Environment, Science

Oil And Gas Surveys Will Not Be Permitted Off Ga. Coast

A photographer shoots photos of birds and cargo vessels as the casino boat Escapade, with 123 people aboard, is grounded 1.8 miles off the north end of Tybee Island, Ga., Wednesday, July 16, 2014. No injuries or medical issues had been reported among the 96 passengers and 27 crew members aboard the boat according to Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony L. Soto. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Credit Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press
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The Obama administration announced on Friday that companies will not be allowed to look for oil or gas off the coast of Georgia and other southern states.

Last March, the federal government decided not to issue drilling permits for the mid- and south- Atlantic Ocean between 2017 and 2022, but companies hoped they could still search for oil and gas reserves.

Now, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says it won’t issue any permits for surveys for that time period, either.

Environmentalists are celebrating the announcement. They say the seismic surveys include powerful blasts of air that could hurt marine life.

“We have no idea what the Trump Administration is going to do about this, but this is great news from the Obama Administration and shows that he’s been listening to the voices from the coast who’ve said we don’t want drilling here,” she said.

People who did want to see drilling, have said companies should at least be allowed to go out and look for oil and gas, so we know what’s out there.

“This is a decision that, at its core, denies the opportunity for private industry to conduct scientific, geologic research that will be used by academia, government and industry alike for important educational and research purposes,” Erik Milito with the American Petroleum Institute said in a written statement.

In December, the Obama Administration banned drilling in the Arctic and parts of the Atlantic Ocean, but the Atlantic ban did not include Georgia; it covered areas off the coast of Massachusetts down to Virginia.

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