The Problem of Offshore Drilling

Offshore drilling is a process used to extract crude oil from deep beneath the ocean floors. Despite the threat it poses to our ocean and planet, many people are still pushing to allow for more offshore drilling. Let’s talk about the problem of offshore drilling.


The Chesapeake Bay Foundation lists four reasons why offshore drilling is a threat to our oceans. The first problem is oil spills. Oil spills can be devastating to the marine environment and its inhabitants. The second problem is toxic pollution. According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, offshore drilling can “release volatile organic compounds, greenhouse gases, and other air pollutants.” The third and fourth problems are the risk to animals and the risk to nature that it poses. Animals are threatened by the possibility of oil spills or pollutants. Nature is at risk because an oil spill can destroy habitats such as coastlines, beaches, and wetlands.


Offshore drilling also contributes to climate change because it creates an unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels. It’s important that we invest in clean renewable energy. To learn more about how climate change affects our oceans, read some of Seaside Sustainability’s previous blog posts:


Ocean Warming and Marine Life Migration

2020 Hurricane Season & the Effect on Marine Environments


To understand the danger of offshore drilling, let’s explore one of the most devastating oil spills: Deep Water Horizon Rig Blow Out. Oceana names this “one of the worst manmade environmental catastrophes in history.” According to Oceana, over 200 million gallons of oil were spilled into the ocean, killed 11 rig workers, and killed tens of thousands of birds, fish, turtles, and other types of sea life. The devastation that this caused emphasizes just how threatening offshore drilling can be.


So what can we do? It’s important to push for the use of renewable energy. Solar and wind power can also be collected offshore, and the threat that they pose is insurmountable to the threat of offshore drilling.


To learn more about the offshore drilling process itself, read about it here.

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