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There is hope in fight against seismic testing

POSTED: May 11, 2017 7:00 p.m.
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Roy Hubbard is a retired Green Beret who lives in Richmond Hill and often writes about environmental issues.

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The very disturbing process of using seismic testing off the Georgia coast to find oil deposits, as is being proposed, coupled with the absolutely frightening concept of actually drilling for oil off the Georgia coast. is mind boggling.

However there is hope. It comes in the form of the many thousands of dedicated marine scientists and engineers who have already researched these issues till the bottom paint has peeled off their boats.

A recent Presidential proclamation that the U.S. government is going to reopen the study of the feasibility of drilling for oil off the Eastern Seaboard of the USA is bad news, especially for Georgians. The U.S. Congress should instead, accept the research already done and declare a permanent end of a threat capable of devastating results for millions of people.

Spokespersons for big oil point out that they are only going to test in "Government owned waters"! They are actually referring to the vast amount of ocean involved, starting three miles from the shore line and extending out two hundred miles! That is called putting a "spin" on it. It is also called lying. The government might manage it but they don’t own it. It belongs to the people. In this case, 300,000 square miles of "government" property.

The issue: Big oil is back, politicking its way into conducting oil exploration in one of the most environmentally sensitive parts of the world, the Mid Atlantic Coast of the US, with a demonstrated total disregard for the protection there of.

The marketing strategy on the part of big oil is a manufactured desperate need for Energy independence. First comes the soft soap sales pitches, "Seismic testing can be likened to ultra sound used to examine the fetus of unborn babies".

Excuse me! Considering the proven fact that seismic sound waves can be a hundred thousand times stronger than those of a jet engine and are perfectly capable of ripping flesh from the bone makes that statement either the result of total ignorance of the facts or a lie. Simply put, seismic testing is akin to fishing in a small pond with dynamite! Seismic testing, used to detect oil deposits, is in itself a force capable of tremendous destruction. Its application can kill hundreds of thousands of various forms of marine life.

The marketing term "Energy Independence" sounds so patriotic! I served in two branches of the military on four continents so don’t tell me about patriotic! Lets’ talk about what really drives the push by big oil to use seismic testing as a precursor to the inevitable drilling for oil on the Atlantic Seaboard, greed.

Were they to find marketable amounts of oil off the Georgia coast, we would be on a path towards a very real threat of massive destruction of our environment, livelihood and health in the form of crude oil from a ruptured oil well joining Georgia’s diurnal tides represented by the immeasurable volume and intense flow and ebb of ocean water past I-95 twice a day, every day.

Don’t take my word for the idiocy of it all. Consider that from Virginia to Florida, over 123 east coast municipalities, over 1200 elected officials, an alliance of over 35,000 businesses and over a half million fishing families publically oppose seismic air gun blasting and/or subsequent off shore drilling.

If the conclusion of all of those entities is not enough then throw in a few thousand marine scientists, published PHD types with a lifetime of study of movement of the water along global coastlines. Well what do they know better than a civil engineer on big oils payroll? These marine scientists are rightfully, seriously concerned about the prospect of unleashing a very destructive force in the form of a ruptured oil well on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, particularly the Georgia coast. One inevitable ruptured oil well and you can very possibly kiss the entire coast of Georgia, all one hundred miles, goodby as it becomes uninhabitable.

Interesting to note that It is against the law to use seismic testing or subsequent drilling for oil on the West Coast of the USA! The west coasties apparently did their homework. They addressed the issue a long time ago with common sense supported by facts. I can’t say that too often about the West Coast but hats off to them on this one!

Big oil claims that every effort is made to protect marine life from the testing. If it is not a danger to marine life, as they proclaim, then why the precautions? Let us look at some of the "precautions" big oil utilizes. 1.Setting a bow watch with binoculars to detect present of marine life. Are you kidding me! If only all the fishermen in the world had realized how easy it was to detect marine life!

2.Slow the vessel down to give the marine life an opportunity to escape. One has to assume that the marine life are already aware of the dangers of seismic testing and swimming away is the solution to survival. Heaven help the curious ones. Escape! Escape what?

So why not just use sonar, fish finders, Etc. I guess the reason is that seismic testing, as a result of the tremendous explosions, detonated every few seconds, rushing thru the water for hundreds of miles, neutralizes sonar/fish finders. It severely effects marine animals ability to use eco location, their key to survival. Seismic testing destroys the very thing that almost the entire underwater world survives on, discernable sound waves.

What did the bureau of Energy Management say? "It will only kill a couple of hundred thousand animals out there.

The City of Savannah has already publically voiced their opposition to both seismic testing and drilling. We desperately need the rest of Coastal Georgia to join that group of 123 East Coast Municipalities and 1200 elected officials in those municipalities an defy the concept of seismic testing and drilling for oil along our coast?

Where does the representation of our coastal region to the House and the Senate in Washington stand on this matter?

From what I have seen and read, unless they have had a recent change of heart, I think big oil has their vote. I have not seen anything publicly demonstrated otherwise. Rather the subject has been carefully avoided. I hope they quickly recognize the need for closer analysis. At least before election day!

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