Should we drill for oil off the coast of Florida?

by June 20, 2008 • 20 comments

Technology has gotten so that we can do so with little risk of a spill.  With little spillage during Katrina from the Gulf oil rigs, many elected and appointed officials agree.  But, I ask, is 7 million gallons of oil a small amount?

China’s rumored to be doing it, why can’t we?

With the cost of oil skyrocketing, we have an immediate need to relieve some of the pressure this crisis is causing.  But, would this really help?

With an estimated 5.2 barrels of oil in the Gulf, how long would it take for us to see a difference?  Would this really alleviate pressure?  Analysts say that it would take at least a decade for oil companies to obtain permits, get the equipment ready and do the exploration necessary to start pumping oil, and even by then, the newly pumped oil would do little to affect the global supply and in turn have little effect on the price of gas.

Regardless, with gas prices going up almost daily, many think we should still explore this option.  Senator Mel Martinez says we should do drill no less than 50 miles offshore.  I say 150 miles offshore.

Dan Rowe, president of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau is quoted in the New York Times: “You can no longer just dismiss it out of hand” because gasoline prices and drilling technology have changed.

So what do you think?

Print Story

Related Stories

Additional National News Stories

More Ways to Connect with Us

Leave a Comment

{

20 Comments

}

1 Kevin Morrison June 20, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Regardless of the delay of oil to market that any future drilling would produce (which would be significant), the major issue here is not price. Price in the U.S. is still extremely cheap compared to the rest of the world.

The primary issue here is climate change and whether drilling for MORE of the same oil that has contributed to the climate crisis we’re heading for (if not already in) is wise. I say it’s not. Rather, we need our elected officials to implement appropriate policies and enact measures to encourage the rapid development of clean (a.k.a. renewable) energy. Pass the windfall tax legislation against the oil companies, use those tax revenues to develop better technologies to enable us to get OFF foreign oil and oil ALL TOGETHER. With vehicles like the Aptera (www.aptera.com) that gets 300 MPG, we need to also have companies STOP producing such fuel-inefficient cars and develop more models like the Aptera. We need for Congress to provide the funding to put in place the infrastructure necessary for future hydrogen stations and provide financial incentives to companies to develop the renewable energy that will for a sustainable economy for not just ours, but many generations that will follow. Drilling for MORE oil is certainly NOT the answer…we’re just asking for MORE of the SAME problem. We absolutely must make a fundamental shift in our thinking, behavior, and policies (which means getting the oil lobbyists out of bed with politicians and the auto industry) and thinking beyond what’s convenient.

Reply

2 Brian Johnson June 21, 2008 at 7:31 am

We should start drilling today. Regardless of what the folks that want us to move back into caves say, if the world knows we are starting to drill, that in itself will make the price of oil/gas drop significantly. With the expectation on more supply the price drops (grade one economics). I thought the American people were a proud group that stood up for themselves and fought for what they believed in. Yet they are letting a few environmentalists stifle the progression on the entire nation. Shame on you all. We should utilize our natural resources, oil, coal, shale oil etc. We should also start building nuclear power plants to supply clean power for our children’s future. Now that we have built this nation into the great state that it is we can’t sit back and put our feet up, we must surge ahead.

Reply

3 Terri June 24, 2008 at 8:14 am

Go to Daulphin Island and you can count over 32 oil rigs in the ocean as you relax on the beach… THEY ARE UGLY!!! The most important thing is to keep them out further than the horizon so we don’t have to look at them, and that means not seeing the top above the horizon either…

Reply

4 Carl Cromer June 24, 2008 at 8:50 am

This comment is in reference to the first comment. He mentions the Aptera as a solution and references 300 miles to the gallon. This is simply not true, look at the website. Here is some info on the Aptera taken from their website.

“Diesel or Gasoline? Our first prototype, the Mk-0, was a parallel hybrid Diesel and achieved an average of 230 MPG at a steady state of 55 MPH. This was pure Diesel/mechanical drive with no electric assist. Diesel is attractive for its Carnot efficiency and the increased enthalpy of Diesel fuel vs gasoline. However, diesel contains lots of unburned hydrocarbons and NOX compounds, and it’s impossible to get a small Diesel engine certified for emissions in California. Therefore, the typ-h uses a small, water-cooled EFI Gasoline engine with closed loop oxygen feedback and catalytic converter. This engine is coupled to a lightweight 12KW starter/generator. It’s very clean and quiet.”

You can get 230 mpg but in diesel but it won’t meet emission standards in California and they make no mention of what the mpg would be with the water-cooled EFI Gasoline engine with closed loop oxygen feedback and catalytic converter. You can get higher mpg using a hybrid and they also have an all electric but you have to use a little common sense here. First none of these hybrids eliminate fuel, it may be a good start but we still need gas!!!!

