Oil spills are another consideration that argues against placing more drilling rigs. Oil spills happen all the time, on average at least two hundred to five hundred times each year. When this happens, both land and sea can be contaminated and be severely affected. The ecosystem of the spill area can be destroyed and may not come back. The Exxon Valdez spill happened more than twenty years ago in Alaska and the area is just now starting to come back. Even small spills can have a big impact, and this should prevent any more drilling rigs from being placed. Drilling discharges can also contaminate the drilling area, and this can be as damaging to the environment as an oil spill.

Offshore Drilling Rigs
Have the oil companies made any changes in offshore drilling since the oil spill catastrophes of the last ten years? How much oil is actually being spilled in the world due to offshore drilling? Are there other problems associated with offshore oil drilling?

Oil companies continue on their single-task focused direction of trying to add more offshore drilling rigs. The levels of pollution and potential ecological devastation doesn’t seem to be a big enough wake up call. When will this form of fossil fuel dependency stop and how bad does it have to get before they do stop?

Offshore drilling rigs pose enormous environmental risks, yet many in the American government want to put more offshore drilling rigs and land drilling rigs in place and plunder the earth even farther. This position has not been impartially considered, because oil companies and employees refuse to recognize the risks and the environmental damage that these rigs can pose. The damaging effect on the environment that can result from even a small accident is just one consideration, while another is the continued dependence on fossil fuels and the pollution and global warming that this dependence is causing. Instead of placing more drilling rigs, we should be furthering research and technology to make better use of alternative and renewable energy sources that are friendly to the environment, instead of causing the environment damage.

Drilling rigs pose a severe risk of environmental damage. Marine life is affected by both the testing and the oil drilling process, oil drilling can cause contamination to be released into the water when the oil rig is in operation, oil spills can cause serious damage and harm to marine and land animals and plants, and using oil rigs will interfere with fishing activities including both subsistence fishing done by native populations and commercial fishing. All of the drilling rigs already in place, both offshore drilling rigs and land drilling rigs, have given good reason why oil drilling rigs are not environmentally friendly. It is not just the drilling process that poses risks to the environment, because once the oil has been recovered it must be transported, stored, and refined, leading to further chances that accidents and environment damage can occur.

The harm that can be caused to marine life from offshore drilling rigs and from oil and natural gas exploration to determine where offshore drilling rigs should be placed is tremendous. Oil exploration involves using seismic waves to determine whether there is a possibility of fossil fuel reserves underneath the ocean floor in an area. These waves penetrate the ocean and the floor to determine where possible oil is located, but these waves also harm marine life in the area. In several cases, big oil companies had to stop oil exploration efforts because large numbers of whales were becoming disoriented and beaching themselves. The seismic waves affect more than just whales though, they can also affect crabs, fish, and a wide variety of other marine animals as well.
Instead of placing more drilling rigs, we need to turn to other energy sources, ones which are more eco-friendly and offer safe power generation, and that do not rely on limited resources like oil and natural gas. The threat of environment damage is just too high with oil drilling rigs, and the chance of a negative result is high. Even one big oil spill can cause devastating results for large areas, and spills are common in the oil drilling industry.

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