The Instigator
XStrikeX
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
twin
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Offshore drilling is the right thing to do for the United States.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
XStrikeX
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/7/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,136 times Debate No: 11677
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

XStrikeX

Pro

Hello, I'm XStrikeX, representing the proposition in this debate, "Offshore drilling is the right thing to do for the United States." I'd like to inform the audience of the background of the situation.

Recently, on March 31st, President Barack Obama announced a plan to open portions of the Eastern seaboard and the western coast of Florida. This then ended two major federal bans that previously prevented offshore drilling and in the US. Debates have surged over enviromental issues and the benefits of oil.

To open up my arguments, I'd like to begin with a definition of "right."
I define 'right' as "for the greater good of the economy."

Contentions

1. Offshore drilling can avert an energy crisis. Critics note that the potential supplies offshore are a tiny part of the world market, but even so the Interior Department's estimates range from 39 billion to 62 billion barrels of oil. We use 7 billion barrels a year, so if the oil is really there, it could be five to nine years worth. True, robust production wouldn't kick in for a decade or more. But that same argument helped block action 10 years ago. Domestic gas supplies, meanwhile, are massive and underutilized. The very fact that offshore drilling has been approved may have some further positive effect on lowering world oil prices." Mark Hemingway concludes that President Bush's announcement that he would life the executive moratorium on oil was the direct cause of a dramatic drop in oil prices from $147 to $132 a barrel in mid July, 2008. Based on this conclusion, if congress were to lift their moratorium, oil prices could be expected to drop even further. http://blogs.usatoday.com...

2. Offshore drilling is consistent with the environment. Some of the most ironic objections come from those who say offshore exploration will destroy beaches and coastlines, citing the devastating 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska as an example. But tankers like the Valdez continue to carry the imported oil we're ruinously addicted to and have gone aground more frequently, more recently and far more disastrously. Lastly, with new technological advances, oil rigs have become much safer. Evidence: USA Today

3. Offshore drilling will significantly contribute to oil production. Due to restrictions on drilling, much of America's coastline has never been fully explored, let alone with the latest technologies. In 2008, an oil find was made off the coast of Brazil that contained 33 billion barrels of oil. Now imagine what a similar find off the coast of America would do for oil prices! A USA Today article published on June 28, 2008, titled "Deepwater oil fields are a final frontier," notes, "By 2015, Chevron expects deepwater wells to account for one-quarter of offshore oil production vs. 9% today." The US must recognize this potential, and tap into it by lifting its ban on offshore drilling. http://article.nationalreview.com...

4. Environmentalists against offshore drilling state that the oil rigs will simply make sight-seeing places like Florida "ugly" because they are too close to the beautiful shore. This is untrue, however. Offshore oil rigs are not visible from coastlines. Many are too far to see, and thus do not represent an eyesore for residents, tourists, beach-goers or anyone else. Evidence: Port Director Ted Falgout

5. Most of the US supports offshore drilling. A Rasmussen poll found that 67% of voters nationwide support offshore drilling. In Florida, a poll released on June 30 showed that 59% of Floridians supported offshore drilling.

Thank you.
twin

Con

First and foremost, I'd like to thank you for starting this debate, as I am very passionate when it comes to the enviornment. I will take the con stance (I would like to think thats obvious) and will now begin my refutations.

Refutaions:

1. "Offshore drilling can avert an energy crisis. Critics note that the potential supplies offshore are a tiny part of the world market, but even so the Interior Department's estimates range from 39 billion to 62 billion barrels of oil. We use 7 billion barrels a year, so if the oil really is there, it could be five to nine years worth." First, there is an ironic contradiction in this statement. Oil drilling is a CAUSE of the increased emissions. One might ask, "What does that have to do with this debate?" alot, accutally. A large part of this reversal of the ban on offshore drilling was a political move by obama in order to gain Republican support on a climate change bill that has remained stagnant in Congress since 2008. This is also, according to Mr. Obama, part of a broader strategy to "move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one that relies more on homegrown fuels and clean energy." Exactly how, might I inquire, is drilling offshore for fossil fuels "clean energy"? Mr. Obama also recongnizes that "Drilling alone can't come close to meeting our long-term energy needs, and for the sake of our planet and our energy independence, we need to begin the transition to cleaner fuels now," Obama said at Andrews Air Force Base in nearby Maryland." So, those five to nine years according to the President of the United States will not help us very much, and we will need to move toward cleaner fuel sources now, which totally contradicts what you've stated in contention 1.

