Offshore drilling has the capability to produce economically viable products with considerable attention to the environmental impacts. With a lot of controversy concerning its benefits and its loses, there exists a debate on whether offshore exploration has the worth benefits for safer commercial exploitation where the anti-drilling supporters may claim the pro-drilling group puts more emphasis on financial benefits and forgets about the environment impacts. This even goes to the extent of concerning legislatures who cannot buy the advantages of offshore drilling perhaps because of their personal priorities. Overall, many benefits are viable if both sides come to a consensus on the issue irrespective of inadequate facts on the subject. This paper illustrates how offshore drilling is and can be beneficial to a country’s economy as well as to the environment.
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With current economic crises affecting entire globe, offshore drilling will definitely be able to lower the gas prices exploring countries because offshore drilling like in America has the capacity to produce 18 billion barrels of crude oil as the Energy Information Administration (EIA) can ascertain (Editors of idea & Trapp, 2009, p. 166). Despite the argument that U.S. offshore drilling cannot affect global oil market and can take years to establish the real benefits, the increase of offshore drilling products in the domestic market has no doubts that domestic customers will enjoy lower prices of the commodity. The restrictions to undertake offshore drilling for the existing reserves denies America’s economy the opportunity to benefit fully from these reserves hence calling for the removal of the current ban on offshore drilling (Editors of idea & Trapp, 2009, p. 166). Offshore mining also opens the opportunity for additional employment opportunities and this can serve as rescue for hard economical situations which the world experience today. The economic values are promising for countries like Canada and United States and thus the risks are worthy taking for the two countries lately show their large-scale mining activities of such reserves (Hillstrom, 2003, p. 198). With the current guidelines by Minerals Management Service (MMS), workers have the privilege to enjoy a safer working environment because the offshore oil and gas production has “the paramount goal of preventing offshore accidents” (DIANE publishing, n.d.). Today America looses many benefits because of dependence on oil imports instead of relying on her available natural resource that can be available through offshore drilling.
Building a stable and secure economy of a country means the country should be able to sustain her basic domestic supplies sufficiently by use of considerable financial resources. Because of the inadequate supply of oil to the domestic market, the condition calls for dependence on oil imports some from hostile countries. Therefore, a safer American can result from being self sufficient in oil and gas products because this limits the possibility of interacting with hostile governments in the process of importing oil. Constituting 3% of world’s oil and natural gas reserves, offshore drilling has the capability to increase self-dependency for America hence no association with non-democratic authorities especially in the Arab world (Editors of idea & Trapp, 2009, p. 167). With a large demand of the commodity increases year after year, offshore drilling can create a considerable proportion of the energy strategy to meet the demand. Its incorporation with the renewable energy resources, a viable solution is possible. With such a massive demand, insufficient supply of oil and gas can strain the America’s economy to critical levels therefore, it is very important to utilize every available resource to the fullest (Editors of idea & Trapp, 2009, p. 167). As the National Council for Science and the Environment illustrates in Editors and Trapp (2009) that the “outer continental shelf oil and gas production currently supplies10 percent of U.S. oil and 25 of natural gas” (p. 168) indicating the benefits achievable from offshore drilling. The economical benefits are high because of the advancement of the technology as it enables efficient economic production. With the help of the technology, drilling companies are able to position wells where they can obtain maximum benefits hence time saving in exploration and reducing the number of possible dry wells. The high-level technology also gives room for increment in production because of late there is “50 percent more oil and 75 percent more gas from wells” (DIANE publishing, n.d.) compared to three decades ago.
The third important point is the current big global problem of climate change. This is a sensitive issue not only to American government but also to the every other government in the world. In view of this, the use of current technology can achieve high efficiency in offshore drilling with minimum environmental impacts. The “new technological developments make it possible to tap these reserves in an environmentally sensitive manner” (Hillstrom, 2003, p. 199) and according to EIA, a 99.99 % level of environmental safety on offshore drilling is possible (Editors of idea & Trapp, 2009, p. 167). Moreover, the U.S. government has the necessary authorities to monitor environmental pollution and thus can step in to force whenever the activity goes beyond the set limits. This means that a safer mining is possible for offshore drilling irrespective of minor claims of possible cause of seismic waives possible for tropical storms (Hillstrom, 2003, p.167). Whenever the life span of the wells expires, the marine life can establish safe ecosystems that non-governmental bodies advocate for they can have tourism benefits. Because “the potential economic benefits of offshore drilling operations may ultimately outweigh environmental concerns” (Hillstrom, 2003, p. 199), it is apparent that offshore drilling is a worth risk taking.
From the above discussion, it becomes apparent that the use of new technologies can ensure efficiency that leads to economical viable offshore drilling options in an environmentally friendly manner. Therefore, the anti-offshore drilling campaigners should consider the real benefits first before rushing to criticize the activity because offshore drilling is and will continue to be a safer and worth undertaking.
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