Press Releases

Beyer Hails President Obama’s Decision To Deny All Permits For Seismic Airgun Blasting In Atlantic Ocean

Rep. Beyer had previously introduced legislation to block seismic airgun blasting

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Washington, January 6, 2017 | comments

Congressman Don Beyer today applauded the Obama Administration’s decision to deny all applications for permits to pursue petroleum exploration in the Atlantic Ocean through seismic airgun blasting. Beyer introduced bipartisan legislation in July to halt the practice along the Atlantic seaboard.

“Airgun blasting threatens important species, including critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, as well as our coastal communities.” said Rep. Don Beyer. “Marine life and ocean biodiversity are vital to tourism, recreation, and many other industries which drive coastal economies. Above all, protecting these species by stopping seismic airgun blasting is a good move for the environment and I thank President Obama for taking this action.”

Seismic airgun pulses are loud, repetitive, explosive sounds used to identify oil and gas reservoirs deep in the ocean floor. Sound travels more efficiently under water that these seismic blasts are known to cause hearing damage, stress, and other harm to a range of aquatic species, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which fewer than 500 remain.

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