2. " Some of the most ironic objections come from those who say offshore exploration will destroy beaches and coastlines, citing the devastating 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska as an example. But tankers like the Valdez continue to carry the imported oil we're ruinously addicted to and have gone aground more frequently, more recently and far more disastrously." This statment, in summary, states that imported oil vessels are more dangerous than American, or home grown oil tankers. This does not prove that they do not crash, and only further proves the point that they (oil tankers) are dangerous ways to transport oil. " Lastly, with new technological advances, oil rigs have become much safer." Please list some examples of the technology, and how they make the rigs safer, otherwise this statemnt is just an opinion.

3. "Offshore drilling will significantly contribute to oil production." So far, the plan comes with extremely heavy limits. The westcoast and northeast coasts, thought to be the most promising of these oil contributing areas, are excluded from Obama's plan. And in a statement, House of Representatives Republican Leader John Boehner said ""Opening up areas off the Virginia coast to offshore production is a positive step, but keeping the Pacific Coast and Alaska, as well as the most promising resources off the Gulf of Mexico, under lock and key makes no sense at a time when gasoline prices are rising and Americans are asking 'Where are the jobs?"" Indeed, it makes little sense to keep the most promising areas under "lock and key", especially if what my opponent is saying is true, and "offshore drilling will significantly contribute to oil production."

4. " Environmentalists against offshore drilling state that the oil rigs will simply make sight-seeing places like Florida "ugly" because they are too close to the beautiful shore." First allow me to point out that you mentioned sight - seeing PLACES, or more than one place, not just Florida. President Obama's plan could allow drilling as close as 3 miles to shore in states such as Deleware, as well as a dozen others. The average six foot tall man can see 4 to 7 miles out to sea from shore, clearly enough distance to see the drilling platforms.

5. "Most of the US supports offshore drilling. A Rasmussen poll found that 67% of voters nationwide support offshore drilling. In Florida, a poll released on June 30 showed that 59% of Floridians supported offshore drilling." Of all of the contentions that you have made, this one has no connection to the basis of the debate, or your stance according to your definition of "right" - "for the greater good of the economy." Therefore I will give it no refutation.

I will also wish my opponent luck, and thank him again for starting this debate...
Debate Round No. 1
XStrikeX

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate!
To lay out my plot, I'll begin with refutations, then contentions, and lastly, a few things I would like to point out to the audience.

Refutations

1. My opponent has stated that my first contention in round 1 is contradictory and ironic. He or she claims that oil drilling is the cause of increased emissions which apparently somehow leads to an energy crisis. This is false. An energy crisis is when energy resources are running out and demand and prices rockets up. Certainly, everyone has seen gas prices increasing because we don't have much oil. With offshore drilling, oil and petroleum can be found and used for our cars, which means lowered prices, which means NO ENERGY CRISIS. He or she also talked about President Obama supporting renewable energy sources and clean energy. Then why did he support this plan in the first place? To quote the President, "But the bottom line is this: given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth, produce jobs, and keep our businesses competitive, we're going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel..." Even the President who supports clean energy recognizes and knows that offshore drilling is necessary. In Obama's speech, he basically states that he does support renewable sources, but also supports offshore drilling.

2. He or she concluded from my 2nd contention in Round 1 means that "imported oil vessels are more dangerous than America, or home grown oil tankers." That is not what I am stating. My 2nd contention means that oil rigs that have developed dangerous methods are still safe. "This does not prove that they do not crash." he or she says. It certainly can and does. They (oil rigs) continue to run their operations even with risky methods, but when was the last time you've heard of a recent oil spill? Not recently... This shows a pretty nice environmental record.
My opponent has asked for some examples of technological advances. Here is 1 of my sources. http://www.anwr.org...
This articles states that new tubing technology has benefited oil rigs by reducing the amount of money spent on an old oil rig. The new tubing technology also reduces friction from sliding which creates a safer rig. Other advances include Horizontal Production Wells, Coiled Tubing Units, Multilateral Wells, and Designer Wells. Think of this. Could an oil rig from the 1960's withstand a hurricane like the oil rigs we have today? Certainly not. Thus, my point is not an opinion.

