ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The big debate is between pursuing natural energy sources or renewable energy sources. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held a public hearing today in Annapolis, Md. on seismic testing that will determine what kind of resources lie on the Eastern Cost.
The tests will determine what kind of resources are in the ocean bottom and just how much. "We will be conducting seismic surveys to get better information about the resources in the sea floor," said James Bennett from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. "Then they will evaluate that information to determine whether or not they wish to pursue anything further."
Supporter Holly Hopkins thinks this is a great idea. She says it is important to develop home-grown resources. "I believe we should develop the resources that we have here in the United States, it will create jobs and new jobs," said Hopkins.
But some people are erring on the side of caution. "I am concerned about what kind of negative impacts this will have on marine life," said Carla Porter of Sunderland, Md. If the seismic testing does find resources, drilling in the ocean could impact marine mammals, fisheries and ecosystems.
Steve Bruckner drove up from Virginia to have his voice heard at today's 1 p.m. public hearing in Annapolis, Md. He believes, the testing itself can do harm.
"Simply the testing is a huge insult to the entire area," said Bruckner. "They will be disrupting an area the size of New York and Pennsylvania combined."
The Department of Natural Resources also voiced their concerns, they say the risk is not worth the reward. "We have strong interest in pursuing off shore and renewable wind," said Matthew Fleming of DNR. "We think the risk of exploring off shore oil and gas out-weighs the benefits."