Tag Archives: Department of the Interior

Storm brews over Maine’s monument offshore, too

Zinke has recommended that the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument – a 4,913-square-mile area of underwater canyons, thousand-year-old coral forests, and volcanic mountains on and beyond the southern edge of Georges Bank at the mouth of the Gulf of Maine – be opened to commercial fishing, a move proponents say would defeat its purpose.,, The heads of eight of the nation’s fisheries management councils – the industry-led bodies that implement fisheries regulations in federal waters – were already on record against the commercial fishing restrictions.,, Peter Shelley of the Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental attorney who is watching the case closely, strongly disagrees. click here to read the story 08:35

Bi-Partisan Opposition: East Coast Republicans join Democrats to lobby Trump against Atlantic oil exploration

State and federal lawmakers from both parties have joined East Coast business interests to convince the Trump administration to halt its plan for fossil fuel development in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a surprisingly diverse collection of power players: members of Congress, dozens of lawmakers from both red and blue states, nine attorneys general, six governors and thousands of business owners from Florida through the Carolinas and up to New Jersey. They hope that mix and their economic, not environmental, argument will sway President Donald Trump’s Interior Department as it nears a decision on testing that could open the door to oil and gas exploration, and eventually drilling, off the coast. click here to read the story 18:14

Opposition to Atlantic Siesmic Blasting – The Bipartisan Fight for Quieter Oceans

Last night, to celebrate the fourth of July, the air over the U.S. filled with fireworks. The noise they created was extremely loud and, mercifully, brief. But imagine having to listen to even louder explosions once every ten seconds, for days or weeks on end. Starting this fall, that may be the new reality for whales, fish, and other marine life off the eastern seaboard, if the Trump administration’s plans go ahead. Following the president’s executive order to open the Atlantic to offshore drilling, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is set to permit five companies to begin seismic airgun blasting—an old but controversial technique for detecting reserves of oil and gas.,,, It is easy to paint environmental issues as fights between moralizing tree-huggers and hard-working business-owners. But the opposition to airgun testing transcends such caricatures. “There is no separation between the interests of environmentalists and the business community,” says Knapp, whose bipartisan organization represents 41,000 businesses and 500,000 commercial fishing families who oppose seismic testing. click here to read the story 17:34

Department of the Interior to auction over 79,000 acres offshore New York for wind development

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced that 79,350 acres offshore New York will be offered in a December 15 commercial wind-lease sale. The New York Wind Energy Area starts approximately 11.5 nautical miles (nm) from Jones Beach, NY. From its western edge, the area extends approximately 24 nm southeast at its longest portion. The lease area consists of five full Outer Continental Shelf blocks and 143 sub-blocks. After reviewing comments received on the Environmental Assessment, BOEM removed about 1,780 acres from the lease area due to environmental concerns regarding a seafloor feature known as the Cholera Bank. In a comment letter, the National Marine Fisheries Service identified the Cholera Bank feature as a sensitive habitat to be avoided for the placement of structures. As a result of this removal, the revised lease area will be approximately two percent smaller than the lease area considered in the Proposed Sale Notice. Read the rest here 13:55

U.S. Backs Away From Offshore Arctic Drilling

On Friday, the Department of the Interior announced the cancellation of two potential lease sales off the Alaskan coast in the . The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement also denied lease extension requests from two companies, Shell and Statoil, that were exploring the seas for fossil fuels. Read the rest here   21:47

Federal Offshore Leasing: Another ‘No’ For Energy – Robert Bradley Jr.

Obama BPIs the Department of the Interior’s new offshore energy proposal a long-needed step toward unlocking the public domain’s vast oil and gas resources? After all, the five-year plan would authorize 14 leases for oil and gas development, mostly off of the Southeast Atlantic and Gulf coasts, which led to fussing from the Don’t Drill, Baby, Don’t Drill lobby. Read the rest here 19:52

NOAA appoints members to Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee

usmpaThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed ten new members to the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways,,, Read the rest here 19:20

After a long battle, Drake’s Bay Oyster Co. packs it in

US BuffaloOn Dec. 31, after a long battle with the National Park Service, the California Coastal Commission, the Department of the Interior and wilderness advocates, owner Kevin Lunny and his family will vacate the starkly beautiful Drake’s Estero, a 2,500-acre estuary where some of the tastiest oysters on the West Coast have been farmed for more than half a century. Read the rest here

Department of the Interior, Obama, consider sanctions over Iceland’s whaling

Iceland may face trade sanctions after U.S. officials formally declared that the island nation’s whaling is undermining an international ban on commercial trade in whale products. “Killing endangered fin whales is not only brutal, it’s short-sighted,” said Taryn Kiekow Heimer of the Natural Resources Defence Council. “Iceland should not be allowed to ignore the fact that, regardless of some temporary financial reward, this practice is simply unsustainable and cruel,” she said. Read [email protected] smh,com  08:10

Sonoma takes unexpected stand on Drakes Bay Oyster Co. following former Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s order to close the farm

Situated about 50 miles from Drakes Estero in Marin County, the landlocked city of Sonoma would seem an unlikely place to take a stand in an oyster company’s fight for survival. But colorful signs supporting the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. have popped up all over town, and the Sonoma City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution calling on state and federal legislators to intervene on the company’s behalf. continued

House members blast Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan – A real fish killer!

Five members of Congress (all Democrats) held a news conference in Sacramento this morning to renew their staunch opposition to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan proposed by  Gov. Jerry Brown and the U.S. Department of the Interior. continued

Loud Seismic Tests Probed for Harm to Whales, Dolphins – ENGO Coalition Forces Government Agency’s

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, May 15, 2013 (ENS) – The U.S. federal agency that oversees offshore oil exploration will analyze the effects of noisy underwater seismic blasts on whales and dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. The BOEM and its predecessor, the Minerals Management Service, have allowed exploratory seismic surveys to go ahead without permits. The groups contend this omission violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. continued

Drakes Bay Oyster Company fighting for the survival – federal agencies purposefully manipulated and misrepresented scientific data

townhall.com – Despite the President’s pledge, the government officials involved in the decision to close the doors of DBOC were persuaded by science that was manipulated by several government agencies – the Marine Mammal Commission, the U.S. Geological SurveyService, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior. All of these agencies lack significant oversight, accountability, and transparency, and as a result have gone unchecked in their manipulation of data. continued

Letters to the editor: Keep East Coast free of drilling – Hadley Wingate

Hadley fails to make a critical connection regarding U S Interior’s “Smart from the Start”, All of he Above” strategy. Knowing that view could possibly change by allowing oil companies to drill for oil off the East Coast breaks my heart. The  Department of the Interior will make a ruling sometime this year on  whether to allow oil companies to conduct seismic air gun testing off  the East Coast. That testing is a process where air guns blast  compressed air into the ocean…..Our best option to help preserve our  oceans while meeting our energy needs is to switch over to clean  renewable energy sources like offshore wind power that will protect our  marine mammals and coastal communities. continued