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The energy stalemate between U.S. oil industry and the environmentalists is the one of considerable controversy. The former aims at becoming coat- tails of constant supply of cheap energy, while the latter party provides a vast number of proves against the environmental sanity of offshore drilling for oil. Such proves overweigh the arguments of oil companies by demonstrating that offshore drilling for oil has potential to have an adverse impact on the environment and human health through oil exploration and production and waste emergence. We should abandon oil before it abandons us.
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With its far-reaching and complex environmental impacts offshore drilling has potential to wreak havoc not only on marine life, but also on the atmosphere and subsequently leading to global warming and ocean acidification by contributing to emissions of carbon dioxide. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (2004), oil has the greatest impacts on species on the water surface, and species in the nearshore environment. One of the most tell-tale facts is that oil can persist in the environment long after the blow-out and be kept in the sediment 30 years after a spill. The following outcomes of spills are possible: shifts in population structure, habitat loss, the loss of prey items, species abundance and diversity and distribution.
While the proponents of offshore drilling for oil state that up-to-date technology, such as computer-controlled well data, industrial seals, etc. will prevent the spills from occurring, certain events serve as grim reminders and counterarguments to such statements. There exists the number of factors that enhance the occurrence of disasters, such as weather, equipment failure, tectonic movement, transportation accidents. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez tanker runs aground and pollutes 1500 miles of protected Alaskan coastline. In 1988, the words offshore oil disaster in history kills 167 people on the Piper Alpha drilling platform in the North Sea. The list of such examples is quite long.
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