make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Debate on offshore drilling continues

READ MORE: Debate on offshore drilling continues
With the price of gas at an all time high, people are looking to Washington for a solution. In the U.S. alone, we consume nearly 21 million barrels of oil in a given day. To help alleviate the problem, President Bush has proposed lifting the offshore drilling ban for oil and natural gas. North Carolina is one of the states against lifting the offshore drilling ban. The state is worried that drilling offshore will hurt tourism on the Carolina coast. The beautiful Carolina coast is a sought after treasure by tourists all over the country. According to some, that could all change. UNCW Environmental Science Professor Roger Shew said, "Up there it is pristine. There is a lot of beauty in the area, however, in areas adjacent to that, you've got to go in and find out how much is there, and is it even beneficial to go out and prospect." President Bush has proposed to congress that the oil drilling ban be lifted off our coasts. Some want the drilling to start right away, and begin bringing those gas numbers down. Environmentalists are concerned about oil spills and pollution. Harry Simmons is Mayor of Caswell Beach, and while the town itself hasn't discussed any plans to drill offshore, he has thought about it. Simmons said, "We certainly don't want to see them do it without a major effort on environmental impact and what kind of impact it might have on the tourism industry here in Southeastern North Carolina, or anywhere on the Carolina coast." The federal waters start about three miles offshore. If you are standing at Caswell Beach, and look northeast, you can see Bald Head Island in the distance. It is about three miles offshore. "We surely don't want to see oil derricks off the shore, anything that needs to be done here needs to be out of sight," said Simmons. "You can have tanker spills anywhere. The question is, do you want to have that be seen offshore?" But for professor roger shew offshore drilling is not the only answer. "This is a large, potential source of oil. It's oil shale, and it's available in the western part of the U.S. Before we can get it to the crude oil form we need it in, it will pose a few environmental issues like using a lot of water, and strip mining." Whether North Carolina is for or against offshore drilling, it all boils down to utilizing the resources we have right here in the Unites States.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


We Need To Wake Up The Middle East

Will will never be independent for our own energy if we don't drill offshore domestically. New areas have huge potential. Environmentalist will say we need to drill up all the leases we have now. Ha!!!! do you think the oil companies want to open up more areas if they already had areas with anything in it. The siezmic work has been done. It just isn't there. Incase you didn't know it isn't like drilling a water well where you pick a spot and there is a good chance you strike water. The oil industry is so regulated environmentally. You have even a minor spill of a couple barrels and you have everyones attention in Houston with the Coast Guard and MMS. When was the last major blowout to affect U.S. Waters?... Campechi in 1979/80. 28 years ago technology was crude. We have learned so much since. Chances aren't taken like they used to. Technology and early warning with trained and knowledgeable people have replaced the seat of your pants wildcatters. I don't think it is the oil rigs people are worried about but the ugly seaports that are the lifeline of supply to the oilfields that nobody wants on there coastlines.

gas its crazy out of sight

with the price of gas i can not afford to cut my grass anymore i think ill kill my grass that i worked so hard to get it to grow green. and just have a dirt yard at the end of a dirt road that the city cant afford to pave. leland nc


Here is the deal. If we drill here, drill now, we as americans can be more independant. More jobs will be created for drilling, refining, ect. Less unemployed depending on gov. checks. Lower gas prices that bring the cost of everything else down. But the government rather us have them "SOLVE" our problems and us continue to depend on them. If we don't drill off shore, other countries will and we will continue to pay them for the fuel we need. How about we all wake up and keep as much of our money on the US as we can.

Why is it OK for all the oil

Why is it OK for all the oil we use now to be taken from other countries? ....BUT, No one wants the USA to drill....THOSE PLACES WOULD HAVE THE SAME NEGATIVE EFFECTS FROM DRILLING AS WE WOULD. Even tho now its very safe to drill.It makes no sense that it is ok to put other beautiful parts of the earth in peril as long as you all can drive a car and have lights.... I guess its ok when its not in your backyard tho? I also think we should take care of ourselves and stop relying on the world to supply us with oil and everything else made in other countries that we could and use to make here.

On Chinese oil drilling...

