Atlantic Coast Business Leaders Meet with Obama Administration on Opposition to Seismic Testing for Offshore Oil and Gas

Atlantic Coast Business Leaders Meet with Obama Administration on Opposition to Seismic Testing for Offshore Oil and Gas

Date:                November 14, 2016

From:              Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast
Contact:          Frank Knapp, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, 803-252-5733 (O),  803-600-6874 (c), fknapp@scsbc.org

Over 12,000 businesses seek protection for local coastal economies

Washington, DC—A delegation from the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC) meet today with Administration officials who will decide the future of oil and gas exploration that will effect local economies along the Atlantic seaboard.

Over 12,000 businesses and 400,000 commercial fishing families are represented on a letter to the President calling on him not to proceed with allowing seismic airgun blasting to search for oil and gas deposits, an exploration method that puts fishing, tourism and recreation economies at risk.  The businesses oppose seismic testing for oil and gas and the industrialization that would come with offshore drilling.

Meeting with the Department of Interior and the White House Council on Environmental Quality are:

  • Frank Knapp, President & CEO, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
  • Laura Wood-Habr, Vice Pres., VA Beach Restaurant Association; Co-owner, Crocs 14th Bistro
  • Vicki Clark, President, Cape May (NJ) County Chamber of Commerce
  • Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.,
  • Tom Kies, President, Carteret County (NC) Chamber of Commerce
  • Karen Brown, President, Outer Banks (NC) Chamber of Commerce
  • Pat Broom, Outer Banks (NC) Chamber of Commerce, Phoenix Restoration
  • Tonya Bonitatibus, Exec. Director, Savannah Riverkeeper (GA/SC)
  • Kerry Marhefka, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance; Abundant Seafood

Seismic airgun testing is a dangerous process that blasts extremely loud sound waves miles below the seafloor in a hunt for oil deposits.  One seismic vessel can tow up to 96 airguns that can cover an area 21 times larger than the National Mall in Washington DC.  These blasts are repeated every 10-12 seconds and can be heard for thousands of miles and creating one of the loudest manmade noises in the oceans. Seismic testing under just one approved permit can go on for up to an entire year. The Administration is currently reviewing over a to explore the same area.

The letter campaign was coordinated by the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC), which is dedicated to protecting the long term health and economic vitality of the Atlantic seaboard through the responsible stewardship of the coastal and ocean waters.  Along the Atlantic coast, nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in gross domestic product—mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation—rely on a healthy ocean ecosystem.

The Obama Administration reversed course on its plan to allow Mid and South-Atlantic offshore drilling earlier this year.  The next administration can reinitiate that process once in office and include the Atlantic in the next five-year plan.  BAPAC is asking the Obama Administration to deny all current seismic airgun testing permits for oil and gas in the Atlantic.  President Obama needs to finish the job protecting coastal economies and use his authority to permanently protect the Atlantic Coast.

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