The Instigator
jingzhezhang
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
Ramshutu
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

Allowing deep water offshore drilling is in the United States best interest

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Ramshutu
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/19/2010 Category: News
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,334 times Debate No: 13160
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)

 

jingzhezhang

Pro

Recently, President Obama issued a 6 month moratorium on deep sea drilling. This supposedly gives experts enough time to examine the problems in the Deep Water Horizon oil well and set new regulations. I will be debating that this is a grand mistake. I will be in affirmation of the resolution.

I state 3 contentions to support the resolution:
1. Allowing deep water offshore drilling decreases US reliance on foreign oil.
2. Allowing deep water offshore drilling increases the supply of usable oil.
3. Allowing deep water offshore drilling increases the number of job opportunities, which leads to less unemployment, which benefits the economy immensely.

Contention 1: Allowing deep water offshore drilling decreases US reliance on foreign oil
According to ehow.com, "in March Obama proposed a plan to increase domestic offshore drilling." The main reason was to decrease reliance on foreign oil. Less reliance on foreign oil would mean less spikes in oil prices when foreign countries refuse to sell an adequate amount of oil to the US. Less reliance on foreign oil means less competition with other big oil users like China. Less reliance on foreign oil means that we don't have to rely on depleting oil supplies, and that our oil companies don't have to compete with foreign oil companies, especially the oil companies that belong to the country that own the oil fields. According to the Economic Times, "Locked out of the 'easy' oil fields in the Middle East with the exception of Iraq they (the oil companies) are forced to turn to increasingly difficult areas." Bottom line is that less dependence on foreign oil will maintain or drop oil prices. The more dependence we have on foreign oil, the higher our oil prices will be in the future. The moratorium will only delay our detachment from foreign oil.

Contention 2: Allowing deep water offshore drilling increases the supply of usable oil
In a world where the population is growing exponentially while the supply of oil in the known oil reserves is decreasing linearly, any method of getting more oil is extremely important. The moratorium will delay the discovery and retrieval of millions of gallons of oil. This is bad for the United States because it would have to depend more on foreign oil, which is depleting and is a source of competition between many powerful countries. Oil prices will sharply rise.

Contention 3: Allowing deep water offshore drilling increases the number of job opportunities, which leads to less unemployment, which benefits the economy immensely
The government promised a financial life line to the unemployed. The less unemployed people there are, the less the government has to pay and the more money it makes. This is obviously beneficial to the government, and thus beneficial to America.
The moratorium not only delays potential job opportunities, but also destroys thousands of jobs, says Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. The moratorium will force a lot of rigs to close, forcing oil companies to fire a lot of workers. Unemployment will rise, forcing the government to pay millions of dollars more for unemployment life lines. Millions that could be better spent on bettering American society.

Sources:
http://www.nola.com......
http://www.ehow.com......
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com......
http://thinkprogress.org......
Ramshutu

Con

Firstly, thanks to my opponent for offering this debate; and wish him luck.

My opponent suggests makes three arguments:

"1. Allowing deep water offshore drilling decreases US reliance on foreign oil.
2. Allowing deep water offshore drilling increases the supply of usable oil.
3. Allowing deep water offshore drilling increases the number of job opportunities, which leads to less unemployment, which benefits the economy immensely."

In this respect, my opponent is absolutely and undeniably correct. More oil produced in the US will, to some degree decrease US reliance on foreign oil; it will increase the amount of usable oil and increase the number of jobs.

But the question becomes, is this really in the best interests of the United States?

The answer is absolutely and undeniably no.

If the only limit on our oil resources was "how big a tube can we stick in the ground," and the only effect of using oil was the environmental impact of the occasional oil spill; then this argument would be different. Unfortunately this is not the case.

The worlds oil resources are running out, even with offshore drilling and the cumulative climatic effect of using fossil fuels, of which oil and natural gas is a significant proportion, is culminating in one of the biggest crisis mankind has ever faced: Climate change.

