Offshore Oil Drilling Public Forum Topic 25

Offshore Oil Drilling Public Forum Topic 25 - WNDI...

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WNDI 1 Coyle/Meredith Lab Offshore Drilling PUBLIC FORUM – OFFSHORE DRILLING
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INTRODUCTION The recent Louisiana oil spill has highlighted for the country the risks that come along with the economic benefits of offshore oil drilling. U.S. Lawmakers are considered a number of responses including new rules that could impose tougher safety regulations or a restriction on leases. However, the response the Obama administration has chosen to put the resources of the executive behind is a ban on offshore drilling. In early July the administration was successful in implementing a moratorium but was later struck down. In response the administration is issued a revised moratorium prompting a nation-wide political debate on the issue including a number of states who are attempting to implemetn their own drilling bans. There are four general themes that these arguments have distributed themselves into: (I) environmental effects, (II) economic effects (III) oil and international effects (IV) cultural issues I. Environmental Effects Both pro and anti- drilling groups have begun to implement a number of studies on the effect that the drilling has on the environment. In this area the anti-drilling groups certainly have a political advantage at the moment because the risk that they have always warned about has been realized. However, there are a number of other risks that environmentalists have speculated about. The first is the risk to coral reefs. Because coral reefs provide a number of benefits to the ocean including filtration and habitation they are considered critical to protecting the ecology of the ocean environment. Oil spills are particularly dangerous to these habitats, however, because it robs oxygen by creating blooms. The 'silver lining', however, that pro drilling groups point out is that abandoned rigs create 'artificial reefs' and provide a habitat for certain species whose predators have been scared off. The second environmental risk, in a addition to spills is seepage into the oil / land. Pro-drilling groups have a difficult time responding to these claims expect to note that technology will become more sophisticated and drilling elsewhere and transporting it is also a dangerous choice. However, it appears that neither side can guarantee a spill-free future. The third risk is the noise that come along with drilling which can affect the health of animals (like dolphins and whales) that are sensitive to sound and rely on it to communicate. However, as pro-drilling groups point out this is not the only sound in the ocean so it may be difficult to blame just the oil corporations. II. Economic Impacts The economic arena is an area where pro-drilling groups have an advantage. It is clear that if drilling is banned then companies can no longer sell that oil and the country must buy it from somewhere else. Where the anti-drilling groups have gained some ground is to out the auxiliary industries that have been affected by the Louisiana spill including regional fisheries, real estate markets on the coast, coastal tourism and agricultural industries that have all been affected. After these arguments have been developed, it then becomes a question of whether a positive environment helps the
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2012 for the course DEBATE 101 taught by Professor None during the Spring '12 term at Berkeley.

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Offshore Oil Drilling Public Forum Topic 25 - WNDI...

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