Author Topic: Off shore drilling  (Read 6831 times)

NVBOB

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Off shore drilling
« on: September 08, 2008, 22:42:06 UTC »
Is there any coordinated effort afoot to let the Washington politicians know that the sport divers of the USA do not want our reefs killed by the off shore drilling crowd? 
I mention this although I am a republican and I know that there are some divers that dive the oil rigs as though they are man made (artificial) reefs.  But the reason I am concerned is that in order to dive a NATURAL live reef going out of Galveston, TX, you have to go 220 miles to get to the first live reef.  Before the drilling started in earnest some forty years or so ago, Galveston had live reefs.  The city of Galveston had to scrape the dead fish off the canals and boat slips for months when the drilling started.  The first trip I took to Galveston after I moved to Dallas, TX in 1989, was to play in the surf with my whitewater kayaks.  I was teaching my younger brother how to roll.  When we got out of the water we were covered in tar.  I was surprised and confused.  I had not gotten anywhere near any docks where there might be treated pilings.  When we headed for the condo, we noticed that there were soap dispensers all along the sea wall.  This was to wash off the tar before you go tracking it into your rented condo!!  That's when I started asking the oldtimers about the reefs and the oil that is in the water.  Business as usual, there was not a spill before we showed up.  I went to Belize in 1995 and while on Spanish Lookout Caye found out that a Canadian oil company was researching the islands nearby for drilling.  I warned the resort owners that if the oil companies started drilling off the barrier reef in Belize that all the reefs would die and the reef fish would all be gone.  They told me that the "American Environmentalist" comes down and says "Don't cut the mahogany tree, but that tree could provide enough money to feed my family for five years."  So I said back, "At the end of the money, you have neither the tree for shade nor any tourist paying to see the tree."  I know that these issues are very complicated but I see the devastation that drilling caused in Galveston and I don't want to take a chance on it happening anywhere else!!
Drill on land all you need, but leave the oceans and seas alone!!  Am I all wrong on this issue or do others feel similarly??

blacktip

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Re: Off shore drilling
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2008, 23:12:59 UTC »
I do think you make a point. I listen to many opine on this subject and wonder why we always want to take the easiest path to anywhere. How many years have we seen the disaster that oil can do to our oceans which are the "base" of the world's big ecosystem. If we had started after the first oil disaster I bet we would have found an alternative to fossil fuel. It's time we bite the bullet and make some real change.

monkee

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Re: Off shore drilling
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 04:21:10 UTC »
This may be my first and last post in undercurrent's forum - after subscribing for something like a decade. 

My opinions about the new paganism of "Earth worship" aside, let's get some perspective:

1.  The existence of humans - and more so, the existence of industrial technology - is a negligible blip on the timeline measuring the age of Earth.

2.  Acknowledged, that in the few decades (an even smaller blip) at the beginning of the Industrial Age (less than two centuries old), industrialists were ignorant and/or careless about the effects of their growth on the planet.

3.  This approximately 100-year period was maybe 1% of the time it took for the Earth to recover from the last Ice Age.

4.  There is ABSOLUTELY no room for ANY business concern (at least in this country) to promote its business at the expense of the environment.  It can't happen.  There are no Mom-and-Pops drilling in the ocean.

5.  I'm not a scientist or even environmentalist, but this has been evident to me since my childhood growing up on the Texas coast.  Everywhere west of the Mississippi gets whatever garbage, silt, seaweed, jellyfish and everything else undesirable for recreation along the beaches.  Go a few hundred miles east, say to Gulf Shores, AL, or Pensacola, FL, and it's a whole new universe.  I don't know why this is but guess it has something to do with natural ocean currents; or maybe that the Texas coast is an obvious toilet bowl - just look at a map.  I simply don't understand the draw to any beach in Texas.  It's ugly, the water is brown-green, and so salty you'll throw up if you accidentally get a mouthful.

6.  YET...  Just go a few miles offshore, where the big, bad, evil big cooperation is responsibly producing energy that the country needs, paying the cost for environmental compliance, staying out of your backyard with their loud machinery and roughnecks, and you find WHAT?  A NEW reef!  Not a reef that took millions of years to grow, but one that took a couple of decades!

Heck, I vote for more offshore drilling!

mango9

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Re: Off shore drilling
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2009, 03:58:57 UTC »
NVBOB, you are all wrong on this issue.  Any degradation to the coastal waters around Galvestonhas more to do with population growth in the area and the environmental pressures that presents.  Several recent hurricanes that destroyed onshore buildings and dumped vast amounts of materials, chemicals, and trash into the near shore waters have not helped.

Galveston has never been an ideal beach going destination, but most of the contamination was due to marine transport associated with the refineries up the Houston Ship Channel, not oil drilling or production.   Oil drilling is not a major activity in the area any more, and the pristine condition of the Flower Garden and Stetson Banks reefs, even with oil production in the western Gulf, shows that the adverse affects are not detectable.

BTW, the reason that you have to go 220 miles out in the Gulf to dive natural reefs is that this is where you find conditions conducive to reef development.  The near shore environment is not, and despite what the "old timers" may remember, there never have been significant reefs around the barrier islands on which Galveston is built.  With the producing platforms (and other artificial reef projects like "rigs to reefs" being conducted, you can now go 30 miles offshore, find clear water (fault the Missippi River for the near shore silt, not oil drilling), and abundant marine life around those rigs.  It's great diving (and fishing).

If you want more proof, take a look off the California coast.  They still have platforms and people still SCUBA dive all along the coast from San Diego to Fort Ross, and even farther north.
Please visit my website at http://www.kandfoto.com and my blog, Pixel Safari, at http://www.kandfoto.com/blog

monkee

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Re: Off shore drilling
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2009, 03:00:13 UTC »
mango9, you are partly right about the TX coastal waters.  As far as I know, the Muddy Mississippi River has always been muddy, way before Industrialism.  Ocean currents carry that mud west, while the East Gulf is largely spared.

You don't have to go 220 miles.  Flower Gardens and Stetson Bank are 130 miles off the coast of TX out of Freeport, and are beautiful diving.  In that area, there are still a few operating oil rigs.  The rigs have just as much or more marine life than the natural coral reefs!

NVBOB and blacktip, just spend a little time making a reality investment, instead of letting whatever message happens to be loudest in any particular 5 minutes be your whole basis of opinion. 

Otherwise, sell your scuba gear while it still has some value.  Look at history:  for any one thing that the people have allowed government to control, it has taken another, another, and still more.  When will scuba diving be outlawed?

Yes, mango9!  We can all have what we want responsibly and economically, without more government control where none is needed:  national energy self-sufficiency, environmental preservation and stewardship, and good diving!

 

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