Date: October 27, 2016
From: Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast
Contact: Frank Knapp, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, 803-252-5733 (O), 803-600-6874 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org
From Maine to Florida—thousands of business interests ask President Obama to protect the Atlantic Ocean from Seismic Airgun Testing and Big Oil
Washington, DC—The president of Cape Publishing of Cape May, NJ. Bernard Hass has an impassioned message for President Obama, “for heaven’s sake! This is so totally wrong—and out of character for you. Leave the Atlantic Coast alone!”
Mr. Hass is one of over 12,000 businesses and 400,000 commercial fishing families represented in calling on the President in a letter not to proceed with allowing seismic airgun blasting to search for oil and gas deposits, an exploration method that puts fishing, tourism and recreation economies at risk.
Seismic airgun testing for oil and gas deposits off the Atlantic Coast could be approved by the Administration within weeks, despite the decision to reverse course on their plan to allow Mid and South-Atlantic offshore drilling earlier this year. Here are some of the comments that characterize the sentiments of businesses signing the anti-seismic testing letter:
“This state needs fishing & ecotourism; this trickles down to literally every business in South Carolina including our own.”
“No Off Shore Drilling or Testing as this will devastate the North Carolina Coast Tourism & Seafood Economy which provide millions in Tax Revenue every year.”
“This could potentially be disastrous to our tourist driven economy.”
Seismic airgun testing is a dangerous process that blasts extremely loud sound waves miles below the seafloor in a hunt for oil deposits. One seismic vessel can tow up to 96 airguns that can cover an area 21 times larger than the National Mall in Washington DC. These blasts are repeated every 10-12 seconds and can be heard for thousands of miles and creating one of the loudest noises in the oceans. Seismic testing under just one approved permit can go on for up to an entire year. The Administration is currently reviewing a half dozen of these permits to explore the same area.
The letter campaign was coordinated by the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC), which was created in September by individual businesses and business organizations dedicated to protecting the long term health and economic vitality of the Atlantic seaboard through the responsible stewardship of the coastal and ocean waters. Along the Atlantic coast, nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in gross domestic product—mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation—rely on a healthy ocean ecosystem.
“The response to our letter was overwhelming,” said Frank Knapp, BAPAC spokesperson and President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “We have very little time to convince the Administration that seismic testing off our coast is a threat to our healthy ocean and thriving economies, superfluous, uses soon to be outdated technology and has only one purpose…the eventual industrialization of the Atlantic Coast with offshore drilling rigs and infrastructure. East Coast businesses, fishing groups and coastal communities already said NO to Atlantic drilling, and the President listened. It’s time for the President to finish the job using his authority to permanently protect the Atlantic Coast forever.”
BAPAC representatives expect to meet with U.S. Department of the Interior officials, Members of Congress, and the White House in November.
Business organizations signing the letter to the President: Climate Action Business Association (CABA) Cape May County Chamber of Commerce Carteret County Chamber of Commerce Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council Green America’s Business Network Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce Savannah Riverkeeper South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce The Duck Merchant’s Association