3. What my opponent is saying here is that we need to drill. My opponent says "it makes little sense to keep the most promising areas under 'lock and key...'" I didn't state that we could only drill in certain areas! This topic is about offshore drilling in the United States. Anywhere near the United States borders is fine. I'd like to thank my opponent for pointing out that we could get even more oil by drilling in other places! :D If with those heavy limits, it's significantly, then without those heavy limits, it should be extremely contributing.

4. The sight-seeing. My opponent has stated that Obama's plan could allow drilling as close as 3 miles to the shore. He has also stated that the average man can see 4 to 7 miles out to sea from shore. Obama has many other choices to put rigs. According to the United States Census Bureau, all Americans live within 100 miles of the coastal border. If an oil rig was put, say around 60-90 miles in coastal borders, no one could see it. Thus, sight-seeing is still possible and we don't have limited areas to put our oil rigs.

5. The poll. I am just showing that even people in Florida, a great sight-seeing place, support offshore drilling. I am also just showing that most of the Americans support the idea, seeing as we live in a democratic republic.

New Points

1. Where does much of our oil come from? It comes from foreign countries, not even very close to the US, in the Middle East. The United States currently has a very high foreign oil dependence and there are many problems with that.
1) We pay the Middle East, even in our current economic situation, to give us oil. What's wrong with that? What's wrong is that we are funding our enemies that we fought in war! A lot of the countries we purchase oil from are hostile towards us.We buy their oil, they get rich and can buy bombs and rockets to shoot at us.
2) We spend $750 BILLION a year on foreign oil. That is too much money that we're wasting when we could simply gt oil in our own borders.
3) When looking at the countries we purchase oil from, we have some serious problems. For now, Canada is a great ally. But if we so much as break the tiniest rule in our trade agreements with them ( b/c of the "Buy American" rule in the Recovery Package), there will be a huge price to pay. Mexico is on the verge of collapse and if that happens it will be run by the drug cartels. Saudi Arabia is a friend AT THIS MOMENT. But they're unhappy with our solid backing of Israel. Who knows what might come of that? Then there's Venezuela. Chavez hates us. The only thing that might keep him in line is the fact that oil prices keep going downward. Venezuela survives only because they have oil. Iraq and Colombia are unsteady at best and the OPEC countries are some of the most volatile in the world. Any of our "allies" can just quit on us!

2. Offshore oil production makes economic sense. It creates jobs and helps fulfill America's vast energy needs. It contributes to the gross domestic product and does not increase the trade deficit. Higher oil supply helps keep a lid on rising prices, and greater American production gives the United States more influence over the global market. http://www.washingtontimes.com...

These are my new points. My other points are in Round 1, so please look to them for reference.
Two things I want to point out:
1. My opponent has failed to further his case or to even mention his points and only refuted mine.
2. This debate is not about Obama's plan. It's about offshore drilling in whole. What I put in the background is just to show what spiked this debate back up.

I'd again like to thank my opponent for the response and for putting up a great match.
twin

Con

Lets just get right down to bussiness,

1. First off, oil is not an infinite source of energy, so leaving the current supplyers for oil off of our own (America's) coasts is not averting an energy crisis, its going to cause one. We are not making any strides froward toward renewable energy sources, so we're only prolonging the inevitable by at the least five years, and at the most nine. Least we forget that President Obama made no secret about the fact that this move WAS very political, as in to gain votes for a clean energy bill stalled out in Congress by winning more Republican votes. So yes, he does support renewable sources, but doesn't nessessarily support offshore drilling.

2. Allow me to provide you with a list of oil spills in this link (which includes "areas at risk of a spill") : http://en.wikipedia.org.... Just copy and paste it, and remember the most recent oil spill was this month, April 3rd 2010 off the coast of Austrailia. So yes they do spill and yes it has happened as recently as a few days ago.