Second, they mention that you can plug these things in to charge the batteries. Our power grid is already over taxed and this electricity would come from a coal fired or nuclear powerplant, both technologies that I am sure that the author of this comment would be opposed to. I should also mention that I five years we are going to have a glut of hybrid batteries to dispose of.

I think that the bottom line is that any technology that would free us from our oil dependance is decades away and all this talk of electric vehicles would get it power from a process that is just as bad if not worse for our environment.

Environmentalist need to get behind a technology that makes sense. You can’t claim that electric vehicles are the way of the future if you oppose all the methods of generating electricity.

Reply

5 Sharon Mayhew June 24, 2008 at 9:04 am

Instead of drilling off shore the president should do something about the oil company executives who are making million of dollars. No matter how much technology advances there are still accidents and you can be sure that the oil companies won’t pay for them. We will pay one way or the other and sacrificing the ecological balance of our shores for a few dollars is just not worth it. I am contacting my congressman and I expect him to say “no” to off shore drilling.

Reply

6 Ed Wrann June 24, 2008 at 9:06 am

America,,, WAKE UP! Fuel and energy in general are a market driven products, I don’t think the price is up because we’re lacking the commodity as much as people are willing to pay for it. Yeah we grumble and groan but we still suck it up and put the hose in the tank. The two sure fire ways to lower the price is 1. put more supply on the market (expensive) 2. stop using the product (inconvenient). it is rather simple but, you educated people would not allow the common folk to use common sense. If you cant afford it, stop using it! Do you think if you stopped buying bread on the grocery store shelf, the store would not lower the price to get the product moving again? Duh! If you or I were the maoney person behind this fuel “price” issue and it would affect my bottom line, I would do anything, your crazy. The people behind it are making wheelbarrow’s full of money, why should they stop. The government is a guilty as the oil companies and above all, it’s the people who hold stock in oil companies and oil futures. Want to fix the problem? stop supporting it!!!

Reply

7 Troy June 24, 2008 at 9:07 am

Even though I hate to say it, we need to drill for oil. I am an environmentalist, but I do have the common sense to know that we can’t just switch to electrical vehicles in an instant. I need to drive to work, just as much as the next person, so this would help a lot. But in the meanwhile, the government does need to take some action to start giving the companies GOOD incentives to produce renewable energy. Were wasting our time on oil…

Reply

8 Troy June 24, 2008 at 9:13 am

@ Ed Wrann,

So basically we should all quit our jobs and just not go to work? We can’t just stop using gas… I live 45 mins from my office, there’s no way I could just “hop on a bike” to get to work.

Reply

9 Toni June 24, 2008 at 9:22 am

First, I had a long conversation with a woman from South Padre Island, TX. She said they heard all the same things… it’s okay we’ll be careful and it’ll be far off shore. She also said the Padre water was the same beautiful color as our own and she said although it was gradual that beautiful color disappeared and turned to brown.
Second, we MUST find alternatives to fossil fuels. You are kidding yourself if you think that we can EVER produce enough oil. The demand will always increase faster than the supply. Population will increase and need will increase. We need to pour our money into research. We CAN get alternatives on the market FAST if they really wanted to. PLEASE do not ruin probably the only pristine coastline left in the United States. You’ll realize this is the truth years from now but as the woman told me “then it will be too late”.

Reply

10 Winford Rister June 24, 2008 at 9:38 am

As in most issues, there is some merit in all perspectives. Just because it will take 10 years to see a benefit is no reason to do nothing. It takes 12 or 13 years to get a high school education, so should we not do it because it takes too long?

We should use ALL our resources, mental and physical, to help solve the problem. I am for drilling, building new refineries, building nuclear power plants, using wind power, using solar power, using ethanol, (but not reducing the food supply), and hydrogen (but not reducing the water supply) and whatever else we can to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. BUT, we also need to stop wasting oil! Watch how many people leave their cars running while they go in the store, or wait in line at the bank, etc?

We should buy and use energy efficient vehicles, and plan our trips to minimize consumption.

This may not happen until gasoline gets to $10 per gallon, and not at all, if we subsidize it by governmnet handouts or other methods to mask the real problem of waste.

Reply

11 Carla June 24, 2008 at 9:58 am

I’m from Houston and am considering buying a condo right now in PCB. There’s a reason I’d never consider South Padre or Galvestion, which are both much, much closer to my home. The beaches there do not compare to PCB. No way. And they never have. I love Texas with all my heart but the color of the water at Padre or anywhere else around here has a lot more to do with our geography than the oil companies. Those same companies have put food on the tables for plenty of us too, so we might need to consider that as well.

Reply

12 Tony May June 24, 2008 at 11:04 am

Canada is our number one source of imported oil followed by Mexico. Russia can’t drill for oil in Siberia fast enough and China is building 30 new nuclear power plants. Meanwhile, we have off-shore and shale oil reserves second to none but sit idley by doing nothing here in the USA to reduce our dependence on others. That doesn’t make sense to me.

