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 on which approach is the best for the future, virtually everyone agrees that petroleum will remain the fuel ***** choice for many industries and consumers around ***** world because of the enormous investments in this source to date. In this environment, it is reasonable ***** assume that offshore oil drilling will continue to provide this important source of energy ***** ***** nation in the future, but ***** everyone is of the same mind concerning the *****al impact that such operations entail. *****deed, some environmental*****ts want all offshore ***** drilling ***** cease because of a less-than-stellar safety track record by the oil industry, while others suggest that these drilling platforms provide valuable habitat for marine life during and after the completion ***** *****ir operations. To sort the wheat from the chaff, ***** paper provides a review of ***** relevant literature to identify the primary effects of ***** ***** drilling on marine life ***** habitat, followed ***** a summary of 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 Mo*****r Nature always represents a m*****jor 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 the 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 not with***** adverse *****cident, 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 the coast of Santa Barbara, California, ultimately hitting a high-pressure ***** pocket resulting in an explosion at ***** site that caused "congealing into a chocolate mousse mat a foot thick" (Rothbach, 2007, p. 283). This disaster helped to fuel the enactment ***** the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and subsequent legislation placed ***** drilling activities squarely under ***** purview of the U.S. federal government ***** the planning for ***** operations is currently regarded as a m*****jor ***** action that require environmental protection statements and ongoing over***** (*****). The move to exploit coastal oil reserves is not limited to the ***** States, of course, and many countries have expanded their previous coastal ***** explorations 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 he*****lthier ecosystem in the nation's ***** regions, including scuttling dilapidated ships and even using large buildings ***** artificial reefs. One of the more interesting dilemmas facing proponents of


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