During this lifetime, we will not know the amount of damage and problems caused by the continuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. When addressing the ethical concerns associated with off shore drilling, we must look at many different points of views. Although environmental groups have challenged off shore drilling since it became a practice, the federal government has allowed it. This is because the government values offshore drilling for economic reasons more than it values preserving the environment.
The effects of offshore drilling can be disastrous. My first concern is whether it is ethically right to drill off shore knowing that the effects are harmful to the marine ecosystem. Just from drilling alone (without spillage) we are polluting the water with different toxins that kills marine life. This can also affect human lives who may rely on seafood as a source of food or livelihood. My next concern is that if an oil spill occurs, it not only affects the marine ecosystems but will also affect the local fishermen who rely solely on marine.
At times, these fishermen have 2 or 3 months in the year when they conduct most of their business. Lastly, my concern is the unforeseen circumstances that will undoubtedly show up later such as the effects of Hiroshima bomb in Japan. How much do we really know about offshore drilling- information that the public has access to? Is there any guarantee that it will not cause long term effects that are disastrous? Can the damage to the water and the seafood have a negative impact on human lives? Can too much drilling cause eruptions under the sea which might create tsunamis or earthquakes?
Will the off-shore drilling result in closing down beaches along coasts creating economic havoc? These points of debate are enough reason to rule against companies resorting to offshore drilling as a means of obtaining oil. Let us analyze what would happen if the government refused to allow offshore drilling to occur. If there were no off shore drilling, the natural resources like the oil and gas would never be utilized. From an economic point of view, it would be sitting under the ocean ‘useless. It would also be a negative for the economy not to drill offshore since it creates huge number of employment in the country. People working in the oil refineries, gas stations, transportation business and much more would be out of work. Oil is something that is high in demand and a necessity which is why people are willing to pay a higher price to obtain it. Therefore, to meet this demand offshore drilling is necessary to get more oil. Ethically, companies and government should focus on the use of alternate energy in the future.
By doing this, we can shift to a different energy source and thus preserve ecosystems and not conduct offshore drilling. Meanwhile, companies should take extra caution and do extensive training so that less mistake are made that can eventually cause oil spills in the ocean. From this recent oil spill in the Gulf, I am surprised to see that the oil spill has not yet been resolved. With all the technology we have, we still are not able to control this spill. Therefore, advancement in technology such as the development of the auto shut-off system in case of a spill should be focused on.