Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Onshore drilling is not the answer to off-shore drilling spills

Some people have taken the Gulf oil spill as a call for more onshore drilling. Doesn't make any sense to me... so I wrote about that in a blog post for The Wilderness Society. I am working for them this summer, and since I write posts for their blog, I realized I could post those here (at least the ones with my name in the byline), as well.

Here is the post I wrote on June 15 about the dangers of onshore drilling (before the whole judge ruling against the deepwater drilling moratorium debacle).

The first few paragraphs (click if you want to read more):

Following the Gulf spill, proponents of the fossil fuel status quo have called for more onshore drilling as a safer alternative to offshore drilling. Don’t let them fool you. Drilling can have devastating environmental impacts for both our waters and our lands.

Take, for example, today’s Chevron oil leak of 500 barrels (or about 17,000 gallons) into a Salt Lake City creek. At least 100 birds were covered in oil, and water quality has certainly been affected.

Oil is not the only fossil fuel that poses risks—so does the supposedly safe fuel, natural gas.

For example, just as there were few (or at least unenforced) regulations of Deepwater Horizon’s drilling process, there are few regulations on hydro-fracking, a natural gas drilling process that is unregulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, despite regular and serious reports of it polluting drinking water in local communities.