Today, the Obama Administration released the draft of its 2017-2022 plan for offshore drilling, known as the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The plan proposes to prohibit drilling in the Atlantic Ocean but offers 13 new potential lease sales – 10 sales in the Gulf of Mexico, which is still healing from the disastrous BP oil spill, and three sales in the sensitive Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska.
Following the trail of BP’s oil in the Gulf of Mexico
One morning in March of last year, I set out from Gulfport, Mississippi, on a three-week mission aboard the U.S. Navy research vessel Atlantis. The 274-foot ship, painted a crisp white and blue, stood tall in the bright sunlight. On its decks were winches, cranes, seafloor-mapping sonar, a machine shop, and five laboratories. Stowed in an alcove astern was Alvin, the federal government’s only manned research submarine. “Research vessel Atlantis outbound,” A. D. Colburn, the ship’s captain, reported into the ship radio.