Eight Maryland Lawmakers Urge Obama To Abandon Offshore Seismic Testing | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Eight Maryland Lawmakers Urge Obama To Abandon Offshore Seismic Testing

Play associated audio

The majority of Maryland's Congressional delegation is urging President Obama to reconsider a proposal regarding a technique to look for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean, including off the state's shoreline. Who isn't behind the push is just as telling as who is.

Eight of Maryland's 10 Congressional members wrote the President, asking him to think twice about a plan that would use seismic air guns to search for oil and gas in the ocean. Both senators, including Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, who chairs the Senate's Environment and Public Work subcommittee on Water and Wildlife signed the letter, along with six House representatives.

In it, they said the cost of the proposed action to state residents and marine life off Maryland coasts is too great for "exploration that will keep us tethered to the energy sources of the past."

An excerpt from the letter explains the process being discussed:

Seismic air gun testing off the Atlantic coast will lead the way for risky deepwater drilling, the same practice that brought us the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico more than four years ago and continues to plague that region. Additionally, the type of seismic air gun testing used to search for oil and gas is incredibly harmful and could injure or kill thousands of marine mammals and fish, including endangered species. Seismic air guns fire dynamite-like blasts of compressed air every 10 - 12 seconds, 24 hours a day, for weeks and months at a time. These loud air gun blasts can be heard for many hundreds of miles in the ocean and, as a result, can drive whales to abandon their habitats, go silent, and cease foraging over vast areas. At shorter distances, it can cause permanent hearing loss, injury, and even death for whales, dolphins and fish.

The only two representatives not to sign the letter represent districts that contain nearly all of the Maryland's coastline on both the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay: Democrat Steny Hoyer and Republican Andy Harris.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, June 3, 2015

A play and an exhibit explore luxury, power and how women present themselves and are perceived.

NPR

Grass Gourmands: A Herbivore Food Mystery On The African Savanna

A new study sheds light on a longstanding ecological question: How do so many species like impalas and elephants co-exist when they're all feeding on the same limited foods?
NPR

5 Things You Should Know About Lincoln Chafee

In 2002, Lincoln Chafee was the only Republican senator to vote against authorizing the use of force to oust Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Some Republican colleagues referred to him as "the missing Linc."
NPR

Experts Debate: Will Computers Edge People Out Of Entire Careers?

Machines have been taking jobs forever. Computers and software are doing things people were paid to do. They are booking airplane flights. Filing our taxes. And they are getting better all the time.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.