It's a myth. Wouldn't matter if it wasn't, though, as oil is a global commodity and the major energy companies are global conglomerates. Check out where they are based. You might be shocked to find out how many "American" companies have moved their headquarters to Dubia in the last decade. What that means is that oil is priced on the global market and sold to the highest bidder. If China has the cash, oil drilled by "American" companies will be sold to China. The only way to stop this would be to nationalize the industry (as Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the rest of the OPEC nations did decades ago). This is why oil drilling makes those countries wealthy and is funneled directly to government programs, while the profits from oil drilling here benefit the shareholders and executives of the energy industry. I kind of doubt that the politicians in this country will vote to take control of their largest donors. Again, an "American" oil rig off of Florida is absolutely no different from a Chinese one. The oil's still going to go to whoever can pay the most, no matter what country provides the oil.

drill, yes for me

Please start drilling off our coast, Gas is way too expensive now and I need new places to fish. For those of you that dont want to see the platforms, I guess you have never been out 20 plus miles. All you see is water. Land and all the buildings on it disapears after 12 on a good day.

For math dummies. At $4.50

For math dummies. At $4.50 a gallon for gas, the economy of the United States will collapse. Kids and people working a job that they stay at for 4 hours will stop working that job because it will cost too much to to get there. If they use 4 gallons of gas to get to and return from that job, it will cost $18.00 for gas alone. At $6.00 an hour and a paycheck for that 4 hour job of $24.00, subtract taxes and gas and it leaves about fifty cents. WHY WORK that job then??? No one will be working these 4 hour jobs and the economy is going to collapse. It is starting to happen already. Oil prices need to go lower somehow and people need vehicles that get at least 50 m.p.g. like diesel cars and toyota prius. The world needs to wake up and do something about this soon like yesterday.

Oh gosh I'm so pregnant

I quit my job so I can get fat and lazy. Gonna get the white man to pay my bills and deliver my children into this world. In that new hospital baby place now anyway. I ain't paid a cent and they is taking care of me like a queen. Bend over to the queen whitey!

Offshore drilling

I've been to the west coast-San Fran, Carmel, etc. When I went to the beach I saw beautiful surroundings but at the shore line was a line of oil & the residents said that's normal & it doesn't affect the environment as they were told by the oil drillers. I, as a native North Carolinian would not like to see that on the Carolina coast. Everyone's complaining about how high fuel prices are, we are so dependent on gas & oil (like a herion addict who can't live without) that we aren't willing to make the sacrifices now (nor did we during the 70s during the oil "shortage"). It's time to change our dependency on oil and rethink how we produce energy. Continuing this line of thinking is only making it harder & more expensive for the future. If we had made the sacrifices in the 70s to produce alternative energy with solar, wind, water just think, we could tell all the oil companies to shove it cause we don't need them. Instead we are paying higher fuel prices now because we weren't willing to change during the 70s.

If you saw oil near San Francisco and Carmel.... didn't come from offshore drilling. There are no rigs North of Santa Barbara, so any oil you saw, (if you truly saw any and it wasn't a kelp line) came from sources other than offshore drilling. Perhaps it's part of the 47 million gallons that naturally seep into the oceans every year?

Some numbers that might influence your thinking on this...

Global Oil Consumption in 2008: 87 million billion barrels a day. Around 31 billion per year. TOTAL projected untapped U.S. oil reserves (according to U.S. Dept. of Interior): Around 49 billion. Estimated yearly output from untapped reserves (projected over 50 year life-span of wells): Around 1 billion barrels per year. Estimated global demand for oil in 2012 (earliest estimate of time required to bring untapped reserves to market): 95.8 million barrels a day, 35 billion year. 1/35th of current price of gasoline (3.98): 12 cents. Projected price of gasoline in 2012* (based on $2.25 per litre): $8.53 per gallon. Number of oil spills costing more than $1 million in American waters since 1990 (according to U.S. Government Accounting Office): 51 Economic impact of beach tourism (Florida only): $39 billion per year. * Untapped production included in estimates. My take: Whatever reasons you have for wanting oil rigs on the horizon, price doesn't have much to do with it. If 12 cents off the price of $8 makes that big a difference to you, then you've got other problems. This is political smoke and mirrors. Americans will bash each over the head and politician will point the blame liberals and conservatives, depending on their parties. In the end, none of this will matter - except to the people

Free Gas at 44th and Wrightsville Ave!

