presentation on proposed NAB offshore drilling


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The U.S. Department of Interior will make a decision on whether they plan to lease the North Aleutian Basin (Bristol Bay) for offshore oil and gas drilling that could jeopardize fisheries, wildlife and the communities they support while offering few jobs and benefits to local residents.

Be Involved: Attend a presentation and discussion! Hear the facts, discuss the proposal, and learn how to comment to decision-makers by the September 21st comments deadline. There will be refreshments, information and a chance to sound off! It’s free and open to the public.

Tuesday August 25th: 7pm @ the Sand Point City Council Chambers

If you cannot join in person, call in by teleconference!
Call toll free: 866-469-3239, passcode 56213498.

Questions or need more information? Visit
Sponsored by World Wildlife Fund

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  • [i] North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (2006) Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report for the Groundfish Fisheries of the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Area: Economic Status of the Groundfish Fisheries Off Alaska, 2005. Accessed April 16, 2007 at: . [ii] Ibid . [iii] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 2006 Alaska Commercial Salmon Harvest and Ex Vessel Values Accessed December 7, 2006 at: . [iv] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 2006 Preliminary Alaska Commercial Shellfish Catches and Ex Vessel Values. Accessed January 22, 2007 at: . [v] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 2005 Alaska Commercial Groundfish Harvests and Value (State-Managed). Accessed December 7, 2006 at: . [vi] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 2006 Alaska Commercial Herring Sac Roe Harvests and Ex Vessel Values. Accessed December 7, 2006 at: .
  • Pelagic Trawl Fishery 2005 pollock
  • 2005 bottom trawl fishery pacific cod, flatfish
  • 2005 longline fishery pacific cod
  • 42 gallons=1 bbl 42,000 gallons=one large condensate spill 10.8 million gallons of oil in marine environment
  • 10.8 million gallons of oil spilled
  • Salmon Prices are going up Potential for renewable energy in Bristol Bay: geothermal, tidal, wind; all energies that would not impact our fishery
  • In some fish there is a long-term effect on DNA that might in the worst case cause cancer," said Jarle Klungsoyr of Norway's Institute of Marine Research. The scientists analyzed samples of cod, haddock, coalfish and herring from three different areas caught in 2002 Data showed that fish might be able to transfer genetic defects to their offspring. Cod Numbers are plummeting
  • Walter Cruickshank, Deputy Director of the Minerals Management Service described the effect major weather events have on the ability to recover natural gas, and stated "Since the onset of Hurricane Katrina, 9% of [recoverable Gulf of Mexico] gas has remained shut in." Future severe weather catastrophes may have a similar impact on the ability to drill, and thus cause short term price spikes.
  • Energy Prices, Jobs/Unemployment, Revenue for Louisiana? Cook Inlet
  • Precautionary principle in fisheries and ocean policy, not only applies to catch allowances, but also applies to potential non-fishing impacts on fish and their habitat
  • presentation on proposed NAB offshore drilling

    1. 1. By Verner Wilson, World Wildlife Fund, August 2009
    2. 3. Presentation <ul><li>Importance of Bristol Bay/North Aleutian Basin </li></ul><ul><li>Impacts of offshore drilling </li></ul><ul><li>Economic considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Take Action! </li></ul>
    3. 4. Importance of Bristol Bay and the Southeastern Bering Sea <ul><li>Locally, nationally, and globally important fisheries and marine mammal habitat </li></ul><ul><li>40% of total U.S. fisheries catch </li></ul><ul><li>Valued at over $2 billion annually </li></ul>USFWS NOAA USFWS
