Editor’s Note: The complete paper, Oceana’s Opposition to Spanish Seismic Is Based on Bad Science, Bad Fact and Bad Policy is attached here. The Executive Summary of the paper [notes omitted] is reprinted below.
Oceana’s Opposition to Spanish Seismic Is Based on Bad Science, Bad Fact and Bad Policy
I. Executive Summary
Oceana has published a Report and press release arguing that offshore seismic exploration for oil and gas should be banned between Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. Some press has covered this Report and press release uncritically.
Oceana’s press release summarizes their Report:
“More than 17 million marine hectares, 82 protected areas and nearly 200 protected or regulated species are endangered by the seismic oil prospecting projects between Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. “
“Even a kilometre away, the sound intensity would be similar to a nuclear explosion like Hiroshima, and effects have been verified at tens or even hundreds of kilometres further away.”
Oceana’s inflammatory warning is factually incorrect. Extensive study by regulatory agencies and by independent scientists demonstrates that seismic airguns, as currently regulated in the U.S. and elsewhere, does no physical harm.
Oceana is also wrong when it claims that the Mediterranean countries and their citizens will not benefit economically from a successful oil and gas industry in their waters. Banning oil and gas exploration offshore of Spain and other Mediterranean nations would be economically irresponsible.
Oceana’s proposed ban on seismic should be rejected, and the media should present a balanced and objective discussion of this issue.