I am so tired about reading the pros and cons of Off Shore Drilling. How there is ‘No Easy Solutions”, how we have to get rid of our “dependence” on foreign oil. We are in a panic- even though US Taxpayers have already made a nearly $1 trillion dollar down payment on Iraq’s oil.
There is a very easy- immediate- non costing taxpayer solution- Change our behavior! Wouldn’t cost us (taxpayers) a dime, and in fact save the taxpayer money.
I just Gotta Tell Ya- Off shore Drilling
- US Minerals Management Service which runs the federal offfshore leasing program- estimates 18 billion barrels of oil are available = 2.5 years of oil.
- About 4,000 oil platforms and related facilites operate in federal waters.
- Takes 5-10 years to produce oil in new areas
- Since 1969 about 850 barrels of oils or other fuels have been spilled by operations in federal waters off California.
What do we spend on oil?
- When President Nixon imposed the shift to 55mph in 1974 it saved 167,000 barrels of oil a day or about 2% of the nations highway fuel consumption
- American cars and light trucks use over 8 million barrels of oil a day. An average car emits 35 pounds of carbon dioxide every day!
Why I am opposed to Off Shore Drilling:
1.) Corruption- Article from Propublica-
- “Well, about those royalty payments. Yesterday’s reports focus on the Minerals Management Service, an Interior Department agency that collects royalties from oil companies drilling on federal land. And while the reports on sex and perks were by far the most colorful, they were the culmination of several critical reports on the chronically troubled office — troubles that stretch back a decade and show that the coziness between government employees and oil companies has come with a cost.”
2.) They- MMS doesn’t know what they are doing.
- “One report focused on MMS officials’ lax handling of oil sales contracts — companies were allowed to submit bids after deadlines or change the details of contracts. The inspector general examined 718 bid packages and turned up changes to 118 that appeared to help the companies by $4.4 million. But that was just a sample. “The MMS administers tens of thousands of contracts, and inspections of those could reveal losses to taxpayers up to hundreds of millions of dollars,” the Denver Post reported, citing “former and current Interior sources.”
3.) Cost to Taxpayers for Mismanagement:
- This June, a Government Accountability Office report found that an MMS oversight in 1998 and 1999 had potentially cost taxpayers billions of dollars in forgone royalties from drilling in the Gulf of Mexico — namely from $4.3 billion and $14.7 billion.
4.) Clean Up-
- Living at the beach I have seen the results of oil spills “Current Gulf of Mexico drilling projects have wiped out more wetlands than exist between New Jersey and Maine. The massive roads, pipelines and processing facilities needed to support new drilling would hurt local communities that depend on natural resources for tourism, fishing and recreation. (Move America From Oil)
5.) Pollute our seas:
- Oil spills remain a substantial risk from offshore drilling. Between 1981 and 2005, 187 large oil spills dumped more than 2,100 gallons each into the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita alone caused 125 spills emitting 685,000 gallons. Oil is toxic for most marine species.
- Drilling creates huge quantities of toxic and radioactive pollutants — some of which make their way into the seafood we eat. Offshore wells pump known carcinogens into the air and require seismic surveys that can harm whales and fish — including several endangered species.
6.) Won’t solve the Problem-
- The Bush administration’s own Energy Department says that lifting the ban on offshore drilling would have a marginal impact on oil supplies and an“insignificant” impact on prices. Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would be similarly futile, shaving — at the very most — 4 cents off a gallon of gas by 2026.
7.) Cost us Money
- Billions of Dollars of Nuclear Subsidies Hidden in Proposed Offshore Drilling Bills
- Estimates the cost of oil spills as $2.4 to $6.0 billion a year in current dollar
- Crude Oil Tax: The oil industry is one of the most polluting industries on the planet. Each year, at least 14,000 oil spills occur in the United States. Congress originally put a 9.7-cent per barrel tax on the purchase of crude oil by refineries and other industries. In a political compromise, Congress eliminated most Superfund liability for oil spills. Since the fees expired, oil companies have enjoyed a tax holiday and liability exemptions for the toxic contamination they cause.
- We pay for the drilling, exploration, cleanup and long term toxicity.
- Last summer, George Bush signed an energy bill that gave away billions in taxpayer money to oil companies that are currently enjoying record-breaking profits.
8.) It will take up to 10 years- we need to change now
- By all estimates it will take 10 years to develop and reap any resources. We need to change now.
- Oil companies are not even using 5,500 offshore leases they already own.
- We already have the resources to implement changes today.
9.) Canada is by far the biggest supplier of crude to the lower 48.
- The US imported nearly one fourth of it’s nearly 5 billion barrels of crude from Canada. Canada has vast oil reserves located in expensive to extract oil sands and shale. The increased price of oil now will make it profitable to extract the oil from these deposits.
10.) We don’t know how much oil there really is.
- If the US Mineral and Management only estimate 2-3 years of oil- why should we take 10 years to build for 2-3 years of results?
11.) Short term solution
- To me this is “stepping over a dime to pick up a penny” mentality
12.) Doesn’t change our behavior
- Drilling off Shore is only a band-aid. In order to reduce our dependence on oil- we need to change our behavior. Drive Less, Eliminate unnecessary petroleum products and by- products from our lifestyle (i.e. plastic bags, packaging and paper.