The Dec. 1 front-page headline “U.S. approves seismic tests that may hurt sea creatures” was my last straw. As if increasing plastics and climate change aren’t having enough impact on our marine species, we now add seismic testing.
When our government leaders don’t rely on sound information from educated scientists, or consider the future of the planet, understanding that we are part of a large ecosystem, we will continue to create a path of destruction that our children cannot repair. Another article on the same page, “Untouched by flames,” discussed the resilience and fortitude of one man to protect his home from the wildfires in California. We need that same resilience when it comes to the Earth and its creatures.
When will the administration take heed?
Claudia Schuchardt-Peet, Greencastle, Pa.
Buried in the Dec. 1 front-page article “U.S. approves seismic tests that may hurt sea creatures” was a fact from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that runs directly counter to the story’s narrative: “BOEM has asserted that there is no confirmed evidence that animals are actually harmed by seismic mapping and considers the threat ‘negligible.’ ”
There is no evidence that seismic surveying has harmed sea animals — and the threat to sea life is minimal and carefully managed.
The Trump administration isn’t alone in supporting seismic surveying. William Brown, the chief environmental officer for BOEM in the Obama administration, also highlighted that there is no documented evidence of adverse effects on marine animal populations or coastal communities, which would include the commonly cited right whale.
For the past 80 years, the United States has been successfully and safely uncovering key scientific data through geologic seismic surveying to provide scientists with a detailed analysis of underwater structures. Through advanced technologies and best practices, we can safely and accurately determine how much natural gas and oil lie beneath the ocean floor.
Let’s face the facts: Offshore natural gas and oil are crucial aspects of the United States’ energy and economic reality and future, and geologic seismic surveying of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf is a safe and responsible first step in the right direction.
Erik Milito, Washington
The writer is vice president of upstream and industry operations for the American Petroleum Institute.