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Responses miss mark on coast

Letter to the editor

POSTED: February 6, 2018 5:00 a.m.
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Editor: It was refreshing to see folks responding to my comments about the perils of seismic testing and subsequent drilling for oil off the Georgia coast.

It was stated in someone’s letter to editor that the BOEM considered over 800,000 solicited comments in forming the draft proposal to provide oil leases. It would be nice if those comments could be made public. Wonder why they haven’t if the comments support the position to drill? Just asking.

I would think that if thousands of people in Georgia were to contact Governor Deal with their objections, the coast of Georgia would suddenly cease to be a prospective target for oil speculators.

The governor of Florida saw a threat to his political future demonstrated in the uprising of the people against seismic testing and drilling for oil. All of a sudden big oil’s battle cry of "energy independence", with threats of a collapse of our national security followed by the sky falling seemed unimportant. The governor’s political career took precedence.

Can anyone explain to me why Georgia is the only state on the Eastern Seaboard that has not officially protested seismic testing? Hundreds of communities and hundreds of thousands of people are against seismic testing and drilling for oil off the Atlantic Coast. That is a lot of votes, President Trump. Just saying.

It was stated in one letter to ed, that the BOEM has said that there is no chance of injury to marine life. Must have been that same guy who told me the fish would see the ship coming and swim away! What the government actually said was that there would be probably around 138,000 animals injured or killed and another 13 million suffering different levels of disruption in migrating, feeding, reproduction and other behavioral patterns. The real fact of the matter is, we have no idea what the extent of damage can be. We just know there will be damage.

The project includes a six month time span, 300,000 square miles of coastline, an area twice the size of California, with horrendous explosions of sound driven through the water deep into the ocean floor every few seconds 24/7. Those are some of the facts I assume the folks writing the letters to editor are seeking.

It was stated in another letter to editor that there are no statistics showing that seismic testing is dangerous to right whales. That would be correct.

Fact: There has never been any modern seismic testing done to any degree around right whales and their migration paths to generate any statistics.

It is an inarguable fact that seismic testing has killed other whales and other forms of marine life where it has been used. Don’t get stuck on just whales. Those same explosions of sound have a negative effect on the very base of the food chain, phytoplankton and zooplankton. There are only a few hundred right whales left. Where do they fit in with that 138,000 number?

It was suggested that my statement defining the Atlantic Ocean as probably the roughest body of water in the world was in error. It was pointed out that the North Sea could be rougher. The North Sea happens to be part of the Atlantic Ocean. They have their own issues with oil wells. There is ongoing research into the effects of oil leaks and other chemical discharges involved in the process in the North Sea area.

One of the greatest fears of big oil was that the sludge from Deep Water Horizon would manage to float out to the Gulf Stream that begins in the mouth of the Gulf. Once captured by the Gulf Stream, it could have gone to the Keys and around the tip of Florida. It could have slide right up the East Coast carried by the powerful Gulf Stream at several knots per hour. The fact that the Gulf of Mexico has little or no tide or current and only whatever wind and wave action was present effected the movement of the sludge. Not the case on the Georgia coast. Elevations, tidal ranges, extreme currents and various other things come into play here on our coast that are not evident in the Gulf.

The person who first brought to my attention that fish populations group around oil rigs was a world renown diver and marine conservationist, the grandson of Jacque Cousteau, Fabien Cousteau. That was many years ago. It will take more up to date research to determine how the fish stocks around the Gulf oil rigs have been affected by the Deep Water Horizon disaster. We do know that the dolphin population is declining. Their numbers are down about 50 percent since the Deep Water Horizon disaster. That is HUGE! The Dolphins were there because the fish were there. It’s really just common sense. Oil and marine life does not mix.

Letters to editor stated that Buddy Carter cares about the coast, etc. I am sure that is the truth. I am confident that as soon as he avails himself of the facts from sources other than big oil he will reassess his position on the subject. As perhaps, will Sen. Perdue.

Are we to continue to ignore the Department of Defense position that seismic testing and subsequent drilling for oil would interrupt very important naval training that has been conducted off the Georgia coast for many years? DOD has officially expressed their objections to the testing.

Stop the insanity! Write, call, e-mail your representative to the state house and to the Congress of the United States. Those folks count votes.

Roy Hubbard

Richmond Hill

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