EPA Decision on Offshore Drilling

Americans from coast to coast are suffering as a result of rising fuel prices, and with the summer months fast approaching, some estimate the U.S. average price per gallon will exceed five dollars.  As gas prices continue to rise with no end in sight, many Americans are urging lawmakers and oil companies to develop alternatives to control costs.

However, Shell Oil recently announced that it must discontinue its project to drill for oil off the northeast coast of Alaska, due to a decision by the EPA appeals board.  As a result, members of Congress continue to work on legislation which would eliminate the EPA’s ability to oversee oil drilling.

The EPA appeals board refuses to provide Shell with the necessary air permits to continue their program, citing air quality concerns.

“What the modeling showed was in communities like Kaktovik, Shell’s drilling would increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards,” said Eric Grafe, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on this case.

While some believe the EPA lacks solid reasoning, what solid reasoning do we have to drill?  What affect would drilling off the coast of Alaska really have on the price of fuel?  The amount of oil in the arctic remains unclear, and the likelihood of it drastically reducing fuel prices nation wide is slim.  Drilling could reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but not for long.  We need a more permanent solution than drilling, which offers mostly unanswered questions and has the potential to cause irreparable damage to an already fragile ecosystem.

To learn more about the decision click.

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