PRICE CALLS FOR BAN ON ATLANTIC SEISMIC TESTING
Washington, DC – During last night’s floor debate on the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior Appropriations bill, Congressman David E. Price (NC-04) gave the following remarks in support of a bipartisan amendment that would have prohibited seismic testing in the Atlantic. The amendment failed 192-236.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this common-sense, bipartisan amendment to prohibit seismic testing in the Atlantic, which I have cosponsored along with my colleagues from New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina.
“After taking into account the overwhelming opposition to offshore drilling in the Atlantic, including in my home state of North Carolina, the Obama Administration wisely removed the prospect of drilling from its five-year Oil and Gas Leasing program for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.
“Now that there are no foreseeable plans to drill among the dynamic ecosystems and pristine beaches of the Atlantic coast, we should move immediately to prevent seismic testing and other geological and geophysical activities.
“Not only are these activities unnecessary in light of the Administration’s decision; they also pose a significant environmental threat in their own right.
“Seismic testing is hugely disruptive to marine ecosystems. Its negative impacts include displacing fish over large geographical areas, reducing catch rates for commercial fishermen, and impacting the reproduction, foraging, communication, and other vital behaviors of marine mammals—including the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered whales on the planet.
“Further, the data generated from seismic testing is proprietary, and therefore unavailable to the public or policymakers who might rely on it to inform public policy, planning, or debate regarding the economic and environmental impact of offshore energy exploration.
“Instead of allowing oil and gas companies to conduct an unnecessary and ecologically damaging activity just miles from our nation’s coastline, we should be investing our time and money in advancing energy efficiency, renewable fuels, and alternative energy technologies—including offshore wind development to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
“I urge the adoption of this amendment.”