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Published on March 14th, 2019 | by Steve Hanley


US Officials Applaud Trump For Diverting Public Attention Away From Atlantic Drilling Plan

March 14th, 2019 by  

One of the key goals of the Tramp maladministration is achieving something called “energy dominance.” Loosely translated, that means producing more fossil fuels than any other nation. The theory is that by doing so, it makes Americans safer because they are not at the mercy of foreign powers when it comes to heating their homes, powering their businesses, or filling up the ground pounding behemoths with cheap gasoline.

whales endangered by sonic testing for oil and gas

Notice, however, in Tramp-speak “energy” does not include electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydro. Only oil, gas, and coal qualify as energy sources if you are a Tramp acolyte. Last month, Joe Balash, the assistant secretary for land and minerals management, told a meeting of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors the government would soon roll out a plan to make large portions of the Atlantic ocean available for oil and gas development. The 5-year plan calls for drilling all along the Atlantic coast up to 200 miles away from the shore.

Balash praised his boss for making it all possible. According to records of the meeting obtained by The Guardian, Balash gushed, “One of the things that I have found absolutely thrilling in working for this administration is the president has a knack for keeping the attention of the media and the public focused somewhere else while we do all the work that needs to be done on behalf of the American people. We have been working aggressively to put America on track to achieve the president’s vision for energy dominance.”

Uh, Mr. Balash, sir? A question? In what universe did you think your remarks would not make it into the public domain in this digital age? And in what universe does a jackass like yourself thrill to the idea that the public is kept in the dark about things the government is planning to do in the name of the American people? Sadly, this is the caliber of ideologically driven individuals the alleged president has chosen to surround himself with.

The first part of the exploration process involves using sound cannons to blast the ocean floor with high intensity sound waves to detect where oil and gas deposits may be located. That process is condemned by many at injurious or even fatal to marine life, including whales, dolphins, and zooplankton. The latter is an essential part of the food chain for aquatic animals. But hey, what’s a few whales if it means energy dominance? Can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs, can you?

Balash proudly proclaimed, “I will tell you we wouldn’t work really really hard to get the [Atlantic] seismic permits out, if it was an area that wasn’t going to be available.” He helps oversee the the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the agency responsible for issuing the Atlantic seismic permits. In other words, the fix is in people. This is going to happen no matter how hard the treehuggers and dolphin loves scream. Your tax dollars at work, people.

Keep in mind that the ultimate beneficiaries of the drilling in the Atlantic will be the same major oil companies like Shell that are rushing to embrace renewable energy with one hand while they gorge themselves on fossil fuel profits with the other. Can you say “hypocrite,” boys and girls? Yeah, we knew you could.

The Fix Is In

Public records obtained by The Guardian show the Trump administration has been in regular communication with key players in the offshore industry, while conservationists and coastal communities say their voices have been ignored.

“We have 120 municipalities, 1,200 elected officials, 42,000 businesses and 500,000 that have registered their opposition to offshore drilling and exploration in the Atlantic,” said Vicki Clark, a representative of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast, a coalition of small businesses, commercial fishing families and others along the eastern seaboard. “And yet, big oil has more influence over this administration.”

A large bipartisan group of congressional representatives have also come out against drilling in the Atlantic, as have Democratic and Republican governors across the East Coast. “Opposition to drilling and testing in the Atlantic is as close to universal as anything will ever get,” said Ben Cahoon, the Republican mayor of Nags Head, a small town on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. “We are trying to get our message across as much as we can, but it seems pretty clear [the administration] doesn’t want to hear from us.”

When In Doubt, Attack The Science

Gail Adams, the vice-president of communications and external affairs at IAGC, says the research claiming the air cannon are harmful to marine life is just flat out wrong. “Unfortunately, the information that is disseminated is not accurate,” she claims before adding that “more than 50 years of extensive surveying and scientific research indicate that the risk of direct physical injury to marine mammals is extremely low, and currently there is no scientific evidence demonstrating biologically significant negative impacts on marine life.”

This is the typical Faux News view of things. Unless you can produce a dead animal and prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law that it died as a direct result of sonic testing and no other cause, take you junk science and shove it. America needs oil, dammit, and nothing should be allowed to stand in the way!

Many prominent marine scientists disagree. “The science, as far as we are concerned, is robust,” Howard Rosenbaum, a senior scientist for the New York Aquarium and the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Ocean Giants program tells The Guardian. “Introducing this level of noise into the north Atlantic is of great concern for whales and other marine animals.”

No Mention Of Global Warming

The message from the Tramp maladministration is that nothing must stand in the way of extracting every last molecule of oil and gas currently sequestered beneath any part of the Earth controlled by the United States. No thought is ever given to what burning all that oil and gas will mean to a rapidly overheating environment, which threatens to overwhelm many of the nation’s most prominent cities as ocean levels rise.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the Idiot of Pennsylvania Avenue would happily kill many Americans if it means his pals in the fossil fuel industry get to become even more wealthy and powerful. And a large number of Americans are perfectly okay with that self destructive thinking. They like it when their government puts the lives of everyone in mortal danger because it fills them with nationalistic fervor. And patriotism is more important than a sustainable environment, isn’t it? 


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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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