Opinion

Battle for black gold in the deep blue

The ocean is a refuge and holds a special place in people’s hearts worldwide. It is a place for recreation, vacation and peace.

From riding its waves to exploring its depths, or simply just admiring the way it absorbs the sun at dusk over a bayside dinner, everyone loves the ocean.

It is funny how a symbol of solace to so many has become an aquatic battlefield. Pristine blue waters pit government officials, conservationists and big businessmen against each other in a battle for its treasures.

The intrinsic value or utility of the coastal waters of Florida will soon be determined.

President Barack Obama has lifted the ban on offshore oil drilling to the shock of environmentalists and applause of oil tycoons everywhere.

The reform will open waters from Delaware to Florida for exploitation at a 125-mile distance from shore. Obama alluded to such actions in the State of the Union while also stressing the importance of a shift to clean energy.

Now, I don’t want to highlight the contradictory nature of our political system because that would be easier than clubbing a baby seal, but it is absurd to mention clean energy alternatives and increased oil drilling in the same sentence.

The Interior Department will begin seismic surveys of south and mid-Atlantic waters to determine potential drilling sites. Obama hopes to help kick start the economy by opening these waters.

The reform was also intended to loosen the firm grip the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has on the United States, but this may be impossible as America accounts for over 20 percent  of world oil consumption but only has two percent of oil reserves.

National reserves would only supplement our dependence on foreign sources so don’t expect gas prices to fall anytime in the near future.

It’s also going to take years before we see the first drop of fresh American oil from new reserves. Hold off on that new Hummer.

Putting multimillion dollar structures in the middle of the hurricane super highway isn’t the greatest idea I’ve heard in a while.

Furthermore, while these offshore activities are of great importance, it is what is going on closer to shore that concerns me.

Everyday 300 million gallons of partially treated urban waste water from the South Florida area are ejected only 3.5 miles off our coast.

Practical solutions to the problems closest to us now are more crucial than the happenings over the horizon.

Visit www.surfridermiami.org for more info.

Nick Castaldo is a senior majoring in marine affairs. He may be contacted at ncastaldo@themiamihurricane.com.

April 7, 2010

Reporters

Nick Castaldo


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

From the onset, the Miami Hurricanes' plan was for the Carol Soffer football indoor practice fa ...

Gino DiMare on Tuesday stood in a spot that two men before him had crafted into a pinnacle of succes ...

The NBA Draft is on Thursday, and the buzz around the league is that the University of Miami’s Lonni ...

Former NFL and University of Miami star Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested Thursday for numerous allege ...

Trevor Darling's perseverance paid off. After not being selected in the NFL Draft, the former U ...

Teachers tackle challenging questions at the Holocaust Studies Summer Institute. ...

A University of Miami lecturer explores the role of the front porch in black communities. ...

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, two public health sciences students traveled to Puerto Rico to ...

Colder Atlantic temperatures could change hurricane season forecasts, but the trend isn't expec ...

UM neurorehabilitation expert David S. Kushner, M.D., who helps modern patients recover from brain s ...

NBA Draft will be held Thursday evening in Brooklyn. ...

First-year Miami head soccer coach Sarah Barnes released Wednesday the team's schedule for the ...

Gino DiMare was officially introduced as the 10th head baseball coach in program history Tuesday in ...

Jaquan Johnson was named to Athlon Sports' Preseason All-America First Team, while Shaq Quarter ...

An outstanding showing at the USATF Championships earned Symone Mason a trip to the World U20 Champi ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.