Offshore Drilling

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Environmental Science
Term Paper
The Adverse Effects of Offshore Oil Drilling

Throughout history, the world has seen many environmental disasters as a result of our thirst for crude oil. The transportation of oil has caused some huge environmental problems: the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska, 1989, an estimated 11 million gallons of oil spilled; the Mega-Borg Tanker Oil Spill in Galveston, TX, 1990, an estimated 5 million gallons spilled; and most recently the BP Oil Spill off of the coast of Louisiana, where an estimated 172 million to 180 million gallons of oil were spilled directly affecting everyone and everything living in our Gulf of Mexico. These are some of the worst oil spills in American history, and unfortunately they are worst of many. Because of the various difficulties that deep water offshore drilling causes such as its potential environmental harm, health risk it causes its workers and the flawed regulation system, more should be done to find alternatives to oil and better regulate and eventually end offshore drilling. Gulf Coast oilrig workers spend months at a time working on these oilrigs located dozens of miles off the shores of the Gulf Coast. Although these low-skilled workers earn decent salaries ranging from $50,000 to $80,000, the health risk these workers face could explain why so few people apply for this job. Kayla Webley of the Time describes the working conditions of oilrig workers. These workers face strenuous twelve-hour shifts, handle highly poisonous chemicals, operate dangerous machinery all while working on tall structures in windy, stormy conditions. As a result, serious or even fatal accidents are highly probable to happen on these rigs. The Minerals Management Service reported 39 fires and explosions in he first five months of 2009 (Webley, 1). Although none of the accidents resulted in death, numerous workers have been injured because of these accidents. Health problems caused from short term and long term...
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