CitizenWire COLUMN: As Federal officials decide on the punishment to be dished out to BP following last years horrific oil leak, off shore oil drilling hit the headlines like never before. The deep horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused billions of dollars worth of damage and killed 11 people. Are the cons now starting to outweigh the pros?
Americans want their oil to be cheap and as easily accessible as electricity. The average consumer doesn’t really like to think where their oil comes from – or how it’s obtained. Many remember oil embargoes and high spikes in gas prices and they don’t want those days repeated. So what is the future? More oils spills more lives lost, or should alternative energy now be a priority? Although the current international unrest is driving up prices this will subside in the upcoming weeks – but it’s sure to raise it’s ugly head again – where should or focus now be?
Dr. Richard Ambrose from the University of California admits, “The risks of off shore drilling are high but the result is worth it for most consumers. The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was a new situation for many, and we really don’t know how long the affects will last. The temperature of the water in that region is very different to any spills I have been involved with. Sadly, this has lead to a great deal of uncertainty as to how long the oil will linger.”
Compared to the rest of the world America is behind when it comes to alternative energy. Even Britain, which has a population comparable to that of North Dakota, has spent billions on alternative energy projects. Germany is also a leader in this field having spent more money on wind turbines per square meter than any other country.
“The damage often lasts decades from these large spills. In the case of the deep-water horizon spill 11 men lost their lives. But we still want to drive our SUV’s and gas guzzling cars and I am not sure that will change soon. Certainly not in my lifetime,” concludes Ambrose.
Although 2010 saw the biggest spill in American history, the effects from previous spills are still in existence; rare species now face extinction as billions of gallons of harmful clean up agents plunged into the waters surrounding America’s coastlines. Consider all the lives that have been lost- so that we can continue with the school run or our grocery shopping. Is it really worth it?