Banning Off-Coast Drilling

May 18, 2010
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Have you ever thought of taking a trip to Alaska? You probably want to go because you have heard or seen pictures of how beautiful it is. Would you want to go if drilling equipment was blocking the view that’s supposed to take your breath away? Snow topped mountains rise from the background as you look at an oil rig that is drilling next to the glacier. The oil rig is getting more attention than the glacier because it seems so out of place. That is only one of the many reasons we should ban off-coast drilling.

Besides the decline in eco-tourism, (no one wants to yo to Alaska to see oil rigs), the population of animals would decline dramatically. Alaska is one of the only places the famous caribou herds live. From the little off-coast drilling that is occurring now, the caribou have changed their calving areas to find vegetation and avoid insects. The garbage produced by the people working the rigs have attracted pest that the caribou want to avoid.

Exxon, Chevron, and two other foreign companies plan to drill in Alaska would be and hurt these innocent animals. One of these companies is responsible for the largest environmental disasters in the world. On March 23, 1989, Exxon spilled 10.8 million gallons, equal to 125 Olympic sized swimming pools, of unrefined Alaskan crude oil in to the sea. The oil spread and eventually covered 1,200 square miles. During the summer of 1989, over 10,000 were employed to help clean up the huge mess made by this company. Now, about twenty years after the spill, scientist found that the effects are lasting longer than expected. It may take thirty years to recover from this spill. These companies have had to pay one billion dollars in fines.With these companies drilling in Alaska, we are bound to have a spill on the beautiful Alaskan land. For more than 25 years the United States has protected our coast by keeping much of our off coast waters out of oil companies’ hands.

The Rainforest Action Network says that even without a spill a single oil rig can dump more than 99,000 tons of drilling fluid and metal cuttings into the ocean. Think of what that would look like on endless white snoe covered with black gunk and metal lying around. Fifty percent of all drilling companies will have a spill, but without a spill it will still hurt the ocean and the surrounding animals.
Without millions of gallons spilled the world consumes about eighty-six million barrels of oil in a single day. The United States share is 20.6 million barrels. If we were to drill all the oil from all our coast around the whole United States it would last us about 920 days. It will be years before the oil will flow. When the oil is flowing properly, the demands will be even higher. We are going to have to convert to a cleaner energy source sooner or later…it might as well be today.
Proponents of off-coast drilling say that with newer technology, we are less likely to have oil spills. This is not true. A brand new rig in the Timor Sea dumped millions of gallons of oil off the Australian coast for more than twenty days, putting marine life and the local resident in danger. With newer technology we should be able to stop this in less than twenty days. Even the newest rigs can have horrible spills that put not only the animals but also the people in danger. We do not want this to happen off our coast.

The good thing we would get out of drilling isn’t worth the damage it would cause to some of our most breath taking places. You wouldn’t want to go to a Florida beach if that put you in danger. The water would be coated with a thick layer of black oil instead of the crystal clear, blue waters you see in pictures. Instead of walking barefoot in the white sand you are forced to wear big boots and stepping on oil. You would be at the beach doing volunteer work instead of relaxing and hanging out. You would look up the beach only to see more helpless animals covered in oil instead of an endless stretch of sand untouched by anyone but you. This could be you in a couple years if we allow companies to drill off our coast.
We shouldn’t drill off our coast. The animal numbers declining dramatically even with volunteers and people hires to keep all the animals from dying. We would kill off some off the last caribou in the world. We shouldn’t get oil in the water and kill fish and other animals living in the oceans. The eco-tourism would decline, hurting our economy. Why should we drill, and ruin, a place where people want to go to relax and not think about anything bad going on. Off-Coast drilling is bad, and we shouldn’t do it.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

conversegirl23 said...
Aug. 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm
But, (notice I live in Alaska) we really need the oil from up north. It's a part of our economy and our state would crash without it. Plus, over 30% of people living here are employed by the oil industry. I mean, my dad wouldn't have a job if it weren't for the oil. So as for Alaskan oil? We need it.
GLO11 said...
May 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm
Our future is dependent on thoughtful young people spreading the word about endangering our environment. Great job!
Proud GME said...
May 24, 2010 at 10:15 am
I am so happy that a young person has this understanding of the challenge we face in the world to supply energy.  It makes me hopeful that the next generation will do many things better than ours did!
soccer mom said...
May 23, 2010 at 9:18 pm
Timely article with current oil spill in the Gulf. Excellent points and environmentally sensitive.
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