Pages: 1 2
The most prolific marine ecosystem on earth is being systematically destroyed on orders of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Where the BP oil spill failed miserably, Obama’s Dept. of the Interior now triumphs.
First came the “moratorium” on Gulf drilling. “That’s kicking a man when he’s already down,” said former offshore oil worker (and current country music superstar) Trace Adkins last May in an interview with CNN. The Obama administration itself admits to 8-12,000 job losses in Louisiana from the moratorium. But Louisiana now has 25,000 more unemployed than before the moratorium, which continues de facto in the form of stonewalling and lollygagging on the issuance of new drilling permits. So, that “man” is still down and reeling from federal kicks.
Another kick came last September in the form of a federal “notice to lessees.” “As part of our sustained effort to improve the safety of energy production on the Outer Continental Shelf and strengthen environmental protections,” decreed U.S. Dept. of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last September 15, “We are notifying offshore operators of their legal responsibility to decommission and dismantle their facilities when production is completed.”
Dismantling their production platforms could cost oil operators “$6 billion to $18 billion in lost future production,” according to a report by Mark Kaiser and Allan Pulsipher of the Louisiana State University Center for Energy Studies.
The federal government, however, is unmoved by such projections. Production? Costs? Profits?—come on! Where’s the federal “environmental expert” affected by such stuff?
So let’s try this: the most prolific and “diverse marine ecosystem” ever recorded by marine scientists was created by the “facilities” the U.S. Dept. of the Interior is hell-bent on dismantling (offshore oil platforms). Acting as artificial reefs over the past half century, the natural beauty, teeming fish life, coral colonies, and “bio-diversity,” created by these structures is amply documented in several studies commissioned by none other than the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.
One recent report by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Minerals (a division of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior) boasts that “fish densities are 20 to 50 times higher at oil and gas platforms than in nearby Gulf water, and each platform seasonally serves as critical habitat for 10 to 20 thousand fishes.”
In fact, “villainous” Big Oil produces marine life at rates that puts to shame “wondrous” Earth Goddess Gaia. “The fish Biomass around an offshore oil platform is ten times greater per unit area than for natural coral reefs,” found Dr. Charles Wilson of LSU’s Dept. of Oceanography and Coastal Science (emphasis added). ”Ten to thirty thousand adult fish live around an oil production platform in area half the size of a football field.” For proof click on this video.
An LSU study found that 75 per cent of all offshore fishing trips in Louisiana target these fish-teeming “reefs.” Recreational fishing and diving trips to these structures generate an estimated 5,560 full time jobs and $324 million annually for Louisiana. But Salazar’s decree now forces oil producers to plug 3,500 non-producing wells and dismantle about 650 platforms by 2020. These represent 800 acres of critical Marine habitat. 80 per cent of these oil production “facilities,” by the way, are owned by independent producers rather than “Big Oil” companies such as Exxon or BP.
Pages: 1 2