I certainly do. Firstly, deep water drilling has an extremely strong stigma now that the BP disaster has happened. Consumers now see deep water drilling as a bad thing, something that led to this terrible spill. Perhaps this stigma will push oil companies to move towards other forms of energy and other ways of retrieving oil, since bad press is extremely bad for huge corporations like the oil companies.
But, beyond the social stigma of deep water drilling, I think that there are going to be more stringent regulations on the oil companies. Hopefully, there will be a greater regulator and government presence in the formation and upkeep of rigs, safety standards will be far more strict, and fewer areas will be eligible for the placement of deep water drilling rigs. Of course, there is no guarantee that all of these things will come to pass, but there is a tangible political and social movement for greater regulation of the rampant oil companies.
Yes, this is a great opportunity for us to push for alternative fuels. Also, there will most likely be more stringent regulations and inspections of current offshore rigs.
Definitely. I truly hope that offshore drilling will be completely eliminated in the near future (or at least properly regulated). People may say that accidents happen, but the risk is far to great to the environment and the economy to continue offshore drilling. I hope we can take something positive out of this catastrophe and pass effective legislation that will ultimately stop offshore drilling in the future.
The deep water Gulf of Mexico is one of very, very few places in the US where significant discoveries of oil are still possible. So if drilling there is eliminated, then the US needs to accept the need to import more without complaint. There is no amount of onshore drilling that can replace the 32% of domestic production that comes from the offshore Gulf (shallow and deep water), and it is not possible to replace that much petroleum-derived liquid fuel with alternatives such as ethanol. It is not possible to make that much in the US.
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