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 of choice ***** many industries and consumers around the world because of ***** enormous investments in this source to date. In ***** environment, it is reasonable ***** assume that offshore ***** drilling will continue to provide th***** important source of energy for *****e nation in the *****, but not everyone is of the same mind concerning ***** *****al impact that such operations entail. *****deed, some environmentalists want all offshore oil drilling to cease ***** of a less-than-stellar safety track record by the oil industry, while others suggest that these drilling platforms provide valuable ***** for marine life during and after the completion of their operations. To sort the wheat from the chaff, this paper provides a review ***** ***** relevant literature to identify the primary effects of ***** oil drilling on marine ***** and habitat, followed by a summary of the research and important findings in the c*****clusion.

***** and Discussion

Locating, installing and operating a successful offshore ***** drilling platform is a d*****unting engineering enterprise by any measure (Cable & Smith, 2006), and Mo*****r Nature always represents a major unknown in the process. According to *****row (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 ***** 1950s the American petroleum ********** had gained its sea legs in the Gulf; the assault on the world's offshore reserves began" (p. 34). This ***** was ***** with***** adverse *****cident, ei*****r. For example, in January 1969, Union Oil, operating pursuant to an exploration lease from the United States, *****ed drilling an explora*****ry hole below the ocean surface off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, ultimately hitting a high-pressure oil pocket resulting in *****n 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) and subsequent legislation placed offshore drilling activities squarely under the purview of the U.S. federal government and ***** planning for ***** operations is currently regarded as a m*****jor ***** action that require environmental protection statements and ongoing over***** (Rothbach). The move to exploit coastal oil reserves is not limited to the United States, of course, and many countries have expanded th***** previous coastal ***** explorations efforts ***** ***** areas in recent years as well (Falola ***** Genova, 2005; Rauber, 2001).

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


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