Despite the incredibly harsh and apocalyptic National Climate Assessment report that was published on Black Friday, the Trump Administration continues to disregard it’s warnings and has recently approved seismic tests that the oil drilling industry conducts.
Seismic tests are used to probe underground to find if there are oil resources. Seismic waves are generated and bounced around underground. The sounds are analyzed and a map of the underground is produced, showing empty pockets underground that might be oil resources or aquifers. Vibrations for a seismic test, at least the ones on land, are created by dynamite or vibroseis.
However, for offshore drilling in the ocean, these vibrations of the tests can interfere with the vibrations of aquatic mammals’ echolocation. Vox has done a great video on how this hurts fish. The video, which was published in July 2017, says that the Trump administration’s law to approve the tests were blocked by senators around the country. But as of last week, aquatic animals’ well-being can be threatened. When this happens in the future, many subspecies of dolphins and whales, some of which are endangered species, will suffer even more severe population loss than what they are already going through.
The commercial fishing industry may be threatened, as the underwater noise pollution may lead to reduced fish populations. Beaches that are near where drilling is taking place may also face financial loss in the future due to reduced tourism. Government officials from states along the Atlantic coast have expressed disapproval of this law and don’t want drilling to happen.