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Offshore Drilling in Alaska

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On 31th March, 2010, President Obama projected to open vast stretches of American coastlines to natural gas and oil drilling, much of it for the initial time, in an ostensible bid to win political backing for climate and energy legislation. However, that idea stimulated distress among environmentalists and warmish support from Republicans remained a tight set back by the enormous oil slick generated in April 2010. The commotion, at the Gulf of Mexico drilling rig, blasted and sank off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 workers and left four others in critical conditions (U.S. 26). A pipe leak a mile deep discharged out what the government ultimately estimated to be nearly 5 million barrels of oil in the Alaska, making it the biggest accidental spill in world history (U.S. 27). In response to this spill, the government put in place suspension on deep water gas and oil drilling, a step that arose as a setback to the oil industry and infuriated Atlanta communities reliant on offshore drilling for income and jobs. Later, the government announced that it indented to end the suspension and issuing new guidelines that tighten standards for blowout preventers, well design, safety certification, worker training and emergency response. In the end of 2010, pulling back more from Mr. Obama original plan, the government rescinded its decision to enlarge offshore oil exploration along the Atlantic Coast. The drilling would continue under suspension for those zones for at least the subsequent 7 years, until sturdier safety and environmental standards remain in place. However, drilling would continue in western and central Gulf of Mexico, though, under a fresh set of safeguards initiate after the deadly oil spill and BP explosion (U.S. 34). In April, last year, a year subsequent to BP spill began the far – maligned federal agency accountable for policing Atlanta offshore drilling had reshaped with a strong new director. It now had an awkward new title (the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement) and a bundle of stricter safety regulations (U.S. 8). The agency was endeavoring to put several distance between themself and the industry it controls. However, even those running it accepted that it would be for years before they could create a robust regulatory system able to minimize risks to workers and the proximal environment while still allowing offshore exploration. In November 2011, the Barrack Obama administration announced its planned 5 – year strategy for offshore oil and gas drilling, which calls for launching new areas in Alaska but blocks development along the West and East Coasts. The plan upset environmentalists but fell far petite of what the oil production and its Congressional devotees demanded (U.S. 8). Some of the pros of the oil drilling in Alaska include noise pollution. Seismic waves sent on the ground tell analyzers where oil reserves may be lying. This noise pollution may cause whales and other cetaceans, like dolphins, to strand themselves on shore. The drilling also brings with it noise pollution to the surrounding neighbors. As we have seen in the paragraphs above, drilling comes with a high probability of oil spills. The oil spills has such widespread effects in an ecosystem that it is unmanageable for humans to remedy, though, we can try to clean up the polluted environment