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