You posted a more numerically sound version of what I had intended to say: that increasing worldwide oil inventories by a fraction of a percent is going to have no noticeable effect on retail prices in a global marketplace. Anybody in Wilmington complaining about high gas prices would do well to visit Two Wheeler Dealer. Doing all your local travel by bike is hard work, I’ll be the first to admit. But I’ve saved a whole lot of money on gasoline, reduced worldwide petroleum demand ever so slightly, reduced congesion on local roads by a somewhat larger amount, and have lost a few pounds.

How many of those oil spills....

..resulted from offshore drilling? The great majority were caused by ship accidents. In fact, as we have seen in the North Sea, it is arguably safer to bring the crude oil ashore in undersea pipelines, than it is to ship it via tanker in littoral waters. BTW, take all projections about "untapped reserves" in the US which a LARGE grain of salt - we have been stopped from even drilling exploratory wells in ANWR and offshore, so all estimates are based on seismograph readings, which can be wildly off as far as quantity.

Oil Drilling

I would like to know how much oil is drilled on public land already and who is it sold to.I've heard the Alaska oil is sold to Japan and China.Also if there going to drill off shore on the public land they should sell the oil only to the United States. But they tell me it is free enterprise and they can sell it to the top market.Please check this for me.Gloria

Most Alaskan oil is sold to the Northwest Pacific Rim

Look at a map and you'll see why. It makes far more economic sense to ship the oil to Japan, China, and Korea, than to the refineries in California. It's not only a matter of distance. The Alaskan oil is very sour, and very expensive to refine. To put it bluntly, it's better for our nation to sell it to them, contribute to the global supply of oil, and refine lighter, sweeter oil for sales here in the United States. Those nations have nowhere near the environmental requirements that we do.

To Drill or Not to Drill

I am no expert on offshore drilling, and while I think this country should feed it's own energy needs, I'm not sure offshore drilling is the answer. Conservation and living smart is the answer. Anyone who complains about the "liberals" worrying too much about the environment, anyone who complains about the price of gas, and anyone who is ready to start drilling tomorrow better not be driving around Wilmington in an SUV. Unless needed for work, I do not think anyone driving one of these vehicles should share their opinion with the rest of us. For the record, I drive a hybrid. Do you know when our country will seriously develop alternative energy sources on a major scale???? When the last gallon of gas is pumped from the last gas station.....

I drive an SUV and I wish we

I drive an SUV and I wish we would Drill of the NC Coast today! I did not buy the Suburban for its great gas mileage but for its capicity to carry my entire family in 1 vehicle. I would like to see you squeeze 3 teenage kids, the wife and a dog into your hybrid. Guess you'd have to either make two trips or use two vehicles and burn more gas than I do hauling everybody in one. Oil is used for more than just fuel in your hybrid. You can find it in just about every product your purchase in its many various forms. Just think how much oil was refined to produce various products that were used to make your hybrid vehicle.

Then how do you explain....

...that you're driving a hybrid? Your theory is that the technology would not have been developed until the last gallon of gas is gone. Take the time to see what oil companies ARE doing. Shell produces a gasoline substitute distilled from coal, that burns as clean as conventional gasoline. Chevron is one of the leading companies in fixed plant solar-driven fuel cells. BP has an entire division, spending hunbdreds of millions on researching alternative fuels, such as biodiesel. Oil companies are not run by idiots. They understand that as global supply of petroleum falls further and further behind demand, they have to come up with alternative products or go extinct.

Pay attention

So, this is for the "commonsense..." person. I made a comment about alternative energy sources, not technology. While my hybrid is a great piece of technology, I would prefer to own a vehicle that ran on hydrogen. The technology for hydrogen vehicles is here now, but there are only a few places in this country to refuel. Thus the need for alternative energies. It absolutely amazes me that people think drilling and drilling and drilling is the answer. If you have a big family, buy a mini-van with a V6 engine. My hybrid gets 37 MPG in town and spews out 90% less harmful fumes than a regular vehicle. If there is something wrong with that, I certainly don't get it.

Physics and chemistry are real pains, huh?

