The huge oil slick within the Gulf of Mexico formed as now an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil (210,000 gallons daily) gush to the floor following an explosion at an oil rig is what other areas of the United States will face below President Barack Obama’s plan to open extra offshore waters to oil and gasoline drilling.
This could possibly be the Atlantic which, in a speech last month, Obama proposed be opened for drilling—despite many years of it being closed due to oil and gas drilling constituting an environmental risk.
As an investigative reporter for the every day newspaper Long Island Press, in 1970 I broke the story about the oil business in search of to drill within the offshore Atlantic.
In years following, I probed the environmental penalties of offshore oil and gasoline drilling discovering, as Sarah Palin put it, “drill child drill,coming with the the inevitability of—spill baby spill.
I received on the story after a tip from a fisherman who said he had seen in the ocean east of Montauk—on the japanese tip of Long Island—the same kind of vessel as he observed looking for oil when he was a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico.
I spent the day telephoning oil corporations. PR people for each insisted their firms were not involved in looking for oil within the Atlantic. Several scoffed on the very suggestion. But at day’s end, as I was walking out of the workplace, there was a name from a PR guy at Gulf saying, sure, Gulf was involved in exploring for oil within the Atlantic—as a part of a “consortiumof 32 oil companies. These included the businesses which all day issued denials. It was a primary lesson in oil business honesty, an oxymoron.
I traveled on the difficulty including, in 1971, visiting the first drilling rig set up in the Atlantic, off new energy Nova Scotia. It was obvious on the rig that the offshore drilling course of is fraught with hazard.
A rescue boat went spherical and spherical. Positioned on the rig had been sealed capsules—designed to eject staff. “We treat each foot of hole like a possible catastrophe,explained the consultant of Shell Canada.
An oil effectively blow-out is one thing on land and one other completely on water. The Shell Canada official acknowledged that booms and other devices the oil industry claimed—and still maintains—contain spills “just don’t work in over 5 foot-foot seas./p>
The Atlantic, off Nova Scotia or to the south off the United States, is normally rough—over 5 foot seas are common.
Thus the oil might be anticipated in many if not most circumstances to hit shore. However there are “stockpiles of clean-up material on shore,said the man from Shell Canada. No,he said, “not straw as within the States. Here we now have peat moss./p>
I pored over data involving spillage and offshore drilling. They reflected spillage as being chronic. In response to Division of Inside data, between 1971 and 1975 there were 5,857 spills completely 51,421 barrels of oil from operations within the Gulf of Mexico.
And, it was acknowledged, the offshore Atlantic is a way more precarious place to drill. . Because the President’s Council on Environmental High quality declared in a 1974 report, “A main spill alongside the beaches of Cape Cod, Long Island or the Center or South Atlantic states could devastate the areas affected. The Atlantic is a hostile atmosphere for oil and gasoline operations. Storm and seismic situations may be more extreme than in either the North Sea or the Gulf of Mexico. Recreational industries could possibly be harm, particularly where the character of the communities is one of isolation, historic preservation or pure magnificence. Outer continental shelf oil and fuel manufacturing will lead to onshore development of huge refineries, petrochemical complexes, fuel processing services./p>
I traveled on the story—to Massachusetts the place the Department of Interior was planning to lease 882,443 acres of offshore Atlantic lands on the George’s Bank, one of many globe’s foremost fishing grounds, for oil and gasoline drilling.
I went to the Florida Keys in whose turquoise waters Interior would let oil companies drill.
And i spent plenty of time in New Jersey—Interior held many of its meetings involving
Mid-Atlantic leasing within the state capital of Trenton. In 1976, it leased 529,446 Mid-Atlantic acres to the oil business for $1.1 billion. There was sturdy resistance up and down the Atlantic coast which included lawsuits.
Various studies filed by Inside in response to the litigation admitted major environmental consequences from the drilling. In a single, in 1978, in connection with the leasing of the 529,446 Mid-Atlantic acres, Interior mentioned: “Recovery of the affected space from a big spill might be gradual, most likely requiring a minimal of ten years.For the anticipated 20-to-25 yr lives of the fields, it forecast 4 large spills of more than 1,000 barrels, 58 spills of fifty to 1,000 barrels and 3,340 spills of up to 50 barrels.
A lot of the Atlantic coast—like that of the Gulf of Mexico the place oil from the explosion at British Petroleum’s Transocean Deepwater Explorer rig is expected to arrive imminently—is composed of estuaries, bay backs and miles upon miles of fragile wetlands, the spawning and feeding grounds for the chain of marine life. It’s a “softcoast that may absorb oil like a sop rag. There’s no method to scrub oil from wetlands, to scrub it off the bottoms of bays, no approach to get it off bay bottoms where shellfish reside.
The Division of Interior’s 1978 Mid-Atlantic report warned that “adverse effects on industrial fisheries might be encounteredwhich would include “smothering of shellfish…Finfish and shellfish will endure mortality from oil spills and flavor might change because of tainting./p>
A leading scientist talking out on off-shore Atlantic oil and gasoline drilling was the late Dr. Max Blumer of the Woods Gap Oceanographic Institute. He also famous a human-most cancers connection. Oil picked up on human skin or taken in by the eating of marine life that had ingested oil could be cancer-causing, he stated. “When oil is spilled into the atmosphere we lose management of it,Dr. Blumer warned. Countermeasures are “effective only if all of the oil is recovered immediately after the spill. The know-how to attain this goal doesn’t exist./p>
It nonetheless doesn’t exist.
Drilling of the Atlantic was stopped by Congressional motion.
But that will finish if Congress goes together with President Obama’s declaration in his March 30th speech that “my administration will consider potential areas for developmentfor oil and fuel drilling in the Mid- and South-Atlantic, the japanese Gulf of Mexico and off the north coast of Alaska.
Beyond the environmental devastation threatened, the drilling itself would have a huge price: the price of off-shore drilling is estimated at ten instances the price of drilling for petroleum on land.
This might make for very expensive gasoline, oil requiring huge capital and working expenses to mine—the type of money with which might vastly expand our getting vitality from the sun, the winds and other clean, secure, renewable sources. However oil firms, being oil corporations, are mounted on their product.
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Obama’s surrender, and cave in to the Globalized Oil Corps must be reversed.