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Trump Said to Advance Seismic Surveys for Oil in Atlantic

  • Five companies to receive authorization to disturb animals
  • Critics say loud air gun blasts will injure whales, dolphins
Petrobras P-51 Oil Platform and Operations
Photographer: Rich Press/Bloomberg
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The Trump administration is taking a major step toward allowing a first-in-a-generation seismic search for oil and gas under Atlantic waters, despite protests that the geological tests involve loud air gun blasts that will harm whales, dolphins and other animals.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is set to issue “incidental harassment authorizations” allowing seismic surveys proposed by five companies that permits them to disturb marine mammals that are otherwise protected by federal law, according to three people familiar with the activity who asked not to be named before a formal announcement.