The Beacon

The Washington Post urges BOEM to wait on seismic airgun rule

Seismic airguns threaten marine life like dolphins and whales. (Photo: Oceana)

If you know new information is coming about a dangerous practice, you should wait to get that information before deciding what to do, right? This is exactly what today's Washington Post editorial calls for, and they're right.

In "Debate over seismic air guns should wait until science has spoken", the Post editorial board gives a good briefer on the current situation: A) seismic airgun blast are terrifyingly loud, with the ability to injure and at least displace whales, dolphins, and other creatures; B) oil companies are itching to get started with the blasting so they can erect drilling platforms all along the U.S. Atlantic coast; C) Big Oil's friends in Congress are trying to push it through no matter what; and, most importantly, D) the latest science on what levels of noise injure or kill animals isn't even in yet!

As the editorial says:

The risks of seismic air guns will be clearer then; only when science has spoken should any decision be made on their use off the Atlantic coast.

With the endangered right whale in the cross-hairs of Atlantic seismic airgun blasts, along with many other iconic creatures, we won't get a second chance once blasts start going off and the oil starts flowing. There's no question that the Atlantic coast won't be the same once this process starts.

Oceana's own Jackie Savitz, vice president of U.S. oceans, was actually at the regulating agency, BOEM, today, delivering more than 100,000 petitions from Oceana supporters against seismic blasting in the Atlantic. As she put it, "With offshore drilling in the Atlantic at least five years away, shooting seismic airguns is an unnecessary insult to marine life and coastal economies. Our message is simple; do not turn the Atlantic into a blast zone – Stop Seismic Airguns. It is time for the Obama administration to stand up to Big Oil and say 'no' to seismic airgun testing in the Atlantic."


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