Mapping the ocean is the first step for responsible offshore drilling

June 6, 2018

Now is the time to proceed with seismic surveys of the Atlantic between New Jersey and Florida. Mapping the ocean bottom with new and safe technology will provide a better understanding of how much oil and natural gas is available offshore.

For the past year, the National Marine Fisheries Service has been reviewing applications from companies to conduct oil and gas seismic surveys spanning the Atlantic coast. The surveys would be the first step in President Trump's plan to open up coastal waters to oil and gas production. However, actual drilling would still be many years off and might not even be worth the effort unless the surveys showed significant oil and gas deposits.

Those who disparage offshore drilling - and are eager to ban it - ignore the fact that the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the need for oil and gas to grow through 2040, and possibly beyond. Today, the United States would be unable to meet the demand for energy supplies without oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere.

But some will say we already have plenty of inexpensive oil. However, when the list of major oil exporters include Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, just to name a few, counting on long-term stability in the oil market is a fool's errand.

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