Trump administration to permit seismic testing for oil and gas off Atlantic coast

The Trump administration Friday authorized five companies to conduct seismic testing for oil and gas off the East Coast from Delaware to central Florida, prompting protests from environmental groups.

Opponents argued sound waves from seismic blasts not only would harm ocean species, including a declining right whale population, but would represent a first step toward offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in 30 years.

“Seismic testing is simply a precursor to offshore drilling that no one in the Southeast wants,” Catherine Wannamaker, a Charleston, S.C.-based senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, said during a news conference Friday.

Then-President Barack Obama proposed early in 2015 to allow offshore drilling, starting with 14 potential lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Alaska, and off of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. But he abandoned the idea near the end of his second term in the White House, citing…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.