Today, April 1, 2010, President Barack Obama has removed a ban (that has been in place for 20 years) on offshore oil drilling off the coast of Virginia and the Southern Atlantic Coastline. He believes that this will transition us from depending more on homegrown fuels and clean energy than on foreign oil. According to a CNN blog, this will not help us depend more on homegrown fuels, it will do nothing but lower gas prices and create energy independence. It will also harm our beaches, marine life and tourist economies. However, according to Virginia’s governor, McDonnell, he estimates that natural gas alone will produce 2,600 jobs, $8 billion in capital investments, $644 million in payroll and $271 million in tax revenue over 10 years. The oil, he said, could produce much more.
One thing that I enjoyed reading about was how environmentalists are reacting to this movement. For example, a Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Marirose Pratt said, “What we know about the minuscule amount of oil and gas in the Atlantic cannot justify the costs to our environment and our coastal economies, especially when there are better ways to meet energy needs for the long term, not just six days or even six months.” He brings up an excellent point and I would hope Obama would realize that there are other ways to meet the demand for oil. The use of biofuels is a clear way to depend on homegrown fuels and, as we know, its benefits to our environment are endless compared to continually depending on and using fossil fuels.