This pro-drilling bill threatens marine life and our climate

The TAP American Energy Act would threaten ocean life with seismic blasting and require more oil and gas lease sales in our oceans and on public lands.

Pxfuel | Public Domain

This bill in Congress has a laundry list of bad ideas for our environment.

The “Drill, baby, drill!” proposal is the latest attempt to expand drilling in our oceans and on public lands.

Drilling in our oceans harms marine life

One of the most egregious pieces of this bill would threaten whales, sea turtles, dolphins and other marine life with deafening seismic blasts. The TAP American Energy Act would declare all seismic testing safe for marine mammals, but “declaring” something to be safe doesn’t make it so.

To find new offshore drilling sites, airguns are fired underwater every 10 seconds, repeatedly releasing deafening blasts of sound for months at a time. For a whale or a dolphin, the noise from seismic blasts can leave permanent damage.

Seismic testing can leave whales and dolphins deaf, disrupting their ability to echolocate underwater. Noise from seismic tests have caused brain hemorrhaging for some marine animals.

If this bill passes, we won’t be able to protect ocean life from seismic blasting.

More drilling equals more climate change pollution

Seismic testing in the ocean is the precursor to offshore drilling, which this bill also seeks to expand. The bill would require more oil and gas lease sales in our oceans. It also would require oil and gas leasing on more of our public lands.

These special places can’t take more drilling. And in the middle of a climate crisis, the last thing we need is to extract and burn more fossil fuels.

And if it weren’t already bad enough, the bill would also enable more coal mining. We’re calling on members of Congress to vote against the TAP American Energy Act.


Lisa Frank

Executive Director, Environment America; Vice President and D.C. Director, The Public Interest Network

Lisa leads Environment America’s work for a greener, healthier world. She also directs The Public Interest Network’s Washington, D.C., office and operations. A pragmatic idealist, Lisa has helped win billions of dollars in investments in clean energy and transportation and developed strategic campaigns to protect America’s oceans, forests and public lands. Lisa is an Oregonian transplant to the Capital region, where she loves hiking, running, biking, and cooking for friends and family.