    4. 5. Bristol Bay: Rich Fisheries <ul><li>Groundfish </li></ul><ul><li>2005 Value after Processing (includes pollock, Pacific cod, and flatfish): $2.0 Billion </li></ul><ul><li>Pacific Halibut </li></ul><ul><li>2005 Ex vessel value: $170 Million </li></ul><ul><li>Salmon </li></ul><ul><li>Ex vessel 2006 values: </li></ul><ul><li> Alaska Peninsula/ Aleutian Islands Salmon $17 Million </li></ul><ul><li>Bristol Bay Salmon (includes sockeye and other species  $94 Million </li></ul><ul><li> Kuskokwim Salmon  $1 Million </li></ul><ul><li> Yukon Salmon $3.6 Million </li></ul><ul><li>Total salmon: $115.6 million   </li></ul><ul><li>Shellfish </li></ul><ul><li>2006 Ex Vessel Values:    </li></ul><ul><li> Red King Crab 2006 ex vessel value  $78 million  </li></ul><ul><li> Tanner Crab 2006 ex vessel value  $1.2 million </li></ul><ul><li> Total shellfish:  $79.2 million      </li></ul><ul><li>State-Managed Groundfish </li></ul><ul><li>2005 Ex Vessel Values:    </li></ul><ul><li> Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands  $413,000  </li></ul><ul><li>Alaska Peninsula  $3 million    </li></ul><ul><li>Bristol Bay (Togiak) Herring Sac Roe </li></ul><ul><li>2006 Ex Vessel Values:    </li></ul><ul><li> Seine $1.7 million   </li></ul><ul><li>Gillnet   $890,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Total herring:      $2.6 million   </li></ul><ul><li>OVERALL TOTAL VALUE: More than $2 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Sources: North Pacific Fisheries Management Council, Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game </li></ul>
    5. 7. Cumulative impacts on fisheries <ul><li>Overfishing </li></ul><ul><li>Bycatch </li></ul><ul><li>Global warming </li></ul><ul><li>Ocean acidification </li></ul><ul><li>Pebble Mine </li></ul><ul><li>Offshore drilling </li></ul>
    6. 11. Proposed lease sale area overlaps with fishing grounds and habitat for: <ul><li>Pollock </li></ul><ul><li>Cod </li></ul><ul><li>Flatfish </li></ul><ul><li>Halibut </li></ul><ul><li>Herring </li></ul><ul><li>Salmon </li></ul><ul><li>Red king crab </li></ul><ul><li>Tanner crab </li></ul>
    7. 12. Fishing Vessels: Cannot fish near rigs, rigs may get in way of fishing gear, fishing areas closed during construction/seismic testing Source: FEIS for 2007-2012 Leasing Program What will happen to AEB fisheries, valued at over $162 million per year?
    8. 13. Pelagic Trawl Fishery 2005: Pollock
    9. 14. 2005 Bottom Trawl Fishery: Pacific Cod and Flatfish
    10. 15. 2005 Longline Fishery: Pacific Cod Based on 2005 fishery observer data
    11. 16. Fish Harvest in proposed drilling area: Source: North Pacific Fisheries Management Council, 2006 Bristol Bay Red King Crab Nearly 100%
    12. 17. Sea to Sphere: Wide Spectrum of Impacts <ul><li>Seismic impact </li></ul><ul><li>Contaminated discharges </li></ul><ul><li>Oil/gas spills </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure impacts </li></ul><ul><li>Climate Change </li></ul><ul><li>Ocean Acidification </li></ul>MMS
    13. 18. Unavoidable Risk: Spills “ The following potential spills have been postulated for waters of the North Aleutian Planning Area under the proposed action: up to one large condensate spill (i.e. ≥ 1,000 bbl); up to 2 spills with volumes between 50 and 999 bbl; and up to 10 spills with volumes less than 100 bbl .” UP TO 13 SPILLS IN BRISTOL BAY! Minerals Management Service, Final EIS for the 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program for 2007-2012
    14. 20. Marine impacts of Natural Gas Spills <ul><li>Especially severe consequences for human health and biota have been observed in the basin of the low Volga River in the zone of development of the Astrakhanskoe gas condensate field [Ecology and impact of natural gas on organisms, 1989]. </li></ul><ul><li>Especially dramatic situations developed in the Sea of Asov as a result of two large accidents on drilling rigs in the summer-autumn of 1982 and 1985. These accidents caused long-term releases of large amounts of natural gas into the water accompanied by self-inflaming of the gas. and drastically disturbed the composition and biomass of the water fauna and caused mass mortality of many organisms, including fish and benthic mollusks . Similar incidents probably took place in other regions of the world as well. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Environmental Impact of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry by Stanislav Patin </li></ul></ul>
    15. 21. Spills from OCS Operations <ul><li>Spill rates from platforms improved over last 30 years </li></ul><ul><li>Spill rates from OCS pipelines increased </li></ul>MMS “ The spill rates for U.S. OCS pipelines in the last 15 years are slightly higher than the entire record, with rates for spills greater than or equal to 1,000 bbl…” Anderson and Labelle, MMS (2000)
    16. 22. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita <ul><li>220 platforms & drilling rigs destroyed or seriously damages </li></ul><ul><li>Damage to 535 pipeline segments </li></ul><ul><li>More than 154 spills totaling more than 700,000 gallons </li></ul><ul><li>Largest spill: 3,625 barrels (152,000 gallons) </li></ul>Source: MMS David Helvarg
