P. Siebenlist: No to seismic air gun testing

The Department of the Interior is expected to make a decision soon whether to allow seismic air gun testing along the East Coast. Seismic air gun testing is a method deployed by oil companies to search for oil and gas beneath the sea floor. If approved, it would be the first step toward expanding drilling to the East Coast.

Having grown up along the East Coast, I have developed a deep appreciation for the ocean, and the prospect of drilling taking place there deeply upsets me.

Beyond the aesthetic and ecological disturbances that expanded drilling would introduce, it is also not the answer to this nation’s troubled energy future.

It is in the nation’s interest to encourage clean energy production and avoid the practice of offshore drilling, which is dirty and dangerous. All environmental concerns aside, it is also in the nation's economic best interests to invest in clean energy. Studies have shown that investment in renewable energy can create three times the number of jobs as the same investment in fossil fuels.

Seismic air gun testing is not only harmful to the nation’s energy future, but also to wildlife. The blasts emitted by the air guns are so loud that they can seriously injure marine animals, disturbing vital behaviors such as feeding and breeding.

With the goal of expanding drilling, the ends simply don’t justify the means.

Patrick Siebenlist, Lewiston

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Comments

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Oil is temporary.....

We use oil in many, many ways. It's a convenient source of fuel for heating transportation, as well as plastics and natural gas. The only problem with oil is, there is only so much of it out there. It will eventually run out. Maybe not in our lifetime, but in someone's. It is for that reason I feel we should be researching alternative ways to fuel our lives without oil. We need to find ways to power cars and trucks as well as heat and produce the many products petroleum is now used for.
The days of big oil, blocking any development in alternate fuel sources has to end, we need to be prepared. I know it may feel like the oil supply is limitless, but there is a limit. I would rather find new alternates while we still have oil to use, than have to rush to a solution if the oil were to run out tomorrow......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Blocking present day oil

Blocking present day oil production does not mean you cannot still research. Forcing the use of non-renewable energy when the technology is not even close up to pare with the crude is simply asking for less reliable, more expensive energy. On the one hand, I hear cries from Maine each winter about the high cost of heating oil; on the other hand, you are in favor of higher prices. I’ll be there to remind you next time you complain about the high cost of heating through the Maine winter that you did ask for it.

By the way, I hope your electric car does not get stuck in the snow this winter. The Prius has a shallow draft.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I never said anything about blocking oil....

It would be kind of stupid to stop using the resources still available to us. You are correct in that the technology is not up to par, we have a ways to go. Think back to the infancy of computers. The first one I ever built was back in 85 or 86. It probably cost four times what a simple computer today would cost. Anyone familiar with the capacities and abilities of modern as well as old computers would tell you, when we first started they were expensive, and for the most part obsolete by today's standards. Through the years, we learned from the mistakes, each generation of computers was a great advancement over the last. Without all the very expensive old obsolete computers, you wouldn't have the relatively inexpensive much more complex computers of today. It takes time. Everything need to evolve over time. The cost will diminish as the technology and knowledge improves. We have to start somewhere. By the way, I don't drive a Prius, I drive the biggest gas guzzler around, trust me I won't get stuck in snow......

Zack Lenhert's picture

Long term cost of oil can

Long term cost of oil can only go up. The sooner we reduce our dependence on oil the less costly this long term price increase will be. There are many ways to reduce our oil consumption, with the two big ones being energy conservation and alternative sources. Your correct in stating that alternative energy is not up to par with burning oil or coal. THAT IS WHY WE NEED TO INVEST MORE INTO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY.

Don't you want the US to lead the new energy future? Aren't all of our generals telling us that one of Americas greatest threats is our dependence on foreign oil? Would you rather us buy all our solar panels and wind turbines from China and Europe? It really is just a matter of time until these technologies compete with oil. We should be making the push NOW.

In thirty years we will still need oil, but it will be much more expensive. The trips to Maine Mall in family SUV that we're doing now are going to seem absolutely silly.

Zack Lenhert's picture

EDIT: "You're correct in

EDIT: "You're correct in stating...."
Pedantic Panda is a sad panda.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Cure oil is the dominate

Cure oil is the dominate source of energy that fuels our economy; not to mention that oil is used to produce many of the pharmaceuticals and plastics our quality of life depend on.

"Studies have shown that investment in renewable energy can create three times the number of jobs as the same investment in fossil fuels."

There are two ways to look at this statement.

First, a simple mental exercise reveals this statement is absurd, especially when you factor in all this jobs that are created developing petroleum based products.

Second, 89 percent of the planets energy comes from non-renewable energy sources according to National Geographic. Conversely, if 11% of global energy production is from renewable energy sources, but takes three times the manpower to produce, this is a significant step backwards in efficiency. In other words, expect your energy costs to rise significantly as the percentage of non-renewable energy sources decrease.

Until we get comfortable with strapping a nuclear reactor to our vehicles, there is no other energy source as efficient as petroleum. To quote a well publicized Alaskan Governor, drill baby, drill.

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