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

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Effects of offshore oil drilling on marine life and habitat

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

***** and Discussion

Locating, installing and operating a successful offshore oil drilling platform 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 ***** first well out of sight of land in the Gulf of Mexico in 1948. By the 1950s the American petroleum *****dustry had gained its sea legs in the Gulf; the assault on the world's offshore reserves began" (p. 34). This ***** was not with***** adverse *****cident, either. For example, in January 1969, Union Oil, ***** pursuant to an exploration lease from the United States, started drilling an explora*****ry hole below the ocean surface off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, ultimately hitting a high-pressure ***** pocket resulting in *****n explosion at ***** site that 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) and subsequent legislation placed offshore drilling activities squarely under ***** purview of the U.S. federal government and the planning for ***** ***** is currently regarded as a m*****jor federal action that require environmental protection statements and ongoing over***** (Rothbach). The move to exploit coastal oil reserves ***** ***** limited to the United States, of course, and many countries have expanded *****ir previous coastal ***** explorations efforts ***** ***** areas in recent years as well (Falola & Genova, 2005; Rauber, 2001).

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


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