The Atlantis oil and gas production platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Marc Morrison / BP

By Darryl Fears
24 October 2017

(The Washington Post) – The Trump administration made history Tuesday in proposing that nearly 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico be made available for companies wanting to purchase federal oil and gas leases — the largest offering ever in the United States.

In announcing the sale, the Interior Department compared the targeted waters to “about the size of New Mexico” and said the first lease sales off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are scheduled for March next year. The event will include “all available unleased areas on the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf,” a statement said.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke first broached such a sale shortly after he took office in March 2017, proposing to offer 73 million acres for leases. This part of the Gulf was the scene of arguably the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent spill of 215 million gallons of crude that fouled beaches from Louisiana to Florida.

Years later, the spill’s effects are still being felt, according to a report by the nonprofit group Oceana.

Scientists have detected hydrocarbons from the well in 90 percent of pelican eggs more than 1,000 miles away in Minnesota, where the birds spend summer after wintering along the gulf. Dolphins living in Barataria, La., have experienced mortality rates 8 percent higher than dolphin populations elsewhere, and their reproduction success dropped 63 percent.

British Petroleum, which owned the operation, had paid penalties in excess of $61 billion as of July 2016. […]

Few conservation groups reacted to Interior’s announcement Tuesday, although several had called the unprecedented lease sale “a terrible idea” when Zinke first discussed it this spring. Athan Manuel, director of the Sierra Club’s Lands Protection Program, said it similarly opposed a bid by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, to open up 66 million acres to leases last year.

Manuel hinted at the reasons behind the muted response Tuesday. It’s “not really news,” he said of the actual announcement. While larger in scale, it is not significantly different from what Obama proposed. The gulf, Manuel said, has become “a sacrifice zone for the oil and gas industry.” [more]

Trump to auction off a vast swath of the Gulf of Mexico to oil companies


  1. Anonymous said...

    Can we maintain the current level of civilization, and stop climate change?  

  2. Anonymous said...

    Anonymous - perhaps you have already answered your own question without realizing it.

    The current level of civilization created climate change (it has been well established that what we call climate change is caused by human emissions). Those emissions come from our civilization, how we "built" the world and how we interact and use the environment and the resources found within the environment.

    So that answer to your question is no. We cannot keep this civilization in it's present form and stop climate change. But it's even worse then this - there is a strong body of evidence that indicates we cannot stop climate change at all now. It's too late.

    Many of the emissions released into the atmosphere (and then absorbed by the oceans) will last thousands of years. It cannot be removed, nor will it degrade sufficiently and stop climate change. The planetary energy imbalance is now so great that climate change is unstoppable.

    A hotter more difficult world is unfolding, but it's also happening faster and faster, which is why more and more temperature records, and regional disasters are constantly increasing.

    Unfortunately, the world refused to listen to the science and the measurements and the events taking place within our civilization. Both industry, consumerism and all the things we call civilization contributed to this predicament.

    Some people believe we can stop climate change - but that is not a view I hold because I have taken a few decades to grasp the context, the effects, the science and the logical outcomes from unchecked emissions, political policies that make things much worse, industry lies and deceptions, global food production and the effects of monoculture agriculture giants, land use and deforestation, ocean acidification and global ice melt, species depletion and extinctions (including food species) and many, many more related topics (refugees, the cause of war, depleted resources, etc.). Those are the components of "civilization" - that have remained unchanged and unstoppable, all contributing to serious climate change.

    The world IS going to change, quite dramatically. Depending on your age, the world will be unrecognizable within 20 or 30 years. Within 100 years or less, gigantic swaths of humans will be virtually gone (billions) because our ability to survive the effects of climate change and the impacts on food production will be destroyed. This is what will destroy our civilization in the end - no food. We don't die of heat stroke, we die of starvation first. And drought (lack of water) will also be an extremely large problem.

    This is not hidden, it's well known by quite a few people now, but what seems unstoppable is our ability to stop what we are doing that is causing all this.

    Keep reading Desdemona's website. Many of us have stopped publishing after decades of trying to get support and awareness. Fact-based articles will eventually confirm everything I have shared here. Scientist are aware of these possible outcomes, but have been severely muzzled from speaking out. ~Survival Acres~  

  3. Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the detalied response. I realize it's a noob question, but some us are starting from a near zero base. The mainstream climate change discussion, seems to suggest that we can keep most of our current civilization. I'm quickly realizing that the mainstream climate change view is useless. It does appear that things are too far gone, and it would take draconian measures, implemented very quickly to make any difference. I'm convinced the real reason for the border wall, is to stop the inevitable flow of people from the south, as things start to really heat up.  

  4. Jim said...

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