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Time is now to comment on offshore drilling plans

Posted July 5

Offshore drilling generic

— The Trump administration announced Thursday that the public comment period will open Monday for a new five-year energy leasing program for the outer continental shelf, a move toward opening East Coast waters to oil and gas exploration and drilling.

The program for oil and gas development sets a schedule for proposed oil and gas lease sales of the coast. The comment period is the first step in executing the 2017-22 plan.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is asking for input on the economic, social and environmental values of all outer continental shelf resources, as well as the potential effects of oil and gas exploration and development on other resources and the marine, coastal and human environments. This information is to be considered when BOEM prepares a draft proposed program.

The current national program for 2017–22 schedules 11 potential lease sales, 10 in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the Cook Inlet of Alaska.

The public involvement and analysis generally takes two to three years to complete.

Comments will be accepted until Aug. 17, in either of the following ways:

  • Electronically (preferred method): https://www.boem.gov/Public-Engagement-Opportunities/ Open the “Open Comment Document” link and follow instructions to view relevant documents and submit comments.
  • In written form, deliver to: Kelly Hammerle, National Program Manager, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; 45600 Woodland Road-VAM-LD; Sterling, VA 20166.

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  • Geoffrey Santoliquido Jul 7, 3:37 p.m.
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    We don't need or want offshore drilling in our Atlantic! There's sufficient oil being produced already, witness current gas prices. All of our coastal communities have said "NO!" to this danger. Contrary to Mr. Hessian Diesel's concern, below, we have troops and military generals organizing against oil and in favor of renewable energy knowing the the fights for fossil fuel will only escalate if we continue down this path. Even Volvo announced this week that all of their cars will be electric in just three years from now.

    New findings about seismic testing should set off alarm bells. Seismic testing blasts kill zooplankton which is the building block of all ocean life. See the science journal Nature which reported this just a few weeks ago.

    Join others in this fight to protect our coast. Go on Facebook and find Oceana North Carolina, Surfrider, and NO to Offshore Oil Drilling in North Carolina's waters. There you can find out how you can help. We need all hands on deck!

  • Robert Swiger Sr. Jul 5, 5:48 p.m.
    user avatar

    Plan is to drill

  • Hessian Diesel Jul 5, 4:30 p.m.
    user avatar

    For FAR TOO LONG the lives of Americans in uniform have been judged to be worth much LESS than America's own energy independence. A fickle, short-sighted and greedy mob of a population has too much blood on its hands. North America as a whole has the realistically attainable goal of going 100% energy self-sufficient for a century or more. A few years ago I decided to leave North Carolina to become a petroleum engineer in North Dakota and I learned that the anti-energy lobby would rather see dead Americans than domestic energy production.