    17. 23. Chronic Spillage from OCS Operations <ul><li>Between 1985 & 1999, there were 19,506 spills between 0 and 42 gallons (Anderson & Labelle, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Oil/gas toxic at very small quantities </li></ul><ul><li>Can cause range of sublethal & lethal impacts such as mutations & reduced reproductive capacity </li></ul>NOAA
    18. 24. Oil Spill Impacts on Fisheries <ul><li>“… a large spill could adversely impact hundreds of millions of eggs and juvenile stages of pelagic species , including those of anadromous fishes that spawn upstream in tributaries of Bristol Bay.” </li></ul><ul><li>Minerals Management Service, Final EIS for the 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program for 2007-2012 </li></ul>
    19. 25. Offshore Seismic Surveys: Effects on Fish & Marine Mammals <ul><li>“ There is evidence from caged and field trials that if seismic is sustained in a confined area then it may lead to mass emigration of fish from an area. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Rob McCauley, PhD, Seismic Researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Kill fish eggs, larvae, juveniles at close range; sublethal effects include damage to fish ears, other tissues and organs, reduction in fish catch rates </li></ul>
    20. 26. Other Acoustic Impacts <ul><li>Seafloor separators designed to improve platform safety introduce continual and significant acoustic disturbance </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term stress to living aquatic organisms poorly understood </li></ul>
    21. 27. Contaminated Drilling Discharges <ul><li>“ Up to 20 exploration wells are anticipated, which could result in the release of up to 10,440 tons of cuttings .” </li></ul><ul><li>Minerals Management Service, Final EIS for the 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program for 2007-2012, p. IV-181 </li></ul><ul><li>Offshore operations produce contaminated waste streams </li></ul><ul><li>Include heavy metals such a mercury, petroleum residues, radioactive materials </li></ul><ul><li>Mercury levels ten times higher at zones near platforms </li></ul>
    22. 28. Effects of Contaminated Drilling Discharges <ul><li>Smother fish/crab eggs & benthic invertebrates </li></ul><ul><li>Alter seafloor communities </li></ul><ul><li>Contaminants in sediments & tissues of fish </li></ul>NOAA, D. Hyrenbach “ Settling of discharge cuttings on the seafloor could smother some prey species, displace some managed groundfish species, and change substrate composition in the area where the cuttings settle. ” Minerals Management Service, Final EIS for the 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program for 2007-2012
    23. 29. Footprint of Infrastructure <ul><li>Development scenario: </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 20 exploration wells </li></ul><ul><li>200 production wells </li></ul><ul><li>4-6 platforms </li></ul><ul><li>150 miles of offshore pipeline (impacting up to 555 acres of benthic habitat) </li></ul><ul><li>50 miles onshore pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>2 pipeline landfalls </li></ul><ul><li>Waste facility, processing facility, LNG plant </li></ul><ul><li>Source: MMS </li></ul>
    24. 30. Infrastructure Construction & Emplacement <ul><li>Habitat loss and degradation </li></ul><ul><li>Erosion, increased sedimentation, & water pollution </li></ul>“ Pipeline crossings (onshore) of streams could affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for several life stages of managed anadromous salmon , including eggs, larvae, juveniles, and adults .” Minerals Management Service, Final EIS for the 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program for 2007-2012 “ Water quality would be degraded near construction sites by runoff of particulate matter, heavy metals, petroleum products, and chemicals into local streams, estuaries, and bays.” Minerals Management Service, Final EIS for the 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program for 2007-2012
    25. 31. “ Nelson Lagoon and the northwestern part of Port Moller are the most sensitive habitat areas … Eel grass and salt marshes are reported to occupy large areas of sheltered tidal flats in this bay and lagoon system. The Port Moller Critical Habitat Area (CHA) encompasses probably the most biologically productive and sensitive of these areas. - Bristol Bay Area Management Plan [i] Bristol Bay Area Management Plan
    26. 32. Balboa Bay LNG Plant proposed Increased Shipping, off limits to fishing? Contamination?
