Seismic testing approved in Atlantic, as Trump pursues drilling there

Houston Chronicle | James Osborne | December 3, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has approved seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean, in what would be the first step in expanding offshore oil and gas drilling to the East Coast.

In a notice published Friday, the National Marine Fisheries Service said it had awarded permits to five marine contractors to survey waters between northern Delaware and Central Florida in search of oil and gas.

Earlier this year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the administration was considering expanding offshore drilling beyond the Gulf of Mexico and

and gas drilling to the East Coast.

In a notice published Friday, the National Marine Fisheries Service said it had awarded permits to five marine contractors to survey waters between northern Delaware and Central Florida in search of oil and gas.

Earlier this year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the administration was considering expanding offshore drilling beyond the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska to all U.S. coastlines as a means toward what President Donald Trump calls American “energy dominance.”

But along the Atlantic seaboard, Trump has faced stiff opposition from Democratic and Republican governors alike, who worry offshore drilling could drive away tourists that flock to the region’s beaches. The announcement immediately drew condemnation from environmental groups, which said they were considering legal action to block the surveying.

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