The Benefits of Oil Exploration

Published August 27, 2008

In the Sentinel‘s August 24 editorial, you point to several reasons why offshore drilling would have a negative impact. (“We Think: Opponent Of More Offshore Drilling Should Stand Firm,” August 24)

Your first argument is that drilling now would “take years to materialize.” Had Bill Clinton not vetoed a Republican energy bill during his administration, we would currently be reaping the benefits of the oil located off of our coast. If we don’t drill now, this conversation will be a perpetual one.

Your second argument is that offshore drilling will not reduce our dependence on foreign oil. While it may not bring about energy independence (the U.S. will likely never be energy-independent), it will allow for the oil to be drilled here in the U.S., where we have more regulations promoting safe and responsible drilling. Many of the world’s other oil-producing nations have fewer safeguards protecting the environment compared to the U.S.

The Sentinel‘s final argument is that oil drilling will cause spills. From 1980 through 1989, 7.4 billion barrels of oil were acquired from off the coast of the U.S. with only 0.001 percent of oil spilling into the ocean–that’s less than the amount of oil that seeps into the ocean naturally.

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.