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Legislators Urge Halt in Seismic Permitting

Four North Carolina congressional representatives signed a letter this week urging President Obama to oppose leasing the offshore Atlantic for seismic airgun testing for oil and natural gas.

North Carolina representatives who signed the letter include Republican Walter Jones Jr., as well as Democrats David Price, Dr. Alma Adams and G.K. Butterfield. They join eight Republicans and 59 Democrats concerned about the potential for seismic testing to harm, disorient or injure marine wildlife. The letter was initiated by Oceana, an ocean conservation group.

The letter follows the Burea of Ocean Energy Management’s decision to continue with the seismic permitting process, despite the Department of the Interior banning drilling in the Atlantic in March. Because of the five-year ban, many feel that seismic testing is unnecessary.

The impact of seismic testing is controversial, with some scientific evidence indicating it could harm marine wildlife, and others finding the effects negligible.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.