What Are The Consequences Of Offshore Oil Drilling?
As our gas consumption continues to rise, so does the price of the oil that we drill for. Oil is not an unlimited resource; there is only so much of it available in our country. When we run out of it, offshore oil drilling becomes necessary to replenish our supply. Offshore oil drilling has many consequences, some of which we deal with on a daily basis and others that we may not have fully appreciated yet. Our energy needs have far outpaced our energy supply and unfortunately, we all continue to pay the price. There are many negative effects that offshore oil drilling causes. Some of these effects impact us directly, while other negative effects impact us indirectly.
Offshore oil drilling is known to have a negative impact on the environment. When drilling causes an oil spill, the effects on the environment and wildlife can be devastating. The cleanup of an oil spill can cost upwards of millions and millions of dollars. As history has shown, oil spills can kill hundreds of animals and caused millions of dollars in damage. Despite the best cleanup efforts, it is difficult to say for certain what the lasting impact of this bill is on the environment. It is unknown how much oil was able to escape the cleanup efforts, seeping into the soil, the sand in the long-term effects on wildlife.
In addition, it takes a tremendous amount of energy and manpower to perform drilling. The equipment and machinery that is used in the drilling process requires fuel to operate and will often release toxic gases in the process. It seems almost unreal that we are creating further damage to our environment by performing risky offshore drilling. Despite the negative impact on our environment, our need for oil continues to rise. As consumers, it's hard to say if we just don't care or if we need it so badly that we are unable to control our demands.
Our country has limited supply of oil. When a viable drilling location is found, it can negatively impact any residential areas located nearby. A drilling permit can cause a tremendous source of tension within a town in both the governmental and residential regulatory authorities. Drilling can also decrease the property values exponentially. Lowering property values in order to harvest a nearly dying resource seems counterproductive at best.
We are now learning how to use alternative means of energy to meet our needs. Solar energy is still in its infant stages; we are still learning how to harvest this renewable resource in an economical way so that using solar power is an option for common consumers. It used to be much too expensive for ordinary people and because of this, it was not used often. It is unfortunate that we were unable to develop this resource earlier, but at this point, we're doing all we can to make the best use of it. We are also working hard to develop the use of wind power. Wind power is another renewable resource that we can use for energy. We need to work to continue to develop these resources and use them in order to conserve the little bit of nonrenewable resources that are still remaining.
Offshore drilling has serious economical and political impacts that many of us may not even be aware of. When we are forced to drill offshore and use other countries oil resources, we pay a premium for this privilege. In addition, we lose negotiation power immediately, because the other country is well aware that we need to access these resources desperately. In return, offshore countries charges a premium for the privilege of accessing their oil. The only viable solution to this ongoing problem is to continue to push for the promotion of alternative means of energy. This includes harnessing the amazing power of our many renewable resources.