Do you understand WHY there are so few places to refuel the handfull of hydrogen cars that are running around on PR tours? Do you understand that hydrogen does not naturally exist in a free state on Earth? Do you understand that when the BTUs needed to produce an alternative fuel exceed the BTUs delivered by that fuel, it is "energy negative," and totally impractical? The entire issue of alternative energy is being muddied up with too many pipe dreams that will never come to fruition unless we have some major discovery and breakthrough that allows us to do what is impossible or impractical. Hydrogen requires massive amounts of energy to be derived from water via electrolysis. Ethanol requires massive amounts of energy to be distilled from agricultural products. Weather and climate restrictions seriously inhibit where that energy can be obtained via solar. The only alternative fuels that show any short-term promise are biodiesel, natural gas, and propane, all of which, like your hybrid, are here, now, but out of favor with the sky-is-falling crowd because of emissions. I think you truly underestimate how efficient gasoline and the internal combustion engine are at energy delivered vs energy required to produce. Finding a new, practical replacement fuel is not happening in our lifetime. We will continue to adapt and refine existing technology to stretch our petroleum supplies. You also underestimate the oil companies if you think they aren't working on replacement fuels 24 x 7, which was the entire purpose of my first posting.

well stated

Well common I must say unlike most of the people on here you argument is well stated and educated. Its good to see that some people have the power of higher knowledge.



Why should we mess up the

Why should we mess up the main industry of Southeastern NC (tourism for those of you new to the area) with offshore eyesores and potential environmental hazards like this? I hate $4/gallon gas as much as the next guy, but the long term solution isn't to get more oil. At least the high prices are forcing auto-makers to come up with alternative solutions for powering our vehicles. That is the direction we need to continue in.

Ever been to Santa Barbara?

Believe it or not, the beaches are full, the waves are far better for surfing, and the fishing is great. Guess what you see on the horizon.... ...and as another poster so correctly pointed out, how many tourists do you think you'll be seeing when gasoline starts topping $5.00 per gallon?

The Horizon

These people have their head in the sand! They don't want to hear you can't see anything off the shore or that there are safe ways to do this. We have waited long enough for other solutions.

Oil Hogs

Let's not forget that the USA is by far the biggest oil hog of any country in the world. We must be cold in the summer, and hot in the winter. We must own every energy consuming gadget produced. Look at our gas consumption. We drive gas hogs of the highest order all over the place constantly. (I guess that reflects the low gas prices we've always enjoyed.) How about the jam packed roadways here in Wilmington all afternoon. Those that use the roadways to work, can hardly get around due to all the needless driving. Even when possible, no one will wants stay put for the day, carpool or muti-task their errands. I know persons who will jump in the car and drive anywhere at anytime for very little reason. And, of course, travel is the passion of the times. My trip was the greatest; how was your trip? When you are the biggest energy hogs in the world, maybe personal CONSERVATION is also an option. No one seriously speaks of this. (I've cut way back on energy consumption, especially air conditioning my home and needless one passenger car trips.) Yet, it is let's drill anywhere for more! I guess that's just good hog mentality.

We are not the largest consumer

To whomever you are that is saying we consume more Oil than anyone else. Look again. China actually has that one zipped up. China uses more Oil, and oil products than we ever thought about. They held their prices low and that is a part of what pushed them higher. I do believe that if we would check into our own natural resources, we could make it without OPEC. Coal is an awesome source. It not only is better for the environment, it is also an awesome economic boost. The people coal employs would help the economy get back on it's feet big time. Coal miners enjoy their vacations etc, and guess where they go..... the beach, at least this coal miners daughter remembers our summer vacations and NC was always one place we went every year. Oil isn't our only fossil fuel... We need to encourage the oil companies that are searching for other means outside of Oil, by purchasing their products, and writing them letting them know we want alternative.

Typical liberal response!

This is all America's fault. How dare we want to be warm in Winter? Has it ever occurred to you that we became a global economic and military superpower because of our access to petroleum, natural gas, and coal? I'm all in favor of conservation, but we also need to increase domestic supply. Bill O'reilly said it best, just last night - the Democrats are so wedded to the environmentalists and their THEORY of global warming, that they are ignoring the real, actual danger to our economy by refusing to drill. Perhaps you want to see us become a Third World nation, where we freeze in Winter and never travel further away from our village than we can walk, but I don't. Buy a clue - the handwriting is on the wall. We can develop alternative fuels AND drill at the same time.

Bill oreilly are you

Bill oreilly are you kidding, your I.Q. is showing

worried that drilling offshore

will hurt something ? Maybe NASA will find gasoline on Mars !