    27. 33. <ul><li>YOKOHAMA TRADING CORPORATION </li></ul><ul><li>To Gen. Director of </li></ul><ul><li>Trading-Industrial Union Ltd. </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Zotkin V.I. </li></ul><ul><li>Dear Viktor Ivanovich! </li></ul><ul><li>Thank You for long-term cooperation. </li></ul><ul><li>As You know in 2004 we are planning to purchase about 500 tn of frozen salmon and not less than 100 tn of frozen salmon caviar produced by Trading-Industrial Union Ltd. plants . However, taking into account the beginning of LNG Plant construction in Prigorodnoye and especially the dredging works in Aniva Bay, we kindly ask You to ship to us only the raw fish caught on the eastern shore of Sakhalin island. We hope for your understanding on this matter. </li></ul><ul><li>With respect, </li></ul><ul><li>Representative of the Company on Sakhalin </li></ul><ul><li>Kim Kha Bok </li></ul>
    28. 34. Effects on Marketing & Branding <ul><li>“ Even if stocks of fishery resources are not reduced as a consequence of a spill, specific fisheries could be closed due to actual or perceived contamination of fish and shellfish tissues. Such closures could result in considerable loss of income .” </li></ul><ul><li>Minerals Management Service, Final EIS for the 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program for 2007-2012 </li></ul>
    29. 36. “ Oil Drilling Gives Cancer Risk to North Sea Fish – Norwegian Scientist Study ” Reuters, November 2003
    30. 37. Hazards to Development <ul><li>“… the potential for a large earthquake in this block poses a significant threat to hydrocarbon exploration and production facilities .” </li></ul><ul><li>Minerals Management Service, Final EIS for the 5-Year Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program for 2007-2012 </li></ul>
    31. 38. Weather: Ice and Storms
    32. 40. Lack of Science and Data Gaps <ul><li>NMFS Comments on OCS Leasing Program- recommended deleting Bristol Bay from program, stated: </li></ul><ul><li>“ proposed leasing schedule was unrealistically ambitious and would not allow for necessary environmental research to support NEPA analysis or MMS’ leasing process .” </li></ul><ul><li>November 2006- North Aleutian Basin Science and Planning Meeting </li></ul><ul><li>- experts identified a large number of information gaps for fish, marine mammal, and seabird species in the region </li></ul><ul><li>- concluded that the necessary biological and ecological data for species that occur in the Bristol Bay region is not sufficient to meet the requirements of NEPA nor ESA </li></ul>
    33. 41. Magnitude of Risk is Severe <ul><li>Potential for long-term, population-level impacts to fish, marine mammals, and birds </li></ul><ul><li>Entire regional economy dependent upon fisheries </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural/social impacts of loss of subsistence resources could be devastating </li></ul>Photo: NOAA
    34. 42. No Place Else Like It on Earth <ul><li>There is no precedent for offshore drilling in a place like the southeast Bering Sea </li></ul>“ Any change to this (southeastern Bering Sea) rich ecosystem that causes a reduction in the productivity, change in species composition, or change in the portion of the food web that is usable by mankind, will have a severe societal impact .” Stabeno et al. (2001) On temporal variability of the physical environment over the south-eastern Bering Sea. Fisheries Oceanography 10:1. (81-98 ).
