Your article “It could happen here,” (Feb. 12) outlines exactly what is wrong in this state. There are too many tree-hugging “environmentalists” who are unbelievably short-sighted and misinformed about offshore drilling, which holds up the process of tapping this vital resource. Those so-called environmentalists will always point to the Santa Barbara spill; however, that time period represents a completely different type of mentality in the oil industry. The larger oil producers in the United States today are much more committed to safety and doing the job right, mostly from fear of litigation when things go wrong. With tough regulation and ensuring producers like Greka are kept out of the mix, drilling on our shores can be done safely.
According to the Minerals Management Service, which oversees offshore drilling operations, there was one major spill, which resulted in 2,152 gallons lost. Compare that to accidents with oil tankers, which either run aground, get run into, or get caught in bad weather. Oil tankers are much more prone to accidents and can spill millions of gallons of product. Compare that to natural oil seepage into the ocean, which in the Gulf amounts to twice the amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez per year.
Drilling off our coast helps to make us independent from the Chavezs and Ahmadinejads of the world. Maybe one day we can wean ourselves off foreign oil and our troops won’t have to die in the desert for it.