The oil in our earth was created 300 to 400 million years ago. In the span of 200 years since the Industrial Revolution, we have used up most all of the oil that is easy to access, driving us to drill in ever harder to reach places, such as the Arctic or in deep water. By definition any drilling deeper than 500 feet is considered "deepwater" but some rigs go as far as 10,000 feet (or 3 kilometers).
In addition to the greenhouse gas pollution from our reliance on oil, deepwater drilling poses two specific problems:
Generations of families in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have supported themselves by harvesting the rich sea life in the Gulf - fish, shrimp, crabs and oysters. Somewhere between 35 to 40% of these fisheries were forced closed due to deepwater oil "spill." The estimated loss to the fishing industry was around $2.5 billion. Bluefin tuna populations had already been in decline when 20% of the juvenile bluefin tuna were killed by oil poisoning the Gulf's most important spawning area. The tourism industry, upon which other Gulf Coast families rely, was also badly hurt. Prolonged exposure to the toxic mixture of petroleum and dispersants (used to "clean" the spill) has resulted in numerous illnesses. Yet again, a smaller group of people pay the price so that the rest of us can continue our addiction to oil. It is time to shift our economy away from oil towards more sustainable sources of energy.
As long as we depend on oil we risk bigger and bigger ecological disasters. Tell Congress to End Tax Breaks for Oil Companies
For more information contact environment @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.
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