Offshore Drilling: How are economic activities distributed globally?

The global oil supply is vanishing. With this fact not exactly being a secret, it is easy to see why the developed nations of the world are trying to find any source of oil they can. There is an empire of technology and development that relies on it for fuel, and there isn’t a replacement, yet. One method, that has been debated in the USA for years, for obtaining new supplies is offshore drilling. Offshore drilling can create new jobs and cheaper oil, but at the risk of spoiling the ocean habitats where the drilling will take place.

On one side of the argument, there is the matter of the USA relying on oil from other nations. As William Jasper wrote in his article, “No other nation in the world prohibits development of its offshore energy. But, incredibly, federal prohibitions on OCS drilling over the past 25 years have caused the United States to send trillions of dollars to overseas oil producers and have jeopardized our national security by making us dangerously dependent on foreign energy sources,” (Jasper par. 4). Jasper continues with a plan to give each coastal state the power to govern its own waters. This would allow the states to decide for or against offshore drilling. While this may seem logical, the truth is that humanity will eventually have to peel away from its dependence on oil. Any method to acquire oil is simply a stop gap until the day it runs out. With that in mind, it hardly makes sense to drill when it puts ocean habitats at risk.

Conversely, in Alaska, and many other polar regions, oil companies have been allowed to explore whatever options for drilling they can find. With Global Climate change becoming an increasingly pertinent issue, Margaret Williams believes these expeditions into the Arctic are the precursor to a major oil spill (Williams par. 11). Williams refers to a lack in response abilities to spills in these Arctic zones as a major cause for worry. If a large oil corporation were to have a spill, even in Alaska, the damage would most likely be done by the time they had cleared the spill. Earth is already losing species to Global Climate Change, but this increases the odds dramatically.

Offshore drilling would only provide the United States with small benefits, and it would take years for the average person to see them. It is a highly risky practice that involves giving jobs to a large part of Americans, but at the potential cost of the extinction of entire species. The most confusing part about the issue is that it is still being discussed. Offshore drilling is simply not a solution and should not be advertised as one.

Works Cited

Jasper, William F. “Offshore Drilling Will Create Jobs and Help the Economy.” Offshore Drilling. Ed. Margaret Haerens. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Lifeblood from the Ocean Floor: The Lame-Duck Congress Has the Opportunity to Tackle U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil and Save Hundreds of Billions of Dollars and Millions of Jobs with a Deep-Ocean Drilling Bill.”The New American (11 Dec. 2006). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.

Williams, Margaret. “Offshore Drilling in Alaska Should Be Limited.”Offshore Drilling. Ed. Margaret Haerens. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Offshore Drilling in Alaska: Time to Slow the Rush.” Yale Environment 360. 2008. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.

Reviewed by:

Jacob Standafer
Oren Paisner
Jennah Reiman

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