What are the Pros and Cons of Off-Shore Drilling?

sleepyeyeegyptianOil and Offshore

Nov 8, 2013 (4 years and 8 months ago)


What are the Pros and Cons of Off
Shore Drilling?

Economy Or Environment?

Emily Muro

898 Coolidge Court

Warrington, PA 18976


Cheryl Muro

Economy Or Environment?

With 3,500 dr
illing rigs and recent propaganda from the BP oil spill, almost every
American is concerned about off
shore drilling right now. Offshore drilling is the procedure of
avulsing crude oil from the cap rocks in the ocean. The news, our friends, our families, a
nd our
morals shape the way we view this matter. This issue, like any, possesses both pros and cons.
The positives of this affair can be easily summed up with the term: economic growth while the
negatives spew out the haunting words: environmental damage.
According to Exxon Mobil, “it is
estimated that there is enough oil and natural gas offshore to fuel fifty million cars and heat
nearly 100 million homes for the next twenty five years.” This fact makes offshore drilling seem
like a major investment but si
nce “offshore drilling is severely damaging to the environment and
dangerously vulnerable to turbulent weather and hurricanes” (Nader), it is also an enormous risk.
When trying to choose whether to drill offshore or not, the decision ultimately must be mad
e by
weighing the priorities of this country.

Offshore drilling will reduce the United States’s dependency on foreign oil causing
significant economic growth. It will decrease the price of gas since we would not need to import
as much oil from politicall
y unstable places. Also, the construction of drilling rigs as well as the
work done on them could provide many jobs. Since the price of transportation and the income of
American citizens greatly effects economic growth, offshore drilling could be the Unite
d States’s
ticket out of these difficult times. Many people are against offshore drilling because of the BP oil
spill. As horrible and paralyzing as this event was, the chance of an oil spill to that degree
occurring again is highly unlikely. “The industry

has a solid environmental record and most
companies have voluntarily adopted safeguards to protect against a major spill” (Levin).

Since it is unlikely that a bad spill will occur again, the economic gain of offshore drilling may
be worth the risk. Enviro
nmentalists however seem to think that offshore drilling will do more
harm than good.

Offshore drilling will hurt the environment just as much as it will help the economy.
Offshore drilling will damage habitats, excrete toxic contaminates, and decrease bi
odiversity, an
environmental keystone. The drilling and construction of the rigs will disturb or kill organisms in
the area. On site environmental damage is just part of the problem; higher oil production rates
will lead to more usage, accelerating global
warming. Nearby wetlands, which are some of the
most diverse biomes in the world, are damaged by pipelines and canals leading to the drilling
site. No matter how many regulations are imposed on offshore drilling companies, the rigs and
pipes could still be

damaged during calamitous weather. During Hurricane Katrina, a pipeline
burst and “spilled more than 53,000 gallons of crude oil into the surrounding marshes”

This was just one of many spills during Hurricane Katrina. By opposing offshore drilli
environmentalists are attempting to save beautiful beach views and the lives of thousands of

After viewing both sides of this issue, it is difficult to choose a side to support.
Alternative energy research might be a way to solve both the
economic and environmental issue
simultaneously. By using money that would be invested in offshore drilling to fund alternative
energy sources, the dependency on oil, foreign or domestic, would be greatly decreased. There
are just as many jobs in the alter
native energy business as there are employment opportunities
associated with offshore drilling. These jobs would help to stabilize the economy. With new
energy sources, we would be less dependent on foreign countries, greatly increasing our national
ty. Clearly, alternative energy investments are better for the environment. They are also a
smarter long term investment since eventually all oil, offshore and on land, will run out.
offshore drilling and reducing dependency on oil all together can in
crease national security and
benefit the economy. The United States might as well invest in the less environmentally harmful
option: alternative energy resources.

The use of oil in the United States is often referred to as an “addiction.” Offshore drillin
is a way for Americans to get their fix of oil. It is an option that will stabilize the economy while
harming the environment. No matter how the United States government decides to handle the
offshore drilling issue, there will be pros and cons. “
It's an

unfortunate fact that no energy source
is perfect” (Perry) so no matter where the future leads us, there will always be debates and
discussions about how to fuel America.


Attkisson, Sharyl. "Ask CBS News: How Many
Offshore Rigs Are There?

CBS Evening News


CBS News."
Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News


. June 2010. Web. 02 Feb. 2011.


Gardner, Sean,
Rick Jervis, and William Welch. "Worth the Risk? Debate on Offshore Drilling

Heats up

News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports,

Technology, U.S. & World

. 14 July 2008. Web. 02 Feb. 2011.



Levin, Alan. "Oil Companies Fought Stricter Regulations

News, Travel,

Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World

. May

2010. Web. 02 Feb. 2011. <http:/


Nader, Ralph. "Offshore Drilling Is Fool's Black Gold." (2008). 15 Sept. 2008. Web. 2 Feb.

2011. <gristmill.grist.org>.

Perry, Mark. "Should the US Cancel Plans for Offshore Drilling
? (PROs vs CONs)."

. 28 May 2010. Web. 02 Feb. 2011. <http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f


"Putting America's Energy Resources to Work."
. ExxonMobil, June 2008.

Web. 2 Feb. 2011.