Without breaking the world's current dependence on oil, the consequences on the US, and the rest of the world will be almost apocalyptic. Both in terms of the economic meltdown that would result from the lack of cheap and available energy, and in terms of the potential affect on the worlds climate as the worlds economies continue to emit carbon dioxide.(1)

Peak oil is steadily approaching; with even pessimistic estimates signalling that this will occur at, or around 2030;(2). After this point, the economic consequences, should the US still be utterly dependant on oil, will be dire. Ironically, new offshore drilling projects my proponent supports are not predicted to give any sort of significant output until the time that peak oil reaches us; meaning the benefits of such programs will be dwarfed by the negative effects of peak oil.(3).

Not only that; the estimated reserves in the lower 48, combined with new deposits in the gulf of Mexico combine to be around 33bn barrels of oil (an upper estimate) that could be taken from the ground. However, at 20m barrels consumption a day, this works out at around 4 1/2 years worth of oil.(3)(4)

This means while it's obvious that deep sea drilling in such protected area's, and existing ones will definitely present somewhat of a short term benefit; it will come too little and too late to have any meaningful or long term effect on the US energy problems, and more specifically the United states best interests.

Now is not the time to let the oil companies re-invest their profits into the same technology and into producing the same resources that placed humanity in this crisis in the first place; it is the time to put economic incentives in place so that they invest that money in securing their own future, and ours.

While my opponent is absolutely correct; that there are economic benefits in oil, these only benefit an economy that's lifespan is limited and that is destructive to its own existence.

As such; propping such an economy up, for the short time that offshore drilling will provide, is not in the best interests of the United States.

---- References ----

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://www.howstuffworks.com...
(4) http://www.washingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 1
jingzhezhang

Pro

jingzhezhang forfeited this round.
Ramshutu

Con

At this point; I have no further points to make. I beleive the points I raised in the previous round speak for themselves. I hope my opponent returns, as I would enjoy a good discussion on this topic.
Debate Round No. 2
jingzhezhang

Pro

I'm very sorry that I could not post my argument for the last round and I hope that the voters and my opponent would accept my apology.

Now I will first go restate my own arguments.
"1. Allowing deep water offshore drilling decreases US reliance on foreign oil.
2. Allowing deep water offshore drilling increases the supply of usable oil.
3. Allowing deep water offshore drilling increases the number of job opportunities, which leads to less unemployment, which benefits the economy immensely."

My opponent says that my arguments are absolutely correct in my respect. But then he asks is this the best interest of the United States?
Allowing deep water offshore drilling will benefit us, our economy, and the environment. Most of the ocean oil spills come from importing oil from other countries, like for us, the Middle East. It is estimated that 33% of the worlds oil spills come from importing fuel from other countries. It will help the environment and our economy for the oil spill from importing oil is more likely to happen than deep water oil drilling and if the other countries refuse to sell us oil or it reaches peak oil. We depend 67% of our oil from other countries and we need to start another way of getting oil if this sort of thing happens.

My opponent have said a lot about how if it reaches peak oil we would still depend on oil and it's a short term effect. Now according to the New York Times "The Obama administration wants to reduce oil consumption, increase renewable energy supplies and cut carbon dioxide emissions in the most ambitious transformation of energy policy in a generation" There is already 5 top oil companies investing and making renewable resources for the future. The top 5 oil companies has already invested $5 billion dollars for renewable energy for the future and where do they get their funds? Of course the oil we drill and buy, the money will go into these oil companies and they will invest in new energy for they know as well that we're going to run out of oil. Chevron has spend $300 million dollars on the renewable resources and as well as other oil companies as I've already stated.

There is an estimated of $343 billion dollars going back to the economy and if we invest there will be about $1 trillion dollars of revenue back to the economy. That is a huge profit and is something that we should go for.

My opponent said that offshore drilling will only about last the United States 4-5 years. Well there's a new resource called algae fuel and the research is being funded by the oil companies and it's going to came up for the next few years. Here the part of the article: "Micro algae are single-celled photo synthesizers. They make fats that can be converted into bio diesel or jet fuel in relatively few steps. The organisms have become a fledgling favorite in the renewable energy sector. On January 14 the U.S. oil companies announced an investment of $44 million in efforts to commercialize algae-based fuels, and last summer even Exxon Mobil Corp. jumped onto the band-pontoon, announcing a partnership with scientist Craig Venter's Synthetic Genomic Inc. to develop algae as a fuel source."

I agree that using oil do enter pollution into the atmosphere, but the thing is we don't really have a choice. Because we still need to use oil for our lives and that any way of getting oil is very important. As I've said we are going into renewable energy but until that time we still need oil and that is our best interest.

Thank you and I very sorry again for the forfeit of the last round I hope the voters will not count it against me and that my opponent would forgive me also.

Vote PRO please.

Sources:
1.http://www.nytimes.com...
2.http://www.oilgae.com...
3.http://www.physorg.com...
4.http://www.alternative-energy-resources.net...
5.http://www.msnbc.msn.com...
Ramshutu

Con

I appreciate my opponent's apology, and by no means will hold this against him.

We, as a nation are faced with two significant threats. The first, is that oil is running out. The second is that oil and specially our use of it, is contributing to global climate change.

Let us be under no illusion as to the consequences of these two issues.

Firstly, if the US is still significantly oil-dependant by the time oil starts appreciably running out (this is what is called Peak Oil; where the capacity of the world to produce oil starts declining in relation to demand); the consequences to the country will be economically severe (1). Some experts, including the CEO of Petrobras, we are already there (2), some believe that, worst case, peak oil will occur in 2030. The economic impact of doubling fuel prices in recent has been significant; and one can only imagine the impact if this was continued into the future.

Secondly, climate change is in progress and we have started to see its effects on the earth, and needs action now to mitigate it's effects.

As oil is one of the main culprits for both these threats; it can be easily demonstrated that it is not in the nation's best interests to be addicted to oil.

Knowing what we know about our dependence on oil, and on its effect on the environment; I believe this point is more than self evident.

As a result, I believe that the original question of this debate should be rephrased to be more representative of the real crux of this issue: "Does allowing offshore drilling help, or facilitate the nation to end our addiction to oil?"

My opponent has made several arguments that try and answer this.

1.) As 33% of oil spills occur from importing oil.

Aside from not being relevant to the question of whether offshore drilling will help us to end our oil addiction; this argument also misses the point that if 33% of oil spills occur from importing and shipping oil; then 67% comes from oil production. Far from being a potential benefit of oil drilling, it becomes more of a hazard.

2.) Oil from drilling will help "buy us time"; thus helping us end our addiction.

This is paraphrased somewhat from my opponent's argument.

My opponent, in this regards neglects some fundamental details:

Firstly; as I mentioned in the previous round, the key dates I have mentioned previously. That any oil drilling that we allow will only begin producing by 2017; and will not have a significant output until 2030. If peak oil is already here, as some believe; by 2030, it will arrive far too late to have a significant effect on oil prices, or to mitigate the economic problems caused by peak oil. My opponent has not dealt with this key point.

Secondly; the price of our oil is determined by the global markets. As the big problem with peak oil is the lack of available cheap energy as oil and gas prices rise due to demand outstripping supply, for any drilling to have an effect, it must constitute a significant proportion of global supply. Considering global oil consumption is 22bn barrels a year (3); it is highly unlikely that the US could use offshore drilling to fulfil even a fraction of this, with suggested production being as little as 200,000 barrels a day, 1% of current daily US Consumption (4).

Because of these; I believe it can be demonstrated that any offshore drilling is highly unlikely to have a significant mitigating effect of peak oil and therefore will not "buy us time."

3.) Oil companies are already heavily investing in alternative fuels.

For this argument, my opponent fails to spot information from his own source:

"The scale of their alternative investments is so mind-numbingly small that it's hard to find them" (5)

The source states that in the last 15 years, the top five oil companies have spent $5bn on renewable projects. This is shockingly small compared to the $50bn that been spent by private investment company at the same time.

According to this same source, In six years, Shell has spent $1.4bn on alternative fuels; but this year alone, it has spent $31bn on capital primarily on development of fossil fuels (out of a total of $87bn for operations).

My opponents whole argument in this respect is very misleading; and misrepresents the original source. More importantly, it validates one key premise of my argument; that if oil companies had incentives to spend more money on researching alternative fuels rather than spending this money on developing offshore fields, it would represent a massive part, or even exceed the $150bn over ten years that the administration wants; even if a fraction of the operations expenditure of the oil companies were used.

Because of this; unlocking offshore drilling will simply divert much needed funding towards a very short term solution that will not have any significant long term benefit.

4.) It will be beneficial to the economy.

My opponents quoted figure of 1 trillion dollars being pumped into the economy as a result of oil drilling is highly unlikely to be realised all at once; probably over a period of several decades. He has also not presented the source of the estimate. I say over decades, because one does not simply add 8% of US GDP overnight.(6)

However, it all boils down to the "to-little-to-late" argument that is at the centre of this debate. While 1 trillion dollars can be added over a period of time to the economy when the oil starts flowing; this will be dwarfed by the economic chaos caused by peak oil. (1)

While drilling will most certainly have short term benefits; it will not have present a significant beneficial effect to the long term economy, or significantly offset or mitigate the energy apocalypse that will result from peak oil.

The money that would be ploughed into developing new oil fields to provide a long lead-time, short term solution to the spectre of peak oil could be better spent breaking our energy independence.

As such oil drilling represents an unwise diversion from the real solution to the United States energy crises and dependence on hostile cartels of oil producing countries; to completely break our dependence on oil itself.

It will be hard; both socially and economically; the long term interests of this country, and this world is to stop using oil, and to end our dependence as soon as we possibly can.

I would therefore assert that the resolution fails; it most certainly is not in our best interests to continue policies that have put our society in the precarious position that it is.

As a result, I would urge you all to vote CON.

(1 )http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://www.theoildrum.com...
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(4) http://www.scientificamerican.com...
(5) http://www.nytimes.com...
(6) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by michaelhigley10 6 years ago
michaelhigley10
i was just curious but how did you get more then a week on the debate counter????
Posted by jingzhezhang 6 years ago
jingzhezhang
what?????
Posted by debaterbayne1 6 years ago
debaterbayne1
why are we doing this?..... ..... thing
Posted by jingzhezhang 6 years ago
jingzhezhang
I wanted to...
Posted by debaterbayne1 6 years ago
debaterbayne1
...., why did you have to put about a years waiting period???
Posted by jingzhezhang 6 years ago
jingzhezhang
I know right....
Posted by debaterbayne1 6 years ago
debaterbayne1
This would be weird if no one voted.
Posted by jingzhezhang 6 years ago
jingzhezhang
I'm very sorry for the forfeit.
Posted by jingzhezhang 6 years ago
jingzhezhang
all areas in the united states
Posted by Ramshutu 6 years ago
Ramshutu
Are you arguing for offshore drilling in all area's currently restricted by the government, or only the area's that the recent moratorium affects.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Irishguy2011 6 years ago
Irishguy2011
jingzhezhangRamshutuTied
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Vote Placed by anonymous9304 6 years ago
anonymous9304
jingzhezhangRamshutuTied
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Vote Placed by andrewwarren466 6 years ago
andrewwarren466
jingzhezhangRamshutuTied
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Vote Placed by NDitter 6 years ago
NDitter
jingzhezhangRamshutuTied
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