Is Trump Making Oil Exploration More Dangerous?
Apr 13 2018 Read 268 Times
Love him or hate him, it's no secret that Trump is shaking up US politics. He's made it clear that growing America's economy is a top priority, and this naturally includes the oil and gas industry. While producers are sitting pretty, environmentalists warn that new legislations could seriously disrupt the natural ecosystem. In particular, the wellbeing of whales, dolphins and other marine life.
Over the past few decades the US has heightened its focus on offshore oil. In the past, exploration was dictated by environmental rules designed to protect marine life from intense seismic blasting used to track down oil deposits and set up new rig sites. Now, the Trump administration is slowly dismantling these safeguards in a bid to overhaul seismic survey rules and make it easier for companies to carry out exploration projects.
Trump accused of prioritising energy over conservation
The administration is no stranger to environmental controversy, with the government attracting public attention for plans to open coastal waters to new drilling leases. Trump has also been slammed for plans to downsize protected marine areas in the name of oil and gas exploration.
The latest proposition has seen two bills working their way through congress, known as the Streamlining Environmental Approvals (SEA) and the Strengthening the Economy with Critical Untapped Resources to Expand American Energy (SECURE) acts. Supporters assert that they will help to create jobs, minimise production delays and support both naval activities and coastal restoration.
New bills slammed as "oil industry wish lists"
Environmentalists aren't quite as optimistic, accusing the bills of being "oil industry wish lists" disguised as political legislation. Not only will they upend existing protections, but they'll also fast-track the permit process for oil exploration in Alaska, the Atlantic and much of California. They also break down key provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which regulate the use of seismic blasts to locate resources. Scientists stress that the noises can disorient and damage the sensitive hearing of whales and dolphins, which could affect their ability to navigate, communicate and reproduce.
"So much legislation like this just goes under the radar," warns Rep. Jared Huffman, a representative from the House Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans. "It's a scorched earth effort right now across the whole of federal public policy to give things away to the oil and gas industry."
The administration has also been criticised for slashing funding to the Marine Mammal Commission, a group that exists to offer scientific expertise during the review process for new oil and gas exploration projects.
"It's like burning down the jail, eliminating all the laws and then shooting the court and jury," says Richard Charter, senior fellow at the Ocean Foundation. "This is a time of setbacks, but undoing the Marine Mammal Protection Act is one of the most damaging things that Congress could possibly do right now."
Want to know more about how the oil and gas industry is regulated? From characterisation of raw crude to monitoring production of refined chemicals, 'Shimadzu Gas Chromatography Solutions for Hydrocarbon Processing Industry' introduces the latest GC analysis portfolio from Japan.
Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.
In This Edition Fuel for Thought - Environnement S.A Unveils its New envea™ Brand - Emerson Completes Acquisition of ProSys - 15 Years of Trouble Free Flow Measurement Analytical Instr...
View all digital editions
Apr 30 2018 Houston, Tx, USA
May 06 2018 Minneapolis, MN, USA
May 06 2018 Tehran, Iran
May 09 2018 Guangzhou, China
May 10 2018 Lahore, Pakistan