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Md. lawmakers oppose sonic cannon oil exploration

ANNAPOLIS — Eight of Maryland’s 10-member congressional delegation are urging President Barack Obama to reconsider siding with a proposal to allow the use of seismic air guns to explore for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean.

The lawmakers write that the technology is “incredibly” harmful to marine life. They say Maryland depends on the ocean for seafood and ocean-based tourism.

A letter to Obama was signed by Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. Reps. Elijah Cummings, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Chris Van Hollen, John Sarbanes, Donna Edwards and John Delaney also signed.

Oil lobbyists say drilling for the estimated 4.72 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 37.51 trillion cubic feet of natural gas beneath federal waters from Florida to Maine could generate $195 billion in investment and spending between 2017 and 2035.

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