US Senators Pass Amendment Seeking to Block Fossil Fuel Drilling

US lawmakers passed an amendment on Friday seeking to end seismic testing for methane hydrate to detect fossil fuels in the Atlantic Ocean, US Senator Cory Booker announced in a statement.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Booker explained that studies have shown that sounds triggered by seismic air-guns have the potential to reduce catch rates of commercial fish species by up to 80 percent, and could harm whales and dolphins.

"Offshore drilling and fossil fuel exploration of any form in the Atlantic Ocean is an economic and environmental threat to New Jersey, and I’m going to do everything I can to stop it," Booker stated. "This amendment will block seismic testing in the Atlantic for a damaging form of natural gas."

Senator Robert Menendez added in the statement that drilling for fossil fuels in the Atlantic Ocean is unacceptable.

"We should not allow methane exploration off the Jersey Shore or the East Coast, and I’m pleased this amendment is now part of the Energy Bill," Menendez stated.

Booker's Methane Hydrate Amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 targets the section in the Energy bill, currently pending in the Senate, which authorizes seismic testing for methane gas. The legislation would also amend the research and development authorization of the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000.

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