– Sonic cannons for E. Coast: Obama approves oil exploration despite ‘threat to sea life’ (RT, July 19, 2014):
The Obama administration has announced it is reopening the US Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration, clearing the way for the use of sonic cannons to locate energy deposits – despite the threat to sea life.
The White House is attempting to sell its controversial energy plan on the back of desperately needed jobs in a stagnant economy, as well as reducing its energy dependency. However, those arguments have done little to persuade environmentalists and folks who depend upon fishing and tourism for their livelihoods.
Environmental groups attempted to extend a decades-old ban against drilling off the Atlantic Coast by pointing out the dangers that the use of sonic cannons, which emit powerful pulses of sound into the ocean every 10 seconds, presents to a multitude of sea creatures, including dolphins, turtles and whales. The argument, however, seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved opening the outer continental shelf from Delaware to Florida to exploration beginning in 2018, while adding that it is still dedicated to protecting marine life. In fact, the bureau’s own estimates show that more than 138,000 types of marine life could be harmed by the exploration, including nine of the world’s remaining 500 North Atlantic right whales.