Drilling OK'd on Padre Island
The NPS and BNP, on the other hand, say the drilling will have minimal impact on wildlife, and that the legislation that first created the Padre Island National Seashore in the 1960s mandates that prior privately held mineral rights must be honored. The Sierra Club advocates a buyout of those rights, noting that the NPS's own analysis shows that the well will have minimal impact on the nation's natural gas supply. "There is only enough gas under the park to provide one day's worth of fuel for America," says Karin Ascot, chair of the Austin chapter of the Sierra Club. "It's simply not worth a drop in the bucket to turn Padre Island into an oil and gas patch. There's a better way."
The NPS says it will supervise the drilling closely, including park staff patrolling the beach daily during nesting season. The drilling is slated to begin some time this month; nesting season generally begins in April.