The Benefits Of Offshore Oil Drilling For America

Offshore oil drilling conjures up a myriad of emotions depending on what side of the issue your opinion falls, however the positive aspects without a doubt outweigh the negatives. Generally the negatives aspects receive the most attention with the advantages maintaining a subordinate position. Drilling may not be as horrific as its portrayal with vast economic benefits, job stimulation, less dependence on foreign oil, production to meet United States consumption and all with minimal danger to the environment despite conservationist’s proclamations. Offshore drilling remains a political football with the last three Presidents Administrations weighing in on permissions to allow exploration and drilling.

George W. Bush President Bush rescinded a presidential ban on offshore oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, Barack Obama approved new oil and gas drilling in the water off the coasts of Virginia and other part of the mid-south Atlantic, while Donald J. Trump moved to open all of the US coastal waters to offshore drilling and exploration, all escalating a firestorm of criticism from environmentalists and members of Congress. Despite the criticism, the United States cannot produce enough oil to meet the demands of consumption. The United States produces 2 billion barrels of crude oil per year, but our usage is two times that amount resulting in importation of 3. 5 billion barrels per year (U. S. Energy Information Administration). In 2016 the United States consumed 3. 41 billion gallons of gasoline alone and does not include heating or manufacturing needs. Dependence on foreign oil imports renders the United States vulnerable and holds them hostage to the whims and political climates of those countries. Therefore, exploration and offshore drilling crude oil bodes to a better state of independence and enhances the national security. Since oil is a commodity offshore drilling provides a beneficial effect on the economy by increasing the overall supply of oil, which reduces the cost of oil for both manufacturing and the general public. When “the majority of the world’s oil comes from the OPEC conglomerate that means the flow and its price are out of local control” (Heba Soffar). Greater United States output allows the futures markets to exhibit more stability without large fluctuations. Greater production increases the volume therefore raising the supply and creating reduced prices. Offshore oil drilling can support, “9. 8 million jobs across a variety of sectors” (Dean Baker).

Areas, where drilling begins, will see dramatic stimulus to local economies thaw will trickle down to all creating a better quality of life for the people. Producers of steel, chemical, plastics, medicines and numerous other manufactured products could see, “30 – 50% lower costs” due to more affordable energy. Along with direct high paying jobs related to the drilling, industries such as shipping and transportation would also make pronounced gains. The benefits of offshore drilling present an obvious solution to America’s dependence on foreign oil. Technological advances make the risk of a major oil spill very low and shipping oil to the United States causes the burning of diesel fuel that adds to the greenhouse gas entered into the atmosphere. Opening off limit areas for drilling would generate an additional 1 million gallons of crude per day generating thousands of jobs, increase revenue and leading to energy independence.

10 December 2020
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