Environmental Problems of Oil Industry

Topics: Exxon Valdez oil spill, Petroleum, Natural gas Pages: 4 (1227 words) Published: October 26, 2011
Due to the very nature of oil resources, the environment is invariably affected. The first way in which the environment is affected by the oil industry is through both the drilling and the transportation processes. The chemicals used in the drilling can be harmful to the environment, drilling itself poses a great danger, for instance in case of an oil spill (as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill showed), and as the Exxon Valdez disaster so evidently portrayed, transportation can be equally as devastating to the environment. In addition to this, the actual burning of oil as a fuel creates havoc in the environment, contributing to already controversial problems such as global warming. Lastly, the remaining virgin forests and different species of animals are at risk as increasing pressure is applied by oil industry leaders pushing for new drilling in sensitive and once-protected regions. _ _ _

Water Pollution
When we talk about oil industry the first source of water pollution that comes up is an oil spill. It may occur during the drilling process (which was the case of Gulf of Mexico), when it turned out to be the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. The spill caused extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats and to the Gulf's fishing and tourism industries. In January 2011 the White House oil spill commission released its final report on the causes of the oil spill. They blamed BP and its partners for making a series of cost-cutting decisions and the lack of a system to ensure well safety. The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill remains the justifiable example of how the transportation of oil can suddenly wreak a huge environmental and economic crisis. Eleven million gallons of oil leaked, unstopped, from the ship when it hit rocks in 1989. Initial cleanup, by most reports, took three years and amounted to a cost of over $3 billion. And the sheer numbers of animals and birds destroyed were devastating....
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