Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Bonus content

July 18, 2014

Obama opens East Coast to oil search

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Opening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil exploration for the first time in decades, the Obama administration on Friday approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's approval of this technology is the first step toward identifying new oil and gas deposits in federal waters from Florida to Delaware.

The sonic cannons are towed behind boats and emit strong pulses of sound every 10 seconds or so, reverberating beneath the sea floor and bouncing back to the surface, where they are measured by hydrophones. Computers then translate the data into high resolution, three-dimensional images.

"It's like a sonogram of the earth," said Andy Radford, a petroleum engineer at the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas trade association in Washington DC. "You can't see the oil and gas, but you can see the structures in the earth that might hold oil and gas."

The sonic cannons can be fired consistently for weeks or months depending on the project, and pose real dangers for whales, fish and sea turtles that also use sound to communicate across hundreds of miles. In an environmental impact study of the project, the U.S. government estimates that more than 138,000 sea creatures could be harmed.

Of foremost concern are endangered species like the north Atlantic right whale, with a total population of about 500. The whales use the seas off of northern Florida and southern Georgia to give birth to their calves before their migration north. Since the cetaceans are so scarce, any impact from this intense noise pollution on feeding or communications could have long-term effects, Scott Kraus, a right whale expert at the John H. Prescott Marine Laboratory in Boston, said.

"No one has been allowed to test anything like this on right whales," Kraus said of the seismic cannons. "(The Obama administration) has authorized a giant experiment on right whales that this country would never allow researchers to do."

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bonus content
  • Economy [Duplicate] US employers add 209K jobs, rate rises to 6.2 pct. WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers extended their solid hiring into July by adding 209,000 jobs. It was the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000, evidence that businesses are gradually shedding the caution that had marked the 5-year-old rec

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Semi crash coats I-465 lanes with spilled butter INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A semitrailer overturned on Interstate 465 in Indianapolis, spilling what police say are 45,000 pounds of packages of butter and other dairy products. The crash happened about 3:30 a.m. Friday in the eastbound lanes of I-465 just

    August 1, 2014

  • Carmel mayor uses social media to promote businesses along U.S. 31 CARMEL (AP) — Indianapolis-area restaurant and shop owners say business is down significantly as construction continues along U.S. 31. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard on Thursday asked residents to eat and shop at businesses along U.S. 31 every day in Augu

    August 1, 2014

  • Supreme Court Ginsburg-9 [Duplicate] Ginsburg: Court right to void clinic buffer zones WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is defending a rare Supreme Court decision that put her at odds with women's rights groups. Ginsburg said the court's unanimous ruling in June that struck down the 35-foot, protest-free zone on sidewalks

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Notre Dame might appeal case to US Supreme Court SOUTH BEND (AP) — The University of Notre Dame might appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in its challenge to part of the federal health care law that forces it to cover contraceptives in its health insurance for students and employees. Recently filed co

    August 1, 2014

  • Congress [Duplicate] Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills WASHINGTON (AP) — Rushing toward the exits, Congress on Thursday scrambled to wrap up legislation addressing the troubled Veterans Affairs Department and a looming shortfall in highway money. House Republicans sought to win over reluctant, tea party

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Economy Not Feeling the Recovery [Duplicate] As US job market strengthens, many don't feel it WASHINGTON (AP) — For millions of workers, happy days aren't quite here again. Though the U.S. unemployment rate has plunged since the start of last year to a five-year low of 6.1 percent, the Gallup Organization has found that consumers' view of the

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • CIA Investigations [Duplicate] State Dept: 'No American is proud' of CIA tactics

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror susp

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV-Big Bang Theory [Duplicate] Contract dispute delays 'Big Bang' production NEW YORK (AP) — Production on a new season of "The Big Bang Theory" is being delayed because of a contract dispute with its top actors. The Warner Brothers Television studio, which makes television's most popular comedy, said that Wednesday's schedul

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • UCLA Flooding-12 [Duplicate] Pipe break that flooded UCLA dumps 20M gallons LOS ANGELES (AP) — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities face w

    July 31, 2014 8 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller