[Coral-List] Oil - gas- platforms and moreRE: Underwater Video of Offshore Platforms in theGulf of Mexico

Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 9 12:53:46 EDT 2008

Dear Coral-List
For a true eye opener, and an honest discussion of the issues listed in the oil rigs emails so far, I suggest the documentary "Crude Impact" http://www.crudeimpact.com/show.asp?content_id=9665
Aired already several times at the Sundance Channel. 
The fact is, we must move away from oil and gas as fast as possible. New offshore drilling in Florida will only produce results (gas in your car) in 8-10 years time, with no impact whatsoever on the price reduction, or in the actual volume contributed to the country's current or future need for oil. The same holds true for drilling in Alaska's wildlife refuge. We have already reached peak oil worlwide, and 10 years from now, the situation will be even worse than today.
You can argue that oil platforms provide a great place for recruitment of species, etc, but you ignore the major environmental problems that oil and gas exploration/production generate, at local, national and international scales. This strategy of showing the "good things" while ignoring the true environmental impact, is similar to the argument of promoting the construction of new nuclear plants, because they don't emit carbon dioxide, while blalantly ignoring that they generate radioactive waste that we cannot get rid off for thousands of years, in addition to having a ticking bomb waiting for the next nuclear accident.
I have little patience for any industry that claims to be "good for the environment" when they are clearly not. When you are watching the news in your living room, hoping that a massive radioactive cloud will not fly over your house, as I and many europeans had to experience in 1986 during the Chernobyl reactor meltdown, your tolerance for "friendly" energy policies changes dramatically.

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. 
Marine Conservation Biologist
Ocean Research and Conservation Assocaition, Florida USA
 > From: qdokken at gulfmex.org> To: eshinn at MARINE.USF.EDU; coral-list at coral..aoml.noaa.gov> Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2008 10:12:45 -0500> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Underwater Video of Offshore Platforms in theGulf of Mexico (Wendy Cyriacks)> > Good Morning,> > Gene is right; and it is time we get real not only about energy policy but> also about the complete picture of degradation and loss of our marine> resources. Earlier communications implied that offshore oil/gas exploration> will destroy the pristine coastal environments of Florida. Tell me, what> happened to the reefs of the Florida Keys? There is no o/g industry in the> Keys. Promoting conservation and land-use planning for sustainable quality> of life I travel all 11 Gulf States of the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S.> Caribbean Territories. Everywhere I go I see coastal habitats being> destroyed more by on-shore infrastructure development than offshore o/g> activities.> > Infrastructure to support tourism (hotels, condominiums, restaurants, putt> putt golf courses, paved roads, etc), ports, recreational marinas, shore> side businesses and industries, and homes on the beach are more of a threat> to the quality, quantity, and sustainability of coastal habitats than> offshore oil/gas activities. Yet, political and business leaders,> real-estate developers, bankers, etc continuously wave the flag of more> growth! The rallying mantra is "a community not growing is a dying> community." On the islands of the Caribbean the push is for more tourist> infrastructure, more million dollar homes on the hill sides, more marinas,> more paved roads, more - more - more followed by a lot of hand wringing> because shore side habitats are decorated with trash and the once crystal> clear water of the bays is turning brown with algae. > > Then when a natural event such as a hurricane wipes out this expensive> infrastructure and litters coastal habitats with millions of tons of human> debris, we tax the citizens to rebuild "bigger and better!" We call these> "natural" disasters - there is nothing natural about them. Hurricanes are> natural phenomena; the disaster is entirely man made! And, demographers> tell us that the national population continues to migrate toward the shores.> > For the foreseeable future offshore oil/gas production is here to stay.> Yes, it needs to be managed to have the least environmental footprint> possible. And, I don't know of anyone in the o/g industry who would dispute> this point. They get it! They are fully invested in environmental> sustainability. They also will agree that we need to be developing> alternative energy sources and more efficient use of hydrocarbon energy> sources. Some of these o/g companies are leading efforts to develop> alternative energy sources. > > The other industries, tourism, ports, marinas, food service, home builders,> banking, etc, are here to stay too. They need to be involved in> environmental planning just as much as the offshore o/g industry. No one> industry can be blamed for all the ills we face. So the challenge and> greatest need is to honestly identify the impact of each industry and use> long-term land use planning to minimize these impacts. This is the only way> we will achieve coastal communities that will provide a sustainable quality> of life. > > Quenton Dokken, Ph.D.> Executive Director> Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Inc.> PMB 51 5403 Everhart Rd.> Corpus Christi, TX 78411> > 361-882-3939> 361-442-6064 cell> > qdokken at gulfmex.org> www.gulfmex.org> > > > > -----Original Message-----> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Gene Shinn> Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2008 11:23 AM> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> Subject: [Coral-List] Underwater Video of Offshore Platforms in theGulf of> Mexico (Wendy Cyriacks)> > Oh Wendy, You must have known you were pushing my buttons. It is > attitudes like this that have forced us to be so dependant on oil > from unfriendly sources. Yes the fish, sponges, corals, lobster and > countless other organisms flock to, and depend on, these Rigs. There > are about 4,000 artificial reefs like these in the Gulf of Mexico. > Just multiply what you saw in the videos by 4,000! Have you watched > the Sylvia Earl Kerr McGee TV commercials? Are there any natural > reefs in that area that support such abundant fish life? Not really, > Just hundreds of square miles of mud and sand bottom that can no > longer be dragged for shrimp and by-catch because of the rigs. Yes we > do need to educate the politicians. Many have painted themselves in a > corner to garner votes while NGS have used the issue to fill their > coffers. Now they all need a graceful way out. Maybe these videos > will help educate them.> FYI, Thirty eight exploratory wells have already been drilled in > the moratorium area off Florida's west coast before the moratorium > went into effect and 14 were drilled in the Florida Keys, Three of > them were drilled directly on coral reefs, the last one in 1960. Was > the area destroyed? Not that I know of. Caribbean-wide coral demise > did not begin until the late 1970s and especially between 1983-1984, > years after the Florida Keys wells were drilled. Not enough oil was > found to be economic back then but there maybe gas that was not worth > the effort until now. I suspect fishermen would love to have some > rigs within 15 miles of shore (you would not even see them from > shore). They sure love them off Louisiana and Texas. And hey, I seem > to remember that Tenneco placed 3 old rigs underwater off your area > to serve as artificial fishing reefs. Ask the divers what they see > out there. Or you can read our study about them. (Shinn, E.A., > Wicklund, R., 1989 Observations on deep water artificial fishing > reefs from Research Submersible, Bull Mar Sci. V, 44 (2) p. > 1041-1050). Gene> > > -- > > > No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor> University of South Florida> Marine Science Center (room 204)> 140 Seventh Avenue South> St. Petersburg, FL 33701> <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>> Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- > -----------------------------------> _______________________________________________> Coral-List mailing list> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list> > No virus found in this incoming message.> Checked by AVG. > Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 270.7.6/1716 - Release Date: 10/9/2008> 9:44 AM> > > No virus found in this outgoing message.> Checked by AVG. > Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 270.7.6/1716 - Release Date: 10/9/2008> 9:44 AM> > > _______________________________________________> Coral-List mailing list> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

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