Debate For Drilling And Gas Prices
||By Anna Finger
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President Bush had an idea to takeaway the offshore drilling ban that was decades old. He did this because the idea of coastal drilling in Florida has begun to draw much
needed attention, due to its risks and also benefits. It is totally unclear just how much untapped crude oil is to be discovered along the U.S. coastline, although estimates by
The National Petroleum Council suggest that around 5 billion barrels are located near the coast of Florida alone. The Energy Information Administration's data suggest this number
should be more like 16 billion barrels while data from other companies and organizations tops out at 21 billion barrels.
American Petroleum Institute's senior economic advisor, Rayola Dougher, said that, "If we as a nation can bring our own resources into this mix, we would not see the prices we're
seeing right now. We really need all the oil and natural gas we can bring to market, and it's here - it's U.S. homegrown - and we really have the technology to go after it, to develop
it in a way we never did before." However, a 1981 ban by congress was established to discourage oil rig construction within 125 miles from the coastline of Florida. With the price of
gas and goods skyrocketing to levels that have never been seen before, the President asked Congress to revoke that ban and to revoke Alaskan oil share drilling restrictions.
API's senior economic advisor also stated that, "These areas have been off-limits to development for decades now. The technology has really changed. They can do it in a very
safe way and they can go up to 200 miles offshore. It's not like you would have a rig that you would be looking at from some beach." She also estimates that Florida oil rigs
are capable of producing around 2 million barrels of oil per day saying that, "It makes perfect sense to go ahead develop these resources."
However, some environmentalists are not so easily sold on this proposal. According to Adam Rivera, Environment Florida's citizen outreach director, "Offshore drilling is
dirty, dangerous and it doesn't deliver. Just the routine toxic pollution from offshore drilling poses a huge threat to our beaches and our coastal-based economy." Not to
mention the fact that he believes offshore drilling off of Florida's coast will not equate to a lowering gas prices. Rivera said, "There is only six or 12 months of oil off
our coastline, so that's not nearly enough to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. One of the best things we can do to actually lower prices at the pump is to raise fuel