The Drilling Generation
What a difference just three decades can make. In 1980, the United States Congress banned offshore drilling in the United States. Ten years later, GOP elect President George H.W. Bush issued an executive order supporting the offshore ban. A year and a half ago, on April 20th, the United States experienced the largest recorded offshore oil spill just forty-one miles of the coast of Louisiana, destroying ocean-floor ecosystems, coastlines and the livelihood of many communities.
The Drilling Generation refers to the subject of this blog - a generation addicted to oil, a generation going leaps and bounds to attain oil, and a generation looking past its consequences.
The role of oil in our everyday lives is undeniable. This “liquid gold” is so accepted in our society that we often overlook when, how and how much we are using oil, and often, we never attempt to understand its consequences. Oil drives our cars, works in the form of electricity and creates a market that in turn creates jobs. It has become the water of our society – a staple of our everyday lives.
However, this necessary form of energy to drive society does not come without grave consequences. Society is becoming so desperate to attain oil as a source for energy that we are making pathetic attempts to extract it. These attempts are costly, economically and environmentally, and do not make sense when valuing human health.
The debate about drilling for oil has flowed in and out of the political realm. The majority of GOP officials express support for drilling wherever and whenever. The ruling ideology often states that drilling for oil reduces energy costs, reduces energy dependence and increases employment. On the other hand, Democrat officials tend to modestly express environmental value yet often act more in favor of drilling when it aids the overall health of the United States economy. President Barack Obama provides an example stating Monday, that his administration would move forward with offshore drilling leases off the coast of Alaska that were issued during the Bush administration.
Although the debate over drilling for oil has become one framed by economics, we are now entering a generation where it is becoming imperative to understand oil – not just in economic terms, but also in equations that value environmental and social health. “The Drilling Generation” will look to argue that the environmental and social impacts of drilling for oil are far more destructive than we are reading in the news. It will analyze the environmental and social health effects of drilling for oil by investigating communities facing oil well sites. It will consider the untold story of oil, the story outside the frame of the economy and the story that reveals the true nature of our global health.
Our desperate attempts to pay any price to drill are destroying not only our global ecosystem, but also “oil well communities” and the global community as a whole. We are paying to pollute, and we will pay a greater price in the near future.