I live in metro-Detroit and can tell you our vehicles will be dependent on oil for decades despite all the resources being invested in alternatives. GM and Honda have hydrogen fuel cell fleets on the road now for testing. The problem is they cost almost $1 million dollars per vehicle to produce. My family of auto company engineers say they would not personally buy a hybrid at this time (because the batteries are way too hot) and they also would not “crud up their engines” with the government debacle that is ethanol.

We will certainly be looking to downsize with our next vehicle purchases in pursuit of better MPG’s. The European’s learned long ago that the best combination of performance and economy is turbo-charged diesel systems. That would be a good start for us Americans!

Reply

13 Woodie McCarty June 24, 2008 at 11:37 am

Drill here, drill now, and pay less for our economic and political security at home and worldwide. We need a comprehensive energy policy to develop our own energy resources like petroleum, coal, and nuclear now. We also need to aggressively research alternative fuels for the future. The environmental safety, timeline, and effectiveness of delivering oil and gas at home is a solid investment that environmental extremist would demand that you believe to be otherwise. We need to support our free enterprise system to remove unnecessary obstacles for all energy exploration and production. Here are two websites for more information on the facts and how you can take action today:
http://www.energytomorrow.org/Default.aspx
http://www.americansolutions.com/

Reply

14 Andrea Thornton June 24, 2008 at 6:48 pm

It was JUST TWO YEARS AGO US CONGRESS VOTED DOWN FUNDS TO FIX THE ALASKA PIPELINE. As a result it will be shut down. There is still “oil in them there hills” but let’s let the fat oil companies RUIN OUR BEACHES on profits from our pockets instead of taxes we should place on them to fix the pipeline!!!!!!!

Reply

15 Sharon Ernst June 25, 2008 at 8:40 pm

I for one do not want to risk destroying our beaches, wild life and gulf waters to any type of oil spills. No matter if oil is out there or not….it won’t be for that much longer. We have got to focus on cleaner, more efficient alternatives to oil! We are the leaders, and we can make changes. Our oil industry doesn’t want to make those changes because it will cost them so much to change their processes. Our auto industry doesn’t want to make the changes because they will have to put out so much money to change the way they make cars. So, if we don’t force them to embrace new technology and find an alternative, our grandkids are going to be dealing with a much worse situation than we are currently facing. MAKE A CHANGE AMERICA!!

Reply

16 Lisa July 1, 2008 at 9:57 am

What good is drilling for more oil when the US sells most of its oil to other countries? (mainly Asia) As long as the oil fat cats can get away with it, they will continue to do so. Why do you think they have record profits? They get more by shipping it out than they do by selling here is the US.

Reply

17 Frank July 1, 2008 at 10:47 am

I look forward to $20 and higher per gallon fuel prices. That will assure that I can enjoy the Panama City beaches and the pristine scenery without having people everywhere as they are now. Everyone here knows that a hole in the ground here is much worse than a hole in the Islamic world mailyh because most will never go there, so out of sight out of mind holds. People should just stay home and not drive and in most cases the government should confiscate their automobiles. The profits from the automobile salvage could be used to pay for health cost for everyone that could be implemented using a mail order or email system. Trucks are just to big and they polute to much so they should be banned from our highways. With the reduced automobiles and trucks our highways could be reduced and all the oil based asphalt could be stored in a hole some where.

It is a fact that our politicians have said that we are eating too much and staying too cool or warm so crops can be reduced and air conditioning can be elimitated.

Well you get the idea.

Reply

18 J D Webster July 1, 2008 at 2:44 pm

The price of oil will continue to go up as long as the value of the dollar goes down. The Senators and Congressmen continue to create larger and larger deficits, and that is the source of Inflation. As long as our Government continues to rack up Trillion Dollar deficits, our money will continue to shrink in value! The German gov’t did this in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The Mexican gov’t did this in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The only cure for Inflation is to stop spending money we don’t have. The process to curtailing this spending is to remove the spendthrifts from public office. This November the voters need to dump all the incumbents and vote for someone who makes sense. We need less government and lower taxes!
Drilling for oil off Florida, and off the East Coast, and in the Artic makes sense. The techniques and safeguards for eco-friendly production are already in place. The lady who is worried about the color of the water along the Texas Coast should do a little homework about the direction of the currents in the Gulf of Mexico.

Reply

19 CARL KESSLER July 17, 2008 at 12:43 pm

YES WE NEED TO DRILL FOR OIL IN THE GOLF TODAY
CHINA IS DOING IT USA CAN DO IT AS WELL

Reply

20 topshop March 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm

A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.
I do think that you ought to write more about this issue, it may not be
a taboo subject but generally people don’t speak about such issues. To the next! Many thanks!!

Reply