News / USA

US Oil Industry Pushes For Expansion of Offshore Drilling

Multimedia

The U.S. oil industry is seeking to pressure the Obama administration into reconsidering its decision to limit offshore drilling along U.S. coasts - a decision made following the BP oil spill disaster last year.  A new study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute says oil demand in the U.S. will grow by 50 percent by 2035.  Without greater access to new offshore wells, the trade group says, U.S. dependence on foreign sources will grow.  But, some argue the solution to America's energy independence is less oil, not more.

Despite efforts to reduce energy consumption and improve fuel efficiency, the American Petroleum Institute says America's appetite for oil is growing.

Jack Gerard, the president of the U.S. oil industry's largest trade group, says the solution is to expand offshore drilling - which in turn will create thousands of new jobs.

"Over the next three, four, five years, we have an opportunity to be a significant economic engine to help stimulate the recovery," said Gerard. "These are well-paying, highly sought-after jobs and again, what we need is the political will to provide the opportunities."

Gerard says opening up areas now off limits to development could create as many as 500,000 jobs by 2025 and generate $150 billion in government revenue.

He's urging lawmakers to set aside political differences and allow expanded drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, off the East Coast and in parts of Alaska.  

But some insist that would be a step backwards.

Dan Weiss is director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress.

"Where we ought to putting our emphasis is reducing our demand for oil," said Weiss. "That will be faster, cleaner and cheaper than dramatically expanding offshore oil drilling."

While the industry says it supports the development of alternative sources of energy, experts say it will be difficult - if not impossible - to completely eliminate America's addiction to oil.  With demand skyrocketing in emerging economies, such as China, Gerard says delaying development of America's oil reserves now, will only send jobs elsewhere.

"The alternative to putting our own people back to work is to increase our reliance on other forms and sources of energy and we believe the best solution is to develop American energy for all Americans," he said.

Weiss is skeptical of the industry's job and revenue projections.  He says dollar for dollar, there are more efficient ways to create jobs.

"When it comes to jobs, Investing a million dollars into clean energy like efficiency, solar or wind power would create four times as many jobs as investing that same million dollars into oil production," he said.

But with a new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and crude oil prices hovering at a two-year high, analysts say there will be increased pressure on the Obama administration to expand domestic oil production.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid