Monday Mission #57

Remember a few months ago when we spoke out against the use of underwater airguns off the coast? Well, the Trump administration just approved five requests from companies to conduct seismic tests off the Atlantic shore that could kill tens of thousands of dolphins, whales, and other marine animals. The Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management found that “nearly 2.5 million dophins would be harassed or possibly killed by acoustic sound blasts in the middle and southern Atlantic and nearly a half-million pilot whales would be affected” During the surveys, blasts are sent through the water every 10 to 12 seconds to image the sea floor. Commercial fisheries are at risk and every governor along the coast has come out against offshore drilling.

Moving forward with offshore oil drilling reverses action by the Obama Administration, which declared Atlantic waters off-limits for oil explorationRep.Don Beyer from Virginia has introduced a bill to ban the practice, the Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act. You can catch up with him on Twitter @RepDonBeyerWho are the five companies? I’m glad you asked! Perhaps contact from you would encourage some social responsibility. The companies that have been approved to conduct the seismic testing are Ion GeoVentures, Spectrum Geo Inc, TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company, WesternGeco, and CGG. Trading symbol IO Spectrum was originally incorporated in the UK TGS is on the Oslo exchange (Western Geco was spun off by Schlumberger and acquired by Shearwater earlier this year) This is a French company

The Trump Administration is also rushing ahead to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and development despite overwhelming negative comment. The Republicans stuck this in the tax bill they passed and are now moving to lock in the leases ahead of the 2020 elections. They also have to worry about the incoming chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) who with eight Democratic colleagues sent a letter earlier to Interior Secretary Zinke objecting to the “needless haste” toward leasing in ANWR. (You can thank Rep. Grijalva by writing to him here:

However, within months trucks weighing up to 45 tons could be rolling across the fragile landscape conducting seismic exploration. These ‘thumper trucks’ pound heavy hydraulic rams against the ground and can harass, injure and kill the unique wildlife of the refuge. A complication here is a wealthy native corporation, Arctic Slope Regional which is backing the drilling. Here is their contact page.

They do not represent all native people. The Gwich’in have led the opposition to development for generations. Their website where you can donate to help is They are on Facebook as well. Visit and link.

The Bureau of Ocean Management is in charge of lease sales in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska. For information on the 2019 Beaufort Sea Lease Sale, EIS, the submission of comments, or BOEM’s policies associated with this notice, you may contact Sharon Randall, Chief of Environmental Analysis Section, BOEM, Alaska OCS Region, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 500, Anchorage, AK 99503, (907) 334-5200.

We opposed these proposals during the comment period on The schemers are being taken to court and we can support that battle. We can hold the companies involved responsible. We are the voice for those who have no voice and with whom we share this planet. We won’t stop fighting as long as there is a way.



1 thought on “Monday Mission #57”

  1. Lee, this was a heartbreaking Monday Mission, especially in light of the pods of pilot whales stranding on beaches in the recent weeks. I just finished writing all the companies listed in your post. That goodness prevail and Rep Beyer’s bill’s to ban seismic airguns and protect the Atlantic prevails. Thank you for keeping us aware of ways to help our fellow species and act as a whole.

Leave a Reply