Environmental Impacts of Offshore Drilling
Offshore drilling Energy bonanza or Environmental disaster? if any choice is going to be made, one fact that makes the environment much germane than the offshore energy bonanza is that unlike energy, the environmental does not have a substitute and if it is destroyed we would have no where to live. Industrial extraction of hydrocarbons did not move offshore until the early 1950s. The first offshore platform was built off the coast of Louisiana in 1947. Reoccurring hikes in fuel prices, unprecedented home foreclosures, rising unemployment and increasing need for energy have prompted support for offshore oil drilling, often with dismissal of concerns about the safety of the environment. “Offshore drilling” is a mechanical process where drilling for the purpose of extracting mineral resources, mainly oil and gas occurs in oceans, gulfs, seas, and it involves submerging huge platforms thousands of feet into sea beds. Over the past years there have been assertions that more drilling offshore will be an essential part of lowering energy costs and will free America from dependence on foreign source of energy (Baird, Stephen 14). The demerits such as environmental hazards, health problems, and alteration of nature and death of living organisms (Gulf 2) that can be caused by offshore drilling which are more enormous than the economic benefits are reasons why more drilling on coastal waters, ocean and seas should not be permitted. Offshore drilling is never a safe way to generate energy and this has been proven by various oil spill disasters, such as the 1969 blowout off of the Santa Barbara, California coast. The disaster included 80-100,000 gallons of spilled oil and inundated local beaches, causing the deaths of thousands of birds, fish, marine mammals and environmental perils.(qtd in Rose, Annette 28).This is one example of ahuge ecological disastercaused by offshore drilling. However,...
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