3. No, I am in no way, shape, or form saying that we need to drill. I just found it odd that this new oil plan was taking harsh criticism from, well, everyone even though it was in your oppinion the "right" thing to do. Its taking criticism for two reasons, a. Republicans claim it doesn't go far enough and the most promising areas in the northeast, the west coast, and Bristol Bay are "off limits". Does it make sense to you that all of the oil you mention is practically off limits from offshore drilling and that the areas that won't do much to help the econemy or create jobs? Not to mention that absolutely no drilling will take place for at least a few years until scientists have completed studies to find out if its safe or even how much oil is there. With those heavy limits, it's still no oil for years, and without them you would have oil in the palm of your hand. In other words, I understand that the idea is that anywhere off the shores of the US is a fine drilling place in terms of this debate, but that doesn't mean it makes political, economic, and scientific sense. And b. for reasons stated in c2, with oil spills, it is still a very risky bussiness.

4. Yes, we do have limited places to put the oil rigs, and they can be anywhere within a 125 mile distance. So those three miles become increasingly important with such limited space for oil companies. Also, any spill that occurs offshore can effect the shore, Sen. Frank Lautenberg expressed concerns ""Giving big oil more access to our nation's waters is really a kill, baby, kill policy — it threatens to kill jobs, kill marine life and kill coastal economies that generate billions of dollars," said Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

"Offshore drilling isn't the solution to our energy problems, and I will fight this policy and continue to push for 21st century clean energy solutions," he said.

Lautenberg noted that when the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil in Alaska in 1989, the oil spread 470 miles. The Virginia coast is less than 100 miles from New Jersey. And drilling off Delaware's northernmost shore could potentially put rigs within 12 miles off the coast of Cape May, environmentalists said.

The beaches and beach towns of New Jersey generate about $50 billion in economic activity yearly and employ nearly 500,000, Lautenberg said. He noted that when medical waste washed up on a New Jersey beach in 1988, "a panic ensued" and the state lost a third of its annual tourism revenue." Clearly, even 60 - 90 miles offshore is a problem

5. I know.

1) Why are we fighting the war in the first place? Terroism? Not in Afghanistan . No, that war is for control of FORGIN OIL. As a matter of fact, during the Cold War, America set up a dictatorship in the middle east to gain control over forgin oil instead of the Soviet Union. That is where the terroists hate toward America comes from, not to mention our love of Israel.
2)Oil still costs money, and even if we got it from off America's coasts it would still cost money. And by the by, we are not curbing our addiction to oil by switching suppliers, we're just remaining stagniant on the issue.
3)Sounds like we should stop playing the "world police" and leave everyone alone, or just move to more renewalbe energy sources in general and stop the addiction to oil from causing more trouble than it already has.

2 Again, someone has to pay for the oil being distributed. And also for the employee's paychecks. That someone will be the American citizen, especially with private oil companies in control of all of the oil America has, expect to see the prices go up not down. And we don't have much influence over the golobal market if anyone of our "allies" can turn on us.

"These are my new points. My other points are in Round 1, so please look to them for reference.
Two things I want to point out:
1. My opponent has failed to further his case or to even mention his points and only refuted mine.
2. This debate is not about Obama's plan. It's about offshore drilling in whole. What I put in the background is just to show what spiked this debate back up."

As for this 1. My points are part of my refutaions, they're counterpoints. Just work backwards when reading, common sense really. And 2. Obama's plan offers very good expert refutaions and criticism supporting my side of the argument. I'd like to think that was obvious but hey, you know...

And thank you to my opponent, this is a pritty darn good debate, good luck the rest of the way! ;)
Debate Round No. 2
XStrikeX

Pro

Thanks for responding. I'll start out with rebuttal.
Refutation

1. "First off, oil is not an infinite source of energy..." It may not be infinite, true, but it is an extremely useful source of energy. Let's examine renewable sources such as solar power, wind power, and geothermal energy. Solar power can only absorb so much sunlight and would be useless on a cloudy day. Finding windy fields is very difficult and costs a lot of money, and what if the wind stops in that certain place altogether? And geothermal energy. The main problem with geothermal, of course, is lack of easily accessible surface sites. Turbines on Old Faithful would probably not be well received. Oil is much more efficient than these types of energies. I agree that renewable energy is important and that we should invest in it, but even the President said that to transition to clean sources, we need to drill oil. And my opponent said that the offshore drilling idea was merely a political move to gain Republican support. But the President can't say "drill" for no reason, and he gave a clear, true response to why we need drilling.

