The Trump Administration plans to expand offshore oil and gas drilling over the next five years from 2019-2024 to include areas off the Atlantic, Pacific and Alaska coasts as well as in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic. The proposed oil and gas development will cover more than 98% of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. Only the State of Florida has been granted an exemption for its coastal waters.
The Wildlife Conservation Society has warned such an expansion of oil and gas development in U.S. coastal waters presents a “grave danger” to marine animals such as whales and sea turtles. The North Atlantic right whale pictured here is an endangered species; there are only 500 of these whales left. They will suffer significant “stress caused by this expansion of oil and gas activity” that may push them to extinction.
Polar bears, narwhals, and walruses are some of the animals already endangered by warming temperatures and overfishing of their prey. Increased oil and gas development will mean further degradation of their habitat including their prey. It is not just the threat of a large oil spill. These animals face loss of habitat and injury from smaller oil and gas leaks that can occur simply from drilling or pipelines. Their habitat is also threatened by increased traffic of tankers and equipment and the use of seismic air gun blasts used to explore for oil and gas. These animals are not likely to survive with increased oil and gas development in the Arctic.
North Atlantic Cod and corals are other examples of animals whose habitat will be further degraded by increased oil and gas development. All of the oceans’ animal life is threatened.
Go here to send a letter to Interior Secretary Zinke to let him know you oppose the expansion of offshore drilling that threatens America’s marine wildlife.