8:00 PM, August 9th, 2011

Oil Drilling: Is it all that bad?

Corpus Christi, Texas: A coastal town of 300,000 people and hometown of Eva Longoria. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, this city can claim the USS Lexington (a WWII aircraft carrier) and the Texas State Aquarium. Another one of its assets? Oil, oil, oil. The Port of Corpus Christi handles countless oil barges and its waters house multiple oil rigs. The Gulf of Mexico’s waters have a wealth of hidden treasure, also known as “black gold,” and the profits of its extraction are not to be underestimated.

As an example, jobs here can flourish in this industry. The oil tankers, oil rigs and all-around energy industry create jobs, which allow the economy to bloom. Texas has no state income tax and so the overall economy is strong, but in South Texas, a number of factors, including energy exploration allow it to blossom.

            Also blossoming because of oil would be marine life. Yes, oil spills take a very serious toll on these creatures that should never be disregarded in the slightest, but the oil platforms in the gulf create artificial reefs, which only give the opposite effect. These reefs are the picture of magic.  Multitudes of species of marine life, such as damselfish, angelfish, snapper, blennies and even sharks find an oasis here. To sharks especially, whose population has been declining, these artificial reefs are a safe haven in which they can live, and as a result, many shark species are on the “come-back” in the Gulf of Mexico, including the mako shark, nurse shark, and sometimes the great white and whale shark, as well as countless others.

            So while it is true that oil drilling can be a dangerous industry, it does have its good side. While most people would only see the big, bad monster of oil, some see the safety that it gives citizens and wildlife alike. They look out to the water and feel blessed to have the waters, overflowing with life and opportunity that can coexist here, hand-in-hand.

Another informative story from Sophie Susser, who wrote to us last time about a drought near her grandparents’ lake house in Zwolle, Louisiana. The rigs-to-reefs concept has been encouraged by scientists and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Keep up the good work, Sophie.

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