The Instigator
Con (against)
7 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
12 Points

Deepwater offshore drilling is in the best interest of the United States

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,486 times Debate No: 14973
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)




We the con believe that offshore oil drilling is not in the best interests of the united states. Offshore oil drilling is destroying our delicate ecosystem. Additionally, at the same time it is causing our economy to plummet. Offshore drilling also destroys the overall health of people. The time has come for us to halt our offshore oil drilling.

First contention is environment- The marine ecosystem is key to our biosphere and Our relentless pursuit of crude oil is destroying our earth by Killing hundreds of MILLIONS of innocent sea creatures and destroying their habitats. It isn't unique to the recent oil spill, the oil rigs pollute on a catastrophic scale, thus killing millions of underwater animals that are key to our environment. This destruction is widespread affecting the whole biosphere. And past oil spills such as the one of the coast of CA in 69 prove that this is the one of the worst things that can happen to our environment. These spills destroy the environment. So the total ecological impacts weigh the cons tremendously. Bp and the federal government have both proven that we have no environmental emergency protection plan. Even if they added even more precautions as a plan- There are no precautions large enough to make this a safe Endeavour. Only complete shutdowns of these rigs solve.

My second contention is the economy. The economy is being severely injured by the oil industry. At the hands of this one oil spill 100 k jobs were lost. The economic costs have been devastating. The recent oil spill has projected to cost oil workers jobs as well, they can't create new jobs, because of the bp oil spill. Plus taking all factors into consideration these rigs costs us 500 k for 1 rig a day. A DAY?!? For the 40 thousand out there?!! We are in one of the worst economic recessions ever this is not the best choice of action to say the least . Plus most American oil spikes in recent years have been because of destruction of our oil wells, not because of foreign troubles making our oil. Add it all up, and their benefits don't even begin to compare to the negative impacts that are bound to happen. The con is in the best economic interests of the us

My third contention is health. At a time when many people need health care, offshore drilling is continuing this trend. Smoke, gas and oil seeping from the rigs are the one of the biggest causes of health deteriation of the people of the shore and of the workers on the rig. Oil seepage causes further breeding of toxic oil eating bacteria. This bacterium is extremely hazardous to sea food lovers everywhere. Working on the rig is also extremely dangerous; it is common for a worker to suffer a deep and sometimes even fatal wound. The rigs kill a large amount of algae which produce a significant amount of our oxygen. And to link to our environment contention, the destruction of the beach ecosystem leads to a decrease of the populace that lives there. the Overall health state are skyrocketing because of these wells.

Deepwater offshore drilling must stop. So prefer con, while the pro insists on destroying our environment, ruining our ocean, our health and our economy, the con believes in preserving a better life for all. Our environment is in desperate need of our help from the wells. The economy is going down the drain because of our drilling. Our overall health is plummeting, and needs a recovery. Stopping deepwater offshore drilling is in the best interest of the U.S.


Thanks to Con for an interesting topic and timely debate.

Every year 30,000 people in the United States die in automobile accidents. Autos pollutes and consume valuable resources. So shouldn't we ban automobiles immediately? No, of course we should not. The advantage of automobiles far outweigh the disadvantages. Con's case against deep water drilling is similarly flawed. Con wildly overstates the risks and ignores the advantages. The principle advantages are reduced foreign dependence on oil, a substantial reduction in the foreign trade deficit, and the providing of jobs despite a weak economy.

I will first respond to Con's case.

N1. Any oil spill is bad for the marine environment, but the environment always recovers. Con claims that Santa Monica, CA spill proves how terrible an oil spill is. In fact, "Overall, long-term environmental effects of the spill seemed to be minimal." Californians are well aware of the hazards, but a recent poll shows that they now favor more drilling off the California coast. [1. ] Those most familiar with the spill, "the citizens of Santa Barbara support more drilling, with 63 percent in favor of expanded drilling and just 29 percent opposed." [2. ]

Con argues that the Obama Administration and BP did not have an adequate environmental plan. True enough, but that does not mean that a good plan is impossible. We will need such a plan regardless because deep water drilling will continue off Mexico and Cuba. Drilling off Cuba is expected to start later this year, and Cuba's desperate economy make it inevitable. [3. ] The US must have a sound --and expensive-- clean up plan whether US producers drill or not.

If there is no US drilling, more oil will be imported by tanker. The environmental consequences of a tanker spill are no better than a drilling accident. Moreover, very large quantities of oil naturally seep from the ocean bottom. The clean up procedures put in place for drilling accidents can keep the coasts cleaner than if there is no drilling. [2]

N2. Jobs are lost temporarily in the fishing and tourist industries when there is an oil spill, but those jobs return. However, banning oil drilling permanently eliminates jobs, "In the state of Louisiana, 2005 figures estimate 15.4 percent of total household earnings could be traced back to these earnings, amounting to some $12.7 billion dollars. The moratorium will lead to a cessation of worker training, as well as job losses among those already employed in these industries. One estimate by a consulting firm places total job losses by 2014 at 120,000." [4.] That's just in Louisiana.

