Essay - Effects of Offshore Oil Drilling on Marine Life and Habitat...

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Effects of *****fshore oil drilling on marine life and habitat

An energy hungry world is looking to a number of *****lternative ***** sources, including nuclear, wind and solar power. While the experts may not agree ***** which approach is the best for the future, virtually everyone agrees that petroleum will remain the fuel of choice ***** many industries and consumers around ***** world because of the enormous investments in this source to date. In this environment, it is reasonable to assume ***** offshore oil drilling ***** continue ***** provide th***** important source of energy for ***** nation in the *****, but ***** ***** is of the same mind concerning the *****al impact that such operations entail. *****deed, some environmental*****ts want all offshore ***** drilling to cease ***** of a less-than-stellar safety track record by the oil industry, while others suggest that these ***** platforms provide valuable habitat for marine life during and after the completion ***** *****ir operations. To sort the wheat from the chaff, this paper provides a review of ***** relevant literature to identify the primary effects of ***** oil drilling on marine life ***** habitat, followed ***** a summary ***** the research and important findings in the c*****clusion.

***** ***** Discussion

Locating, installing and operating a successful offshore oil drilling plat*****m is a daunting engineering enterprise by any measure (Cable & Smith, 2006), and Mother Nature always represents a m*****jor unknown in the process. According to Morrow (1975), "Offshore drilling got its start after World War II. Americans drilled the first well out of sight of land in the Gulf of Mexico in 1948. By the 1950s the American petroleum industry had gained its sea legs in the Gulf; the assault on the world's offshore reserves began" (p. 34). This assault was not with***** adverse incident, ei*****r. For example, in January 1969, Union Oil, operating pursuant to an exploration lease from the United States, *****ed drilling an exploratory hole below the oce***** surface off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, ultimately hitting a high-pressure ***** pocket resulting in an explosion at ***** site th***** caused "congealing into a chocolate mousse mat a foot thick" (Rothbach, 2007, p. 283). This disaster hel*****ed to fuel the enactment ***** the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) *****d subsequent legislation placed offshore drilling activities squarely under the purview of the U.S. federal government and ***** planning for such operations is currently regarded as a m*****jor ***** action that require environmental protection statements ***** ongoing oversight (Rothbach). The move to exploit coastal oil reserves is not limited to the ***** States, of course, and many countries have expanded th***** previous coastal oil ********** efforts into offshore areas in recent years as well (Falola ***** Genova, 2005; Rauber, 2001).

Today, a wide range of ***** initiatives are ********** ***** are intended to promote a heal*****ier ecosystem in ***** nation's ***** regions, ***** scuttling dilapidated ships and even using large buildings as artificial reefs. One ***** the more interesting dilemmas facing proponents of


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