Sen. Tom Carper slammed the Trump administration’s decision to approve seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean.

The National Marine Fisheries Service awarded permits to five marine contractors to survey and conduct seismic tests in the waters between Delaware and Central Florida. These seismic tests are conducted to search for oil and gas deposits beneath the ocean floor and are often a pre-cursor to offshore oil drilling.

“Delaware has made clear its opposition to seismic testing because our state’s economy relies on the health and wellbeing of our coasts. Today’s proposal is a threat to our economy, our environment and our way of life all along the East Coast,” said Carper. “Clean coastal waters and the ocean ecosystems they support draw millions of visitors from around the country and billions of dollars for our coastal communities. This decision unnecessarily puts those economic drivers at risk, along with the vibrant marine life that inhabits the waters off of our coast. I have long advocated for a strategy to meet our country’s energy needs as we move toward greater energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, but today’s proposal to open up seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean is shortsighted and tone-deaf. Just days after 13 federal agencies issued a dire warning about the impacts of climate change and the need to change course, the Trump administration has taken yet another major step backward.”

In July 2017, Carper and Sen. Chris Coons sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce opposing issuance of permits to companies to conduct seismic surveys in the Atlantic, citing 40 state and local elected officials from Delaware to the Department of Interior in opposition to proposed seismic surveys.

In February 2018, Carper took to the Senate floor to highlight potentially devastating effects of the Trump administration’s proposal to open up parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to oil and gas exploration.