    35. 43. AEB Mitigation measures <ul><li>Proposed Mitigation Measures </li></ul><ul><li>Include : </li></ul><ul><li>• Fish or shellfish catches are not </li></ul><ul><li>adversely affected by OCS </li></ul><ul><li>activities. </li></ul><ul><li>• Fishermen are not displaced or </li></ul><ul><li>precluded from access to </li></ul><ul><li>fishing areas unless they are </li></ul><ul><li>adequately compensated. </li></ul><ul><li>• Offshore operations must use </li></ul><ul><li>best available oil spill </li></ul><ul><li>prevention and response </li></ul><ul><li>technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>• OCS operators will be required </li></ul><ul><li>to submit a local hire and </li></ul><ul><li>training program. </li></ul>Despite the good intention of these measures, they are hard to regulate, unenforceable and therefore ineffective
    36. 44. Cheaper heating oil/gas? Shell: Cannot guarantee cheaper oil/gas Anchorage, North Slope communities still have among the highest prices for oil and gas: International market Gas companies not required to sell gas/oil at cheaper rates
    37. 45. Tax Revenue? <ul><li>Lease Sale 214 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal Waters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alaska excluded from revenue sharing program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Louisiana still among the poorest states </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2005: Bush pushes to give 2/3rds of BB offshore drilling royalties to Louisiana </li></ul></ul>
    38. 46. Jobs? <ul><li>From MMS 2007, Chukchi Sea EIS, p. III-3: </li></ul><ul><li>Very few North Slope natives have been employed in the oil-production facilities and associated work in and near Prudhoe Bay since production started in the late 1970’s. . . . A study contracted by MMS shows that 34 North Slope natives interviewed constituted half of all North Slope natives who worked at Prudhoe Bay in 1992, and that the North Slope natives employed at Prudhoe Bay comprised <1% of the 6,000 North Slope oil-industry workers (USDOI, MMS, 1992). This pattern is confirmed by 2003 data showing only 23 NSB Inupiat residents as employed in the oil industry (see Table III.C-2). </li></ul><ul><li>The account of one Native provides an example of a Native who has found work in the oil industry in the past. Mr. Long found oil-industry work in 1969, first as a roustabout, later as a floor hand on a drill rig, and then as a chain thrower. Mr. Long indicates that i n recent years, operations are so automated the industry needs fewer workers and, thus, workers have more difficulty finding jobs </li></ul>
    39. 47. <ul><li>Most of the workers will work offshore or onshore in worker enclaves separated from local communities. Most OCS workers will likely commute to work sites from larger population centers or from outside the immediate area. It is assumed that OCS jobs would be available to local populations in the area, but that r ural Alaskan employment in the petroleum industry will remain relatively low . Particularly during the early stages of exploration and development, it is reasonably foreseeable that in rural Alaska ther would be tens of jobs rather than hundreds of jobs, and many of them would be short-term and seasonal rather than permanent </li></ul>Jobs: What the federal government says
    40. 48. <ul><li>Social systems in the Aleutians East Borough could potentially be disrupted by OCS development. A large influx of permanent oil and gas industry workers in the communities of Nelson Lagoon and/or Sand Point could have significant impacts on my social systems , including cultural and subsistence practices, local elections, subsistence-use conflicts, education, local government structure, and public access </li></ul>The Impacts of offshore drilling for the Aleutians East Borough: FEIS
    41. 49. <ul><li>Increased population, minor gains in revenues, and the consequences of oil spills all contain the potential for disrupting coastal communities… </li></ul>The Impacts of offshore drilling for the Aleutians East Borough: FEIS
    42. 50. Oil and Gas Estimates <ul><li>0.75 billion barrels of oil </li></ul><ul><li>8.62 Trillion cubic feet of gas (Mean technically recoverable) </li></ul><ul><li>Small amount of oil and gas compared to other places </li></ul>MMS Source: MMS 2006 Assessment Undiscovered Technically Recoverable OCS Resources
    43. 52. Sustainable Future for Southwest Alaska! Renewables Ecotourism Improving fishing
    44. 53. Protecting Southwest Alaska <ul><li>Coalition of environmental, fishing and community groups </li></ul><ul><li>Outreach to Local Communities, people </li></ul><ul><li>Working in Capitol Hill </li></ul><ul><li>Fishermen’s petition: 1000 signed! </li></ul><ul><li>YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide Comments to the Interior Department before September 21 st Deadline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact local and state leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Demand more studies and plans </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let others know </li></ul></ul>
    45. 54. To Make a Comment <ul><li>To make a comment, go to the site to access the comment form for the five-year program: </li></ul><ul><li>Mailing Address: Department of the Interior 1849 C Street, N.W. Washington DC 20240 </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: 202-208-3100 E-Mail: [email_address] </li></ul>
    46. 55. Presentation <ul><li>Importance of Bristol Bay/North Aleutian Basin </li></ul><ul><li>Risks of offshore drilling </li></ul><ul><li>Economic considerations </li></ul><ul><li>How to take Action </li></ul>
    47. 56. Thank you!