Domestic Oil Drilling: Benefits and Risks.
Senator Everett Dirksen once noted “The oilcan is mightier than the sword”. In today’s world, it is easy to see why oil can be considered the most important resource to hold. Without oil, many of the common day occurrences we take for granted would be impossible. Oil is used for almost everything; from the fuel used to drive our vehicles, to the plastics used in every facet of life, and providing the heat needed to live through the winter. In fact, the United States depends so much on oil that as a nation it uses over 20 million barrels a day. Importing oil increases the total costs because of the need to transport it from around the world. It is estimated that the United States has 31 billion barrels of oil of known reserves and up to 120 billion barrels of undiscovered oil (Oil Reserves). Many of these oil reserves are located on protected federal lands and offshore areas. The United States currently imports about 58% of the total oil it needs every year (FAQ, EIA). With rising oil costs, looming import numbers, and billions in potential profits; why shouldn’t the United States increase domestic drilling in protected and undeveloped areas?
In essence the answer might seem that more domestic oil drilling should be done; however the problem is not as simple as it may seem. There are many advocates for increased oil drilling; from politicians, to the oil industry, and economist. The people advocating for increased domestic drilling proclaim the benefits of increased jobs, less dependency on foreign oil, and the money savings that would entail. Critics for increased drilling include environmentalist and other economists. These critics feel that increased domestic drilling would have a minimal impact on prices and that the economic damage would be substantial. To figure out which side of the issue you might feel is correct, it is important to take in facts from both sides of the...