FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits

On June 24, the independent news website TruthOut broke a doozy of a story: the Obama Administration has secretly approved over 1,500 instances of offshore hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the Gulf of Mexico, including during the Deepwater Horizon offshore spill disaster.

Albeit released on a Friday, a day where many mainstream media reporters head out of the office early and venture to late-afternoon and early-evening Happy Hour specials at the bars, the story has received deafening silence by the corporate-owned media apparatus.

Google News, Factiva and LexisNexis searches reveal that not a single mainstream media outlet has covered the story.

TruthOut got its hands on the story via documents provided by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). CBD explained in press release that they “obtained the information following an agreement that settled a lawsuit challenging the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s failure to disclose documents regarding the scope of offshore fracking in the Gulf under the Freedom of Information Act.”

CBD also has published a list of all of the instances of offshore fracking in the Gulf of Mexico provided to it by BOEM, both in list-form and in visual map form.

CBD says more documents are on the way too, which means the number of frack jobs that have occurred offshore in the Gulf could rise. A case in point: a well that recently leaked and spilled 90,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf was, as reported by CBS affiliate WWL, fracked by spill culprit Shell Oil.

“Proprietary Information”

U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) officials did not provide comment to TruthOut. But BSEEofficials did tell WWL that the chemicals, undisclosed because the list may contain “proprietary information,” would be dumped into the Gulf of Mexico regardless — a jaw-dropping revelation itself.

This explanation by BSEE presents a whole other set of environmental issues that the public should be outraged about when it comes to fracking in the Gulf of Mexico,” Jonathan Henderson, who runs Vanishing Earth, told WWL. “One of those being that after those fracking chemicals were cycled back to Shell’s rig, Shell eventually dumped those chemicals right back overboard into the Gulf. This in spite of no testing having been done to determine the impacts to the marine environment and ultimately human health as a possible consequence of eating Gulf seafood.”

“Troubled Waters”

CBD released a scientific analysis in September 2014, ”Troubled Waters,” which raised troubling questions about the chemicals used in offshore fracking in California. That report concluded fracking in offshore California is a seismic risk, an air quality risk, and that “10 fracking chemicals routinely used offshore in California could kill or harm a broad variety of marine species, including sea otters and fish.”

These findings have moved CBD to conclude that offshore fracking should be banned.

Offshore fracking is an inherently dangerous activity that simply doesn’t belong in the Gulf of Mexico,” CBD attorney Kristen Monsell said in the group’s press release. “And the federal government certainly has no right to give the oil industry free rein to frack our oceans — or to keep coastal communities in the dark about this toxic industrial activity.”

And speaking of keeping the public in the dark, where was the mainstream media when these facts were brought to light by TruthOut and CBD?

More articles by:

Steve Horn is a freelance investigative journalist and Research Fellow at DeSmogBlog, where this piece first appeared.

April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail