Earlier in January of 2018, the Trump administration reversed Obama-era regulation that protected offshore sites from drilling. President Trump’s supposed reasoning was that he wanted America to gain energy dominance, and claimed that offshore drilling will support that goal. Thus, the new order opened up 94 percent of the coastal region to offshore drilling, which was restricted during the Obama administration. This means that the Georgia coast could see a handful of oil drills within the next few years.
However, offshore drilling is a disastrous endeavor to pursue for energy production, and it has terrible ecological implications.
Continuing the dependence on fossil fuel is a short-sighted and extremely selfish endeavor on the part of big oil companies since renewable energy will soon outcompete fossil fuel in terms of efficiency and cost. And besides, fossil fuel is a finite resource and will eventually run out. It makes more long-term economic sense to slowly wean ourselves off of fossil fuel dependence instead of creating avenues for more production.
It also makes ecologic sense to continue to protect the ocean and coastal environment. More offshore oil rigs will increase the probability of oil spills, which kills thousands of animals in the ocean and requires costly clean up efforts. Also, the loud noise and fencing from the rigs disrupts navigation of migratory animals or the hunting behavior of carnivorous species.
Besides, it makes sense for the survival of our world to mitigate the avenues of oil production. According to climate scientists at Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change industrialized companies are reaching a critical point in which the amount of carbon in the atmosphere will cause irreversible harm to the planet. Thus, America, which is the second highest polluter in the world, should reduce the amount of carbon expelled into the atmosphere. Offshore drilling does not do this.
The current population at University of Georgia is the generation that will see numerous offshore drills on their coasts. Every beach trip will be plagued with the distant vision of rigs. All the pristine open ocean we have now will be a thing of the past. As the generation with the potential to be a major political power, we should make an effort to protect our coast. If we oppose the legislation and fight off the oil drills, we can focus our effort on long-term renewable energy as well as protecting our fragile ecosystems. And besides, our planet will thank us.