Flying 10,000 feet above the Gulf of Mexico, in a plane outfitted with infrared imaging equipment, researchers could see methane gas bubbling under water, likely from an undetected pipeline leak. Over the course of several flights in 2021, they spotted frequent gas plumes from platforms, storage tanks, and pipelines offshore, leading the team to believe that the 151 platforms near the Louisiana coast had a much higher methane leak rate than what’s been measured for onshore oil and gas production. “I think the bottom line message in this study is there’s a lot of emissions in the shallow waters that are currently unmeasured,” said Riley Duren, the CEO of Carbon Mapper and coauthor of the nonprofit’s 2022 study of offshore methane emissions. New technologies are allowing for actual measurements of oil and gas methane emissions like never before, whether from leaks or intentional flaring and venting.
DeChristopher was speaking near the center of the Providence Marriott Downtown’s Grand Ballroom where the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was holding a “science fair” type event to reach out to the public and sell them on President Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke‘s idea to open up offshore oil drilling, by 2020 (2021 off Rhode Island), in vast new ocean areas, including the entire coast of New England. Well over a hundred people crowded into the room, amplifying the voices of the speakers with the “people’s microphone.” (If you watch the first video above you’ll get the idea.) In all, 42 people spoke, including scientists, politicians, religious leaders, children, moms, dads and more. No one spoke in favor of offshore drilling.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In the decades since a 1969 oil spill near Santa Barbara tarred sea-life and gave rise to the U.S. environmental movement, politicians and environmental activists have built up ample ways to make it difficult but not impossible for the Trump administration to renew drilling off California’s coast. The Interior Department said Thursday it plans to open most federal waters off the United States to oil leases. In California, where no new federal leases offshore have been approved since 1984, Gov. Jerry Brown joined governors of Oregon and Washington in vowing to do “whatever it takes” to stop that from happening off the West Coast. State officials, environmental groups and oil-industry analysts say California has solid regulatory and legal means to try to make good on that threat.
By EarthJustice. WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has released a draft environmental impact statement that concludes seismic surveys for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico would cause significant harm to marine mammals. The long-awaited review comes in response to a court-ordered settlement of a lawsuit brought by environmental groups. The analysis finds that as many as 31.9 million marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico will be injured and harassed by oil and gas seismic surveys. This includes 80 percent of the Gulf’s endangered sperm whale population, estimated at 763 animals. Sperm whales will experience as many as 760,000 harassing exposures to airgun blasting over the next decade. The draft estimates that seismic blasting would cause as many as 588 injuries to the Gulf’s Bryde’s whales—of which only 33 individuals remain—or about 17 times for each member of this imperiled population.
By Staff for Living on Earth. There's no question that the oil industry has some real economic problems facing it. They've got infrastructure out in the gulf that is absolutely falling apart. They are deciding not to repair that infrastructure. They have left, for example, 26,000 wells abandoned in the Gulf of Mexico. So they certainly do have stranded assets, but the only thing that drives this industry is profit. They're not going to do anything because for any other reason there was a rebuttal to our action written by the Louisiana oil and gas industry, and in that rebuttal, they tried to explain how they're helping flood victims and they call us to take for using the flood to attack them, when in fact, when they burn carbon, they melt our planet.
By Julie Dermansky for Desmog - During President Obama’s visit to a flood-ravaged area near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this week, a group of environmental activists delivered a petition to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) protesting the planned leasing of more of the Gulf of Mexico for oll and gas drilling. They gathered 184,000 electronic signatures over just six days calling for the President and BOEM to cancel its lease auction — scheduled to take place today, August 24.
By Mike Ludwig for Truthout - As Shell Oil and the US Coast Guard continued to clean up a large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, about 1,300 protesters from across North America marched in Washington, DC, to protest the Obama administration's offshore drilling plan. Lindsay Meiman, an organizer with the climate justice group 350.org, said the spill "reinvigorated the sense of urgency to ban offshore drilling" already felt by the frontline communities in the Gulf and Arctic regions that sent activists to lead the protest.
By Sue Sturgis for The Institute for Changing Studies - Two years ago this month, more than 300 residents of Kure Beach, North Carolina (pop. 2,000), packed town hall to voice their anger with then-Mayor Dean Lambeth's decision to sign a letter supporting seismic testing for offshore oil and gas deposits. The letter was written by America's Energy Forum, a project of the American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s leading trade association. That contentious meeting was the spark that ignited a growing grassroots movement against the Obama administration's proposal to open an area off the coasts of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia to oil and gas development.
A network of pipelines [is] required to connect the rigs to the mainland for the transportation of oil and gas resources and in some cases, waste products. The pipelines disrupt the sea bottom ecosystems, physical and structural integrity of the sea bottom, and water flow patterns. As the pipelines travel through the estuaries and on land, their transportation routes are heavily damaged. The physical and structural disruption of the environment becomes even greater. Marshlands and wetlands are disrupted and begin to erode and the coastline moves inland. The offshore and coastal areas will be forever damaged and destroyed.