A federal judge has put the Trump Administration’s offshore oil and gas leasing plans on hold. However, it became clear last week that the administration has no intent to delay its decisions on permits for undersea sonic blasting for oil and gas exploration.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is still processing the permit bids from seven companies seeking to use the sonic blasting technique to explore under the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to Florida. Conservationists, tourism and fishing industries, and state and local governments broadly oppose the sonic blasting permits because of the damage they produce to fisheries and sea mammals.
Observers project that Trump’s determination to more forward with this unpopular process could create problems for his party’s candidates in southeastern coastal states next year. However, there appears to be no risk too great — economic, environmental, or political — to shake Trump’s devotion to advancing the interests of the fossil fuel industries.
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