Oil Drilling as an Environmental Justice Issue   1 comment

I suppose as an environmentalist I should be happy that the reaction to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico includes halting new drilling permits and plans to open new coastal areas to drilling. But on some level I’m a bit disturbed.

I am hopeful that a better and stronger regulatory structure will come of this disaster (it’s sad how loose regulation is on those pumping the oil considering how tight regulation is on those of us who clean up leaking gas tank sites). I am all for protection of sensitive habitats like coastlines. I have never supported drilling in Alaska, nor have I supported opening up new areas (like the California coast) to drilling. But a part of me worries that there is a NIMBY or environmental justice issue in the response to the spill.

Is it really OK for us in California to consume oil drilled off the coast of some of the poorest states in the US (Mississippi and Louisiana) but not drill on our coastline, which is relatively wealthy? Globally, what percentage of our oil supplies come from areas of the world that are less “developed”? To what degree do we consume petroleum-derived products while at the same time fighting against oil production that might impact our own lives?

These are questions that I’ve never considered before; and that disturbs me, too.

Posted May 28, 2010 by mayakey in environment

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One response to “Oil Drilling as an Environmental Justice Issue

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  1. that is really an issue that needs an immediate action.

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