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 the future, virtually everyone agrees that petroleum will remain the fuel of choice ***** many industries and consumers around ***** ***** because ***** the enormous investments in this source to date. In ***** environment, it is reasonable to assume that offshore ***** drilling will continue ***** provide th***** important source of energy for the nation in ***** future, but not everyone is of the same mind concerning ***** environmental impact that such operations entail. *****deed, some environmentalists want all offshore oil drilling to cease because of a less-than-stellar safety track record by the oil industry, while others suggest that these ***** platforms provide valuable habitat for marine ***** during and after the completion ***** their operations. To sort the wheat from the chaff, this paper provides a review of ***** relevant literature to identify the primary effects of ***** ***** drilling on marine life 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 oil 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 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, 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 oil pocket resulting in *****n explosion at the site th***** caused "congealing into a chocolate mousse mat a foot thick" (Rothbach, 2007, p. 283). This disaster helped to fuel the enactment of 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 such operations is currently regarded as a m*****jor federal action that require environmental protection statements and ongoing oversight (Rothbach). The move to exploit coastal oil reserves is ***** limited to the ***** States, of course, and many countries have expanded their previous coastal ***** ********** efforts ***** offshore areas in recent years as well (Falola & Genova, 2005; Rauber, 2001).

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


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