the potential for catastrophe does not stop once crude oil is brought to the surface. Yesterday, a freight train owned by CSX derailed in downtown Lynchburg, VA and spilled crude oil into the James River, causing major environmental damage.
The aftermath of the March 22, 2014 oil spill in Galveston, Texas has revealed some shocking truths about the oil and gas industry and how it can devastate communities. For starters, Galveston averages nearly one spill each day. Additionally, the bay has lost more than 35,000 acres of coastal marshes from groundwater pumping. It is a wonder that coastal citizens allow such destruction to take place, especially when considering that Galveston is in the heart of Texas’s fishing industry.
Call it a victory for offshore wind on the East Coast! Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island, cleared a major regulatory hurdle as it qualified for a vital federal tax credit by signing an agreement with Alstom to purchase turbines. Clean energy will now come to the grid quicker than previously anticipated, and we will be on our way to a long-term renewable energy source never before witnessed in the U.S.
Last Thursday, a natural gas well operating off the coast of Louisiana began leaking methane gas into the air. Given the recent number of large number of spills and leaks taking place on Gulf rigs, it’s hard to believe that the federal government is now considering allowing drilling to take place in the Atlantic Ocean. Clearly, the government is more concerned with increased drilling rather than ensuring safety of our workers and the environment.
In the midst of heated debates along the U.S. Atlantic coast regarding seismic testing, citizens in the Caribbean are waging their own war against energy companies who want to use this technology to search for oil and gas deposits. Seismic airguns have been shown to reduce catch rates, harm marine mammals, and threaten the livelihood of coastal communities.