House approves offshore drilling

This afternoon the house voted and passed a bill that would allow offshore oil drilling. This bill would change a 30 year moratorium on offshore oil extraction – if it it can be reconciled to a complimentary Senate bill, and then be approved by the White House.

While this first step does change the focus of our domestic energy policy, the stipulations that $18 billion oil industry tax breaks, and some tax incentives for new energy technologies such as wind and solar is likely to hold back a fast and easy approval of the bill.

It is unfortunate that an issue as critical as the energy future of America can be stymied by partisan politics, I respect Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s holding the line on the continued advances on petroleum dominance of our energy policies.

The ocean noise angle of this is that while the drilling operations are less prone to oil spills than they were 30 years ago, the technologies that make this possible involve sea floor processing equipment that generates huge amounts of noise – (out of sight and out of mind).

I will be attending a fishing industry conference in November to speak about these new technologies, and the potential threats that they pose to fisheries. The noise component of these new technologies is particularly critical in light of the industry call for opening up Bristol Bay to drilling – the most productive fishery in the US, if not the world.

This article was sent to us by Richard Charter with the Outer Continental Shelf coalition. Richard is in Washington DC right now staying up late and getting up early to make sure that our coastlines are protected from unwise partisan decisions. Thanks Richard!