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

***** ***** Discussion

Locating, installing and operating a successful offshore oil drilling plat*****m is a daunting engineering enterprise by any measure (Cable & Smith, 2006), and Mo*****r Nature always represents a m*****jor unknown in the process. According to ********** (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 *****dustry had gained its sea legs in the Gulf; the assault on the world's ********** reserves began" (p. 34). This ***** was not with***** adverse incident, either. For example, in January 1969, Union Oil, operating pursuant to an exploration lease from the United States, started drilling an explora*****ry hole below the ocean surface off ***** coast of Santa Barbara, California, ultimately hitting a high-pressure ***** pocket resulting in ********** explosion at the 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) and subsequent legislation placed offshore drilling activities squarely under ***** purview of the U.S. federal government ***** the planning for such ***** is currently regarded as a major ***** action that require environmental protection statements and ongoing over***** (*****). The move to exploit coastal oil reserves ***** ***** limited to the United States, of course, and many countries have expanded *****ir previous coastal oil ********** efforts ***** offshore areas in recent years as well (Falola ***** Genova, 2005; Rauber, 2001).

*****, a wide range of environmental initiatives are ********** that are intended to promote a healthier ecosystem in the 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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