CRE Comments on Arctic DSEIS

 On June 27, 2013, CRE submitted comments with NMFS on its Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DSEIS”) for Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean.  CRE’s submission included an emphasis on the critical role that Marine Vibroseis can play in the search for petroleum. More specifically, CRE states:

Consequently, there is no rational basis for using revised acoustic criteria that would impede use of MarVib. In order to ensure that this does not happen, NMFS should expressly address MarVib in any proceeding to consider new acoustic criteria. The public should have notice of and an opportunity to comment on this proceeding.

Another Exaggeration By Sue and Settle Plaintiffs

 Editor’s Note:  Advocates of Sue and Settle recognize that it is easier to win non-science based regulation in court than it is through the rulemaking process. 

Sue and Settle  plaintiffs also recognize that if they  file enough suits , and if  the DOJ continues to settle,  then inch-by-inch, year-by-year and law-suit-by-law suit, the plaintiffs win over the long run. In the case described below plaintiffs–even though  they received numerous unearned concessions– are now exaggerating  the alleged transgressions which lead to the settlement.  In particular there has been and will continue to be exploration in the Eastern  Gulf of Mexico,  operating procedures presently in effect already require the  avoidance of  marine mammals in the conduct of seismic operations and contrary to a number of statements by the plaintiffs, or their agents, the petroleum industry has been instrumental in the development of  marine vibroseis.

NOAA Hearing for Gulf of Mexico EIS

Today, June 20, NOAA is holding a hearing on its work on an envronmental anlysis of the geophysical and geological activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

CRE will be making an oral presentation at the hearing  and will be summarizing the comments of other participants on this  IPD. 

Presiding Federal Officials

Jim Bennett  BOEM
Jill Lewandowski BOEM
Ben Laws NMFS

 The following are CRE’s view of some of the pertinent statements by those making presentations at the hearing:


“If the delisting of sperm whales is not on your agenda, it should be.”

Call for Action on Seismic

The Norwood Group has published a call for action by everyone interested in saving oil and gas seismic off the coast of Australia. The Group believes that third parties, including environmental NGOs, the Greens and even the fishing industry, are mounting a campaign of misinformation against seismic. The Group writes:

“We have studied the perceived ‘impact’ of seismic sounds on marine life in significant detail, and are dismayed at the lack of balance surrounding the topic in current mainstream media…

Fact Sheet on Need for Seismic Surveys in U.S. Atlantic OCS

The American Petroleum Institute, International Association of Geophysical Contractors, Independent Petroleum Association of America, and National Ocean Industries Association have published a fact sheet on why seismic surveys for oil and gas are needed in the United States’ Atlantic Ocean Outer Continental Shelf.  There is some political opposition to seismic surveys in this area. The fact sheet explains that the last surveys of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) were conducted 30 years ago. Due to technological advances, existing estimates of the available energy are out-of-date.”  The fact sheet emphasizes that “[e]xisting resource estimates for the Atlantic OCS are: … 3.3 billion barrels of oil … 31.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.”

Government Release of Proprietary Sesimic Information

Firm sues governments over intellectual property

LETHBRIDGE — Governments have the power to regulate the use of private property nearly to the extent of actually expropriating it. And surprisingly, even though regulatory policies are acceptable under our legal system, there is no requirement that compensation be paid for the use of that property.

It is clear that, for the sake of justice, governments must protect and compensate property owners. And the same goes for intellectual property.

Geophysical Service Incorporated (GSI), a Calgary-based company specializing in marine seismic data, needs such protection. The company performs expensive offshore seismic surveys for petroleum companies.

Court Upholds Most of NMFS’ Seismic IHA for Cook Inlet

In May 2012, the Native Village of Chickaloon and several NGOs challenged the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (“NMFS”) issuance of an “Incidental Harassment Authorization” that allowed Apache Alaska Corporation to conduct seismic surveys in Cook Inlet, Alaska. The plaintiffs alleged that the issuance of the Incidental Harassment Authorization (“IHA”) and associated documents to Apache violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act (“MMPA”), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1361-1421; the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1531-1544; and the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4231-4370.

Petroleum Industry Response to A Citizens Petition to List Sperm Whales in the Gulf of Mexico as a Distinct Population Segment under the Endangered Species Act


Editor’s Note:  CRE, in its role as a regulatory watchdog, routinely  comments on the  comments sent to regulatory agencies. These expost analyses are posted on this Interactive Public Docket (IPD) and the public and all stakeholders are invited to offer their comments.  A copy of this post has been forwarded to NMFS.


The four leading trade associations of the petroleum industry the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, and the National Ocean Industries Association responded to a proposal to list sperm whales as distinct population segment.

CRE Comments on Sperm Whale petition

NGOs have petitioned NMFS to list the sperm whale in the northern Gulf of Mexico as a Distinct Population Segment under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. CRE’s comments opposed the requested listing for several reasons. One reason is the absence of an adequate data base to support such a listing. A DPS listing on the current data base would violate NMFS’ and OMB’s Information Quality Act Guidelines.

  • Click here to read CRE’s comments