2. My opponent has shown lists of oil spills in the United States and various countries. I'd like to point out that if you read about the spills, it is not due to problems with the tanker. It is because of other issues such as collisions. If you read the recent Texas oil spill that my opponent has cited in his source, a barge RAMMED into the tanker, causing the oil spill. The fault was not in the tanker, as shown. Onto the Australian spill. This occurred because a law was disobeyed. "The Chinese-registered Shen Neng 1 rammed into Douglas Shoals late Saturday, an area that has shipping restrictions" The accident was caused by the carelessness of the crew, not problems with the tanker.
http://dailycaller.com...

3. If this oil plan was "taking harsh criticism from, well, everyone," then this debate would not have existed, now would it? I did not ever say that we can only get oil from places off limits. Obama recently opened up new places to drill and those places contain significant amounts of oil. If we did drill in those restricted areas, huge benefits could come just like the oil found near Brazil. How can offshore drilling not help the economy? It creates many jobs, it reduces our deficit spent on foreign oil, and profit will come from the oil. Canada was once against offshore drilling, but now they do it, and they don't regret it one bit. I know that offshore drilling takes time. But think of all the benefit. Good things take time to come. Jobs, money, oil, oh my! :P That's practically a lot of benefit from so little time.

4. My opponent has stated that we can put an oi rig anywhere within a 125 mile distance, which completely contradicts his first version of his contention. He stated that the average man could see 7 miles out to shore and he currently just contradicted himself. Also, he has stated that an oil spill can kill marine life and such. However, fewer oil spills happen nowadays. At this moment, they only occur because of clumsiness of the crew or some other obstruction. If we instructed the crew more and made sure that no one would get in the way of the oil rig, then no more spills would happen. He also talked about the Exxon Valdez spill and how it spilled 11 million gallons of oil. That was certainly horrible. NEARLY 30 YEARS AGO. With improving technology, oil rigs are safer, and I have shown examples in Round 2, as you asked. No oil rig has carries that much oil, and there will be fewer accidents because of technology. And I also would like to ask why my opponent put in something about medical waste when medical waste has nothing to do with offshore drilling.

5. My opponent has said that the hate from terrorists comes from stealing the foreign oil in the Middle East. Well, if that's true, then why don't we drill inside our own free borders to get oil, instead of wasting money fighting wars for something that we have inside our own country? Instead of seizing something from a far-off place, why don't we just look at what's right under our noses? It will eliminate the problems that I stated in Round 2.
My opponent has stated that oil still costs money even if we get it from our own country. There are many more benefits drilling here then buying it from others. As I stated before, the Middle East HATES us. They DESPISE us. They sell us oil because they benefit greatly from it. Think of this. What if we sold our oil to other people? We could make the 750 billion dollars we're giving to others!
"Sounds like we should stop playing the 'world police' and leave everyone alone." What?? If it wasn't for some people and countries in the world, America wouldn't exist. If we left everyone alone, there would be no trade. China wouldn't have give us the money that we relied on so heavily. My opponent's statement was completely ludicrous! And as I have previously shown, even renewables have their problems.

6. I don't see how gas prices will go up. Inflation occurs because something of popular demand begins to run out. Gas companies would go broke if they charged a lot for something they had a lot of, and their business would be taken away by a company that charged cheap for the surplus of oil.

Thanks to my opponent. This has been a great debate and I look forward to the 4th and final round. Good luck!
twin

Con

twin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
XStrikeX

Pro

Hopefully Twin will be back for the fourth round...
Seeing as this is the last round, bye!
It's been a great debate and I'd like to thank Twin for responding and accepting the debate! :D
twin

Con

twin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by XStrikeX 7 years ago
XStrikeX
Apparently, Twin's account isn't active...
Posted by XStrikeX 7 years ago
XStrikeX
Uh, Twin, are you still there...?
Posted by brittwaller 7 years ago
brittwaller
"Evidence: USA Today" huh?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by DebatePro 7 years ago
DebatePro
XStrikeXtwinTied
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Vote Placed by arethusa668 7 years ago
arethusa668
XStrikeXtwinTied
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Vote Placed by XStrikeX 7 years ago
XStrikeX
XStrikeXtwinTied
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Total points awarded:60