The United States consumes crude oil at a per capita rate higher than anywhere in the world, yet citizens against offshore drilling are afraid of the potential for an environmental disaster. Rather than lessen our reliance on foreign oil, they would prefer to pay high oil prices and be at the mercy of oil exporters.
Is an Environmental Disaster on the Horizon Just Because of Offshore Drilling?
With the new technologies in place today, offshore drilling is safer than it has ever been in the United States. Despite President Obama, and his constant need to try and regulate the oil industry, offshore drilling is a crucial piece to lowering the cost of oil for consumers in the United States. Further regulation isn’t going to prevent an environmental disaster; careful planned drilling will.
Environmentalists are quick to point out that offshore drilling is dangerous. While offshore drilling can be a dangerous job, when safety measures are followed the rate of accidents vs. the amount of oil supplied to the United States is small.
In the US many of the “oil spills” are actually from oil seepage that occurs naturally. Senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation Ben Lieberman explains, “studies have shown that oil drilling reduces pressure on those seeps and results in less oil pollution. So offshore drilling truly could be a win-win situation for the American people.”
Although this is not a popular idea, Lieberman is onto something with his theory that oil drilling will actually improve the environment. While less seepage is released due to the decrease in pressure, the oil rigs themselves act as reefs for marine life that would otherwise remain unprotected.
The misconception that the US will not see a decrease in oil prices no matter where they drill oil is a ludicrous one. Those that are afraid to drill, who look for disaster at every opportunity, are maintaining that offshore drilling isn’t going to decrease oil prices in the United States. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The oil industry is going strong, and the addition of US crude oil into the international market gives the US some bargaining power. While gas prices haven’t gone down, the price of gas has remained rather steady over the last few years. With Obama locking down 85% of our offshore drilling sites, the US will continue to lack the ability to increase energy production. This action keeps the US from being competitive in the international oil market.
Opening up the locked down areas where there is natural crude oil in the United States would give a huge boost to the US economy. House Republicans believe that allowing offshore drilling as it was back in 2008 would create 1.2 million jobs across the country, providing solid careers for hardworking Americans.
We have energy resources here that need to be tapped instead of getting natural gas and crude oil from halfway across the world. It only makes sense to stop relying on foreign exports and start using the resources we have right here in our own backyard.