Do fish, bears, eagles, and porcupines care about having oil rigs on the land where they roam? Probably not. They don’t know any better.
To relieve some of the supply pressure on oil prices, petrol companies and certain politicians see plenty of reasons to put oil wells in national parks and offshore areas previously restricted from drilling.
According to The Wall Street Journal "Increasing U.S. oil production would require overturning decades-old moratoriums that limit offshore drilling and accelerating leasing of federal lands."
Forest animals are not the only issue. Homeowners in Palm Beach and Malibu may not want to have their ocean views spoiled by floating derricks and greasy oil workers. But, those things may be part of what helps push the price of oil down.
Weighing the cost of progress may be difficult. Oil spills are rare now. The equipment and standards are better. The fines for trouble like the Exxon Valdez have jumped up.
Finding more oil in the US will not entirely solve the energy crisis, but it would send a signal to both speculators and OPEC. If the US is willing to break taboos about where oil can be taken, the psychological impact may surpass all the ethanol production in the world.
Douglas A. McIntyre