IAGC Rebuts NGO False Claims About Seismic

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors has posted a rebuttal to false claims about oil and gas seismic being made by environmental NGOs. These NGO claims make factually incorrect comparisons between seismic and jet airplane sounds. This IAGC article is entitled  “Seismic Surveys and the Jet Engine Myth vs Fact.” It is available here.



Navy Seeks Comment on Draft EIS for Gulf of Alaska

The U.S. Navy has prepared a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, which is now available for public review and comment.  This EIS re-evaluates potential impacts from ongoing military training activities conducted in the Gulf of Alaska Temporary Maritime Activities Area.  The document can be found online at the project website .

The Navy invites the public to submit comments on the analysis presented in the EIS.  The 60-day comment period begins this Friday, August 22 and ends October 20.

BOEM’s Science Officer States the Facts about Atlantic Seismic

William Y. Brown, Chief Environmental Officer, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, has written a very important article for BOEM’s online Science Notes.  This article is entitled The Science Behind the Decision:  Answers to Frequently asked Questions about the Atlantic Geological and Geophysical Activities Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).  Dr. Brown’s article corrects misinformation being spread by some environmental NGOs who oppose the Atlantic PEIS.  In his own words, Dr. Brown

 “wanted to take some time to clear up a few misperceptions about the bureau’s decision and what it means.

NMFS Evaluating More OBIAs

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued four 1-year Letters of Authorization to the U.S. Navy to take marine mammals by harassment incidental to their military readiness activities associated with the routine training, testing, and military operations of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active sonar within the northwest Pacific Ocean and the north-central Pacific Ocean. These Authorizations are effective from August 15, 2014, through August 14, 2015.

NMFS’ Federal Register notice states that the Service

CRE Comments on NGO Comments on BOEM’s 2017-2022 OCS Leasing Plan

On August 15, 2014, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness filed its second set of comments on the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Request for Information and Comments on the Preparation of the 2017–2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.  CRE’s second set of comments rebutted comments filed by a group of NGOs, which wanted the entire Arctic excluded from leasing. These NGO comments are entitled Arctic-Specific Comments on the Preparation of the 2017–2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program, and were filed by National Audubon Society, Oceana, Ocean Conservancy, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and World Wildlife Fund.

NMFS Schedules Meeting on Steller Sea Lion Critical Habitat

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service will host a meeting to elicit scientific information related to the designation of Steller sea lion critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act.  NMFS is considering revisions to the critical habitat designation to take into account new information that has become available since NMFS designated critical habitat in 1993. This meeting will provide an opportunity for NMFS to receive presentations from the public concerning new and relevant scientific information.

NMFS requests that parties interested in presenting information pertaining to the identification of areas as critical habitat for the Western Distinct Population Segment of Steller sea lion submit a statement of interest, including an abstract of the information to be presented.

The Iron Triangle Revisited

The Iron Triangle, often defined as the  cozy relationship  “between members of Congressional Committees, Bureaucrats, and interest groups”,  has been revisited by a former UK environmental official.

 More specifically Mr. Owen Patterson,  the former UK Environment Secretary ,  describes the   “tangled triangle of unelected busybodies”  as consisting of public officials, renewable energy companies and environmental groups.

 This “tangled triangle” often is on the forefront of inaccurate assertions that seismic exploration is detrimental to marine mammals.

 In the three posts that follow we have:

1.  An article by Mr. Patterson on the “tangled triangle”.

Unelected busybodies that claims to have the interests of the planet at heart

‘The Green Blob’: A tangled triangle of unelected busybodies that claims to have the interests of the planet at heart

By Owen Paterson, UK Environment Secretary

Writing for The Telegraph, the former environment secretary, Owen Paterson, says he is proud of standing up to the green lobby

Every prime minister has the right to choose his team to take Britain into the general election and I am confident that my able successor at Defra, Liz Truss, will do an excellent job. It has been a privilege to take on the challenges of the rural economy and environment. However, I leave the post with great misgivings about the power and irresponsibility of – to coin a phrase – the Green Blob.

A $10M (Australian) study covering 400 km2 of reef areas off Australia investigated the effects of sound from seismic air-guns on fish.

Scientific Conclusions:

  • No Major Changes in Fish Behaviour
  • No Damage to Coral Assemblages
  • No Impacts on Fish Hearing
  • No Long term Impact on Fish Populations


The study involved detailed measurements of fish hair cells in otoliths (fish hearing organ) as well as the effects of sound on other reef organisms.

Ocean bottom and ocean column hydrophones monitored sounds emitted by a large 3D seismic survey.

Dr. Chris Battershill with the Commonwealth’s Government’s Australian Institute of Marine Science summarized the findings by stating that there is “No effect whatsoever from the seismic air-guns”.

New Study: Bowhead Whales React Less to Sound from Seismic Surveys

Effects of seismic operations on bowhead whale behaviour: implications for distribution and abundance assessments.
Frances C. Robertson. 2014. University of British Columbia, Canada. 131pp.