A federal agency will allow the latest technology to be used to get an idea what oil and gas deposits might be along the continental shelf, from Delaware to Florida, which has pretty much the same folks we always hear from offering the same doom scenario for the state’s beaches.
At issue is the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approval for using sonic cannons to explore the deep waters of the Atlantic for oil and natural gas. This decision only allows the use of sound waves to spot geological formations below the ocean floor that might hold oil and gas deposits. Even if they find anything, companies would not be able to apply for permits to drill, which would face heavy regulatory scrutiny, until 2018. A ban on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico will remain in effect until at least 2022.
Environmentalists are opposed to the decision to allow exploration, and that is to be expected. We’re also not surprised by the letter from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, both Democrats, criticizing the exploration approval because “expanding unnecessary drilling offshore simply puts too much at risk.” Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly is against “any future use of this technology in our waters.”
Again, no one is talking about drilling now, and no one does unnecessary drilling because there is no money to be made producing oil and gas no one wants. The energy industry is changing fast. No one foresaw the U.S. overtaking Saudi Arabia as the world’s number-one oil producer thanks to advances in drilling technology, and no one knows what’s next. Everyone calm down.