BP reimbursed economic losses, so even the temporary job losses were substantially mitigated. This is required by law. "Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the owner or operator of a facility from which oil is discharged (also known as the responsible Party) is liable for the costs associated with the containment or cleanup of the spill and any damages resulting from the spill." [4a. ]

It costs a lot to drill offshore, but no one would do it if it were not a profitable enterprise. Con's failure to account for revenues is obviously an error.

No one knows how much oil is offshore. A 1996 study estimated 45 billion barrels in the Gulf, but with current recovery technology. it is probably much larger. 45 billion barrels is about $4.5 trillion worth of oil. [5.] About 40% of that ends up as revenue to the U.S. government, through leasing fees and taxes.

N3. The most dangerous occupation in America, by far, is fishing. [6.] The oil industry is below farming, out of the top ten.

Bacteria ate the methane, ethane, and propane from the Gulf spill, having a strong mitigating effect. [7.] There were reports of headaches and nausea caused by the remnants of the oil spill, but I cannot find any reports of serious injury to humans from toxic effects. Con's charges of significant long term health effects are unsubstantiated.

Deep water offshore drilling is in the best interests of the United States because,

P1. It substantially improves the U.S. balance of payments. There is probably more than $4.5 trillion in offshore oil in the Gulf. Not all of that would accrue to the US, but a great deal of it would. There is an estimated $9 trillion in reserves north of the Arctic Circle, much of it off shore. [8.] Again, not all would accrue to the US, but much would. The US has banned exploratory drilling, so in each case the estimates are probably quite low. There is no way to tell how much there is if one refuses to look, and surveys are out of date.

To put this in perspective, "This oil-related deficit of $204 billion was over half of the total 2009 trade deficit of $380.7 billion."

P2. Every reduction in foreign oil dependence helps.

"rising oil imports widened our deficit, increasing the gap between our imports and exports. This is but one example that our economic recovery and long-term growth is inexorably linked to our reliance on foreign oil. The United States is spending approximately $1 billion a day overseas on oil instead of investing the funds at home, where our economy sorely needs it."

P3. It will help pay down the national debt. About 40% of drilling revenues ends up with the government [4]. The total potential is more than $13 trillion, with 40% being about $5 trillion. A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you are talking real money.

P4. Sending money overseas has a very negative impact on jobs, because in addition to the direct loss the money does not recirculate in the US economy.

"A recent Economic Policy Institute study aimed to quantify the impact of China's unfair trade surplus on U.S. employment. The study concluded that China trade has eliminated or displaced 2.4 million American jobs since China's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001."

"The impact of the China trade deficit is not restricted to the jobs displaced, the report found. Competition with low-wage workers from less-developed countries also has driven down wages for other workers in manufacturing and reduced the wages and bargaining power of similar workers throughout the economy—essentially all production workers with less than a four-year college degree, roughly 80 percent of the private-sector workforce." [9.]

The total deficit to China over the period is roughly $3 trillion. It doesn't matter whether the loss is due to oil purchases or other aspects of trade, the effect on US jobs is devastating.

Offshore drilling poses risks, but disastrous spills are rare and the effects are temporary. If we ban offshore drilling, we will have increased risks from tanker spills and we will still have to prepare for the contingency of spills from Mexico and Cuba hitting our shores. Allowing offshore drilling reduces dependence on foreign oil, would help pay off the national debt, and could create more than 2 million jobs over time.

The resolution is affirmed.
Debate Round No. 1


See comments


Con has resigned from the debate he started.
Debate Round No. 2


Sorry bout that


The reason we need to drill offshore is that we need the oil. It increases energy independence, creates jobs, and offsets foreign trade deficits. We are talking millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of trade deficits. As Joe Biden might say, it's a big deal. In comparison to the benefits, the risks are well worthwhile.

Con did not back up his unsupported claims, and did not rebut my well-supported counter arguments.

The resolution is affirmed.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by boredinclass 6 years ago
Posted by Sylux 6 years ago
This debate doesn't have the time for you, either.
Posted by boredinclass 6 years ago
Sorry bout this RoyLatham, but I'm gonna have to drop the debate. I'll vote you up, I don't have time for this debate right now.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Xenith967 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: boredinclass is right ur wrong
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: No contest.
Vote Placed by Sylux 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I am oil.