For decades, the Marine Mammal Protection Act has protected marine mammals from seismic surveys, preventing oil companies from exploring off California and elsewhere.
However, there are two bills winding their way through Congress that would speed up permits for seismic blasts used to locate oil and gas and dismantle MMPA safeguards for whales.
The noise from these blasts, scientists say, can disorient and damage the hearing of cetaceans so badly that they lose their ability to navigate and reproduce. The bills are H.R. 3133, Streamlining Environmental Approvals (or SEA Act) and H.R. 4239, Strengthening the Economy With Critical Untapped Resources to Expand American Energy (or SECURE American Energy Act).
These bills could have a long-lasting and potentially disastrous impact on our coast, the lives of the whales and dolphins that live or visit here and, consequentially, the tourism economy.
There has been little movement on the bills since the SEA Act passed committee in January, but opponents are concerned they could be attached last minute to this year’s military reauthorization or another must-pass bill.
Please call our Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (District 48), to voice opposition to these bills and, frankly, to any bill that will allow oil and gas drilling off our coast.
Cheryl Procaccini, Laguna Beach