We all remember the shock experienced with the increasing amounts of oil flooding into the oceans from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The shock of the wave of destruction that this thick, black liquid caused and continues to cause. In 2008, George W. Bush convinced congress to lift the 27-year ban on drilling in the western Gulf of Mexico, accompanied also by areas off the Alaskan coast. Oil drilling is a sensitive subject, and evokes a variety of responses.
Perhaps the most compelling argument is the idea that allowing the U.S. to substantially increase it's offshore drilling will bring about less dependence on foreign oil. Leading to an increase in federal revenue, not to mention the fact of pride which our glorified country would feel by supplying a larger percentage of our 20.6 million barrels of oil consumed daily. About which half is imported from other countries. Specifically looking at the multiple fields of oil in Alaska, the following is believed:
Opening oil fields in Alaska would decrease U.S. dependency on petroleum imports from the Middle East and Latin America, boost the revenue of American oil companies, would create many American jobs, would lower the price of oil for American oil consumers, would increase federal, state, and local tax revenues, and lower our trade deficit. Alaska Oil Dispute (ALASKA case)
Government officials and industry specialists say improved technology and government oversight have made routine drilling safe. Worth the risk? Debate on offshore drilling heats up
Oil industry representatives maintain their equipment and processes are safer than ever. The U.S. Minerals and Management Service (MMS) blames the vast majority of the 1,400 offshore drilling accidents in U.S. waters between 2001 and 2007 on "human error," not malfunctioning equipment, though some might argue that the distinction is irrelevant because there will always be human error. Rethinking Offshore Drilling
Environmentalists see two basic problems from offshore drilling: pollution from everyday operations and oil spills from platforms, pipelines and tankers. Worth the risk? Debate on offshore drilling heats up
The question stands: Are the environmental stakes too high to pursue an increase in offshore drilling?