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 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 ***** choice for many industries and consumers around ***** ***** because of the enormous investments in this source to date. In this environment, it is reasonable to assume ***** offshore oil drilling will continue ***** provide th***** important source of energy for ***** nation in *****e *****, but ***** ***** is of the same m*****d concerning ***** *****al impact that such operations entail. Indeed, 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 drilling platforms provide valuable habitat for marine life during and after the completion ***** *****ir operations. To sort the wheat from the chaff, this paper provides a review of the relevant literature to identify ***** primary effects of offshore oil drilling on marine life and habitat, followed by a summary of the research and important findings in the conclusion.

Review ***** Discussion

Locating, installing and operating a successful offshore ***** drilling plat*****m is a d*****unting engineering enterprise ***** 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 the first well out of sight of land in the Gulf of Mexico in 1948. By ***** 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 ***** was not without adverse incident, either. For example, in January 1969, Union Oil, operating pursuant to an exploration lease from the United States, ********** 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 an explosion at the site that caused "congealing into a chocolate mousse mat a foot thick" (Rothbach, 2007, p. 283). This disaster hel*****ed to fuel the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) *****d 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 ***** action that require environmental protection statements ***** ongoing over***** (Rothbach). The move to exploit coastal oil reserves ***** not limited to the United States, of course, and many countries have expanded their previous coastal oil explorations efforts ***** ***** areas in recent years as well (Falola & Genova, 2005; Rauber, 2001).

*****, a wide range of ***** initiatives are underway 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 of ***** more interesting dilemmas facing proponents of


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