As a little boy comes out of the water on their vacation he notices a brown stain on his swimwear. As he looks closer at the water he notices tarballs that are flowing along with the current of the water. As his parents quickly help him wash the toxins off his body, he thinks about how he never wants to go to the beach for vacation ever again. Almost every year over 1.3 million gallons of oil arespilledt, due to accidents caused by equipment breaking down, natural disasters, and people making mistakes or just being careless.
Ever since 1975, close to over 100,000 barrels of oil have spilled into the ocean, and that’,s not including the 11 billion barrels of American oil extracted offshore. In recent events (close to five years ago) in 2010, an oil drilling rig blew out, releasing close to 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing the death of birds and marine mammals and devastating the recreation of the Gulf States.
When Obama was president he contributed to protecting the east and west coast and the eastern Gulf with the new offshore drilling plan from 2012 – to 2017. When Trump became president he wanted to continue to try and open up additional coastal areas of offshore drilling and has a release date for an “ Oil and Gas Leasing Program” for 2019 – 2024, that expands offshore drilling to almost 90% of the nation’s outer continental shelf. The offshore drilling areas affect protected coastlines, marine monuments, sanctuaries, and reserves.
According to Oceana “offshore drilling would be dangerous and unnecessary.
A few months’ worths of oil are not worth risking our beaches and coastal economy.” With the preparation for the expansion of the offshore oil drilling sites, some states are trying to take precautions into their own hands by either preventing or slowing down the progress of the development off their coasts. California and New York are two of those states, for instance, California has recently passed a bill that prohibits the California State Lands Commission from approving any new leases or modifications of any instate waters that would resort to oil/ natural gas production and New York is proposing and similar idea. The article “Overview of Offshore Oil Drilling” states that “ Instead of advocating for transient and environmentally harmful ways to meet America’s oil needs, we should seek a comprehensive and environmentally sustainable energy plan that includes energy conservation.” First of all, what is energy conservation and what would it do for our society? Well, energy conservation is the reduction in the amount of energy consumed in a process or system, or by an organization or society, through the economy, elimination of waste, and rational use. A few examples for us would be to switch off lights when they are not in use, use energy-efficient lamps, reduce water heating expenses, and even purchase energy-efficient appliances. All of these things can be in replace oil and would help save our environment as well. As I’ve said, oil extraction has a dangerous effect on the environment. The results of the oil drilling lead to the production of other substances such as zinc, lead, arsenic, and mercury are just a few to be named. These substances are then led back into the ocean which then contaminates the water and causes death/poisoning to organisms. The drilling of oil in the ocean increases the making of greenhouse gases such as CO2 which result in global warming effects. All over the world people are trying to reduce gaseous emissions that alter the earth’s climate.
Flaring is a major contribution to the growing problem of global warming. Alongside the oil that is extractedfromm underground, flaring is a process that happens to come up with it and is a major contribution to global warming. Going back to the energy-efficient ideas, there is a need to eliminate flaring. Oil companies need to be working towards advocating for alternative sources of energy. Slowly as people want to change the world the demand for fossil fuels as a source of energy is increasing and should start to invest in energy sources because this would lower the request for conventional energy sources. Companies should utilize wind energy, this way it’s affordable, effective, and a limitless source of energy. This way would also not further cause pollution and be competitive money-wise with coal power plants and energy from gas-fired companies. Another reason that this would work better is that it is cheaper than conventional energy. People should want to eliminate pollution not keep it going. Even though oil drilling is a main source of energy for the t.S and countries all over the globe but the impact on the environment as we know it is unavoidable. Oil companies, surrounding communities, and the government should work together to come up with ways to ensure the protection and conservation of the environment.