BY SEAN COCKERHAM
McClatchy Washington Bureau
February 27, 2014
WASHINGTON — The Interior Department is endorsing seismic exploration for oil and gas in Atlantic waters, a crucial move toward starting drilling off the Carolinas, Virginia and possibly down to Florida.
The department released its final review Thursday, favoring a plan to allow the intense underwater seismic air gun blasts that environmentalists and some members of Congress say threatens the survival of whales and dolphins.
The oil industry wants to use the air guns to find out how much oil and gas lies along the U.S. Atlantic seabed. Federal estimates of a relatively modest 3.3 billion barrels of oil date from the 1970s and 1980s and are considered too low.
“The currently available seismic information from this area is decades old and was developed using technologies that are obsolete,” said Tommy Beaudreau, the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.