The Benefits of Oil Exploration in the Gulf

Published July 3, 2008

Senator Coleman’s call for oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of Florida is welcome news. With the Twin Cities’ unleaded gas prices averaging more than $3.90 a gallon, it’s time we look at all available energy options. Oil platforms, such as those proposed by Sen. Coleman, in conjunction with a comprehensive energy plan, could substantially lower gas prices. (“Energy policy is key issue in Minn. Senate race,” July 2)

Since their inception in the 1930s, oil platforms have proven themselves a safe and effective means of acquiring energy. Modern-day platforms have been so stable they’ve been able to weather major storms such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita with little or no spillage.

Oil platforms in the Gulf will also provide environmental benefits. According to a study by Louisiana State University’s Sea Grant program, there is 50 times more marine life around Louisiana oil platforms than in the surrounding mud bottoms. Further, since any oil garnered from the Gulf will have but a short distance to travel to the mainland, less energy will be expended in its transport, making it better for the environment.

Given our soaring energy costs, it’s time for America to take advantage of the natural resources right at her doorstep.

Zonia M. Pino ([email protected]) is a legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute.