In a scene more appropriate for a college laboratory than the Capitol building (lab safety protocols aside), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) measured pH on the Senate floor during an ocean acidification demonstration. The act...
Tagged: Offshore drilling
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has denied six pending permits for airgun seismic surveys in Atlantic Ocean planning areas from Virginia to Florida, pleasing conservationists and irritating industry groups. In announcing the decision Friday, BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said there was no immediate need for such tests now that the Atlantic Program Area was removed last year from President Barack Obama’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022. She said the move was also based on an “abundance of caution.” “We believe that the value of obtaining the geophysical and geological information from new airgun seismic surveys in the Atlantic does not outweigh the potential risks of those surveys’ acoustic pulse impacts on marine life,” Hopper said in a statement.
The first two weeks of July were especially busy on Capitol Hill as lawmakers made a final legislative push before they left for recess. Appropriations bills were high on their agenda since Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 expires at the end September, and the Senate and House are now on a seven-week hiatus until September 6.
On the House floor this week, Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME-1) and James Langevin (RI-2) spoke vehemently in support of the National Ocean Policy (NOP), with the congresswoman calling it a “vital tool … to help ensure that our coastal communities and their stakeholders work together and coordinate their ideas and make plans to achieve local goals.”
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, held a hearing on the Coast Guard’s implementation capabilities in the Arctic to outline the state of play in the region.
Oceans month 2016 saw the reauthorization of the Freedom of Information Act become law, defense appropriations and COMPETES reauthorization advance, and a number of ocean-related bills be introduced in the House and Senate.
Technology has changed almost every aspect of American life, and some think it’s time for offshore leasing to receive an update as well. The Innovation in Offshore Leasing Act (H.R. 5577) would modernize the process, originally defined by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Dr. Amanda Demopoulos, George P. Schmahl, and Dr. Jason Chaytor each described recent discoveries from the ocean’s abyss at “The Deep Ocean: Earth’s Final Frontier” congressional briefing sponsored by the House Oceans Caucus.
Announcement Made as BOEM Facilitates International Discussion on Offshore Wind Energy in the Pacific
From the assessment of sediment characteristics used to identify where to drill for oil to the seismic surveys required to safely anchor a wind turbine, when it comes to finding and securing energy in an offshore environment, geosciences are of the utmost importance.