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Seismic Air Blasts for Ocean Oil Searching Approved by Trump's NOAA


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#1 LFC

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 03:27 PM

Seismic air blasting is a horrendous process when you realize that marine mammals depend upon their hearing. It's so powerful it kills zooplankton that are within thousands of feet of it. NOAA, under Trump, of course wouldn't let a little thing like killing animals with sound get in the way of oil exploration.

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President Trump’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just opened the door for private companies to perform dangerous seismic airgun blasting in search for oil and gas deep beneath the sea floor – ignoring scientific evidence and the will of coastal residents. This is just the latest step in what could be the most radical approach to offshore drilling in the history of our country. If the president’s plans are approved as proposed, nearly all U.S. waters could be opened to offshore oil drilling.

The government authorized five companies to harm marine animals with dynamite-like blasts in their search for oil. Seismic airgun blasting produces one of the loudest man-made sounds in the ocean, and the blasts risk serious injury or death to marine life. The government unlawfully authorized the harm of marine mammals, such as dolphins and whales, hundreds of thousands of times.

These animals are a part of the coastal fabric – residents and tourists alike are drawn to the water in hopes of observing these beautiful creatures. But noise from seismic airgun blasting can interfere with activities like communicating, mating and finding food. This would be especially harmful to the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, whose migratory path lies within the huge seismic blast zone that stretches from New Jersey to Florida. Recent scientific estimates put their population at around 400 individuals, and, no new calves were observed in the past year. Any disruption to this population could tip the North Atlantic right whale irreversibly towards extinction.

And, it’s not just larger charismatic mammals at risk but also smaller animals lower on the food chain. Studies have shown that seismic airgun blasting can reduce catch rates of some commercially and recreationally important fish species by as much as 80 percent and kill zooplankton, the animals that form the basis of the ocean food web. Zooplankton may be small, but their loss would affect the entire marine ecosystem.

Disruptions in the marine ecosystem could hurt economies that rely on a clean ocean that is full of fish. Tourism, recreation and fishing along the East Coast support more than 1.5 million jobs and produce nearly $108 billion in GDP. That’s why businesses along the East Coast—including an alliance that represents more than 42,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families—are opposing oil and gas exploration and drilling. These jobs and dollars are all at risk not just from seismic airgun blasting, but also from what comes after: exploration means drilling, and drilling means spilling.

When BP’s Deepwater Horizon exploratory rig exploded and poured millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, we saw environmental devastation and economic losses estimated in the billions. To add insult to injury, not only is President Trump working to sell out nearly all our waters to oil companies, he is also reversing safety rules put in place after the Deepwater Horizon meant to reduce the likelihood of a similar disaster happening again.

Other than oil companies and their paid-for politicians in Washington, no one seems to want this. Over 90 percent of coastal municipalities in the proposed blast zone have officially opposed seismic airgun blasting off their coasts. These communities reject a future of coastal industrialization, oil spills and ruined summer vacations. They are supported by nationwide bipartisan opposition to this dangerous decision to blast their treasured waters. Allowing these companies to move forward with seismic airgun blasting would be unlawful and just plain wrong given the overwhelming local opposition.

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#2 LFC

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 03:28 PM

Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC) makes a point on what the impact is like. Two thumbs up for that performance, Joe.


" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3 Traveler

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 12:10 PM

This sort of rampant rapacity would be unbelievable for any normal business. But now the deplorables go all the way to the CEOs. I am really thinking its time for the Earth Liberation Front folks to step in. But wait, they are terrorists!

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In 2009, when a Department of Homeland Security intelligence report raised alarms about the rising threat of right-wing extremist violence, it provoked a very different response. After outcry from conservative groups, DHS backtracked on the report and later disbanded the domestic terrorism unit that produced it.

Daryl Johnson, a former domestic terrorism analyst at DHS, says there’s a reason law enforcement took a less aggressive approach to right-wing white supremacists and anti-government attackers. In the case of the eco-extremists, the government had a powerful ally: industry. “You don’t have a bunch of companies coming forward saying I wish you’d do something about these right-wing extremists,” said Johnson, who left his position in 2010, after his warnings about right-wing violence were dismissed. “If enough people lobbied congresspeople about white nationalists and how it’s affecting their business activity, then I’m sure you’ll get legislation.”

Now, in the wake of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the murder of counterprotester Heather Heyer by white supremacist James Alex Fields, past and current Justice Department officials have argued that a new domestic terrorism statute is necessary to better respond to far-right violence.

But law enforcement and federal prosecutors already have powerful counterterrorism authorities at their disposal, and their history of using them to go after radical activists who committed property crimes suggests that any new crackdown is likely to sweep up far more than domestic extremists who pose a lethal threat.
[...]
Journalist and civil liberties advocate Will Potter, whose book “Green Is the New Red” exposed industry influence over Green Scare-style prosecutions, argues that the federal focus on animal rights activists over right-wing extremists was driven by more than corporate lobbying. “Beliefs that motivate [animal rights] activists were presented as this ideological threat to core concepts that underpin what some people think it means to be an American — defense of capitalism, a religiously aligned state, defense of industry, the belief that humans are exceptional.”

In contrast, many of America’s foundational values — Christianity, individualism, gun rights, and white supremacy — align with those of right-wing extremists. As Johnson put it, right-wing groups “operate under some of the same values that [I], an FBI agent, might believe.”

Shapiro went even further: “No shit the FBI doesn’t like to go after right-wing groups. They’re on the same team.”

This fucking country makes me sick.
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#4 George Rowell

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 11:43 PM

View PostTraveler, on 24 March 2019 - 12:10 PM, said:

This sort of rampant rapacity would be unbelievable for any normal business. But now the deplorables go all the way to the CEOs. I am really thinking its time for the Earth Liberation Front folks to step in. But wait, they are terrorists!


This fucking country makes me sick.
You people, TRS, make me proud.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#5 golden_valley

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 10:50 AM

View PostTraveler, on 24 March 2019 - 12:10 PM, said:

This sort of rampant rapacity would be unbelievable for any normal business. But now the deplorables go all the way to the CEOs. I am really thinking its time for the Earth Liberation Front folks to step in. But wait, they are terrorists!


This fucking country makes me sick.

All aided by Limbaugh's constant derision of "econazis" and "environmentalist whackos" for the last 30 years. Back in his Sacramento days 30 years ago he constantly derided "Butterfly" Hill who lived in a redwood she named "Luna" protesting plans to clear cut a section of 1000 year old trees.





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