Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Offshore Wind Trumps Offshore Drilling in Job Growth and Energy Generation

Business

The oil and gas industry has been lobbying to expand offshore drilling for years, claiming it will increase U.S. energy independence, result in millions of dollars in state revenue and create thousands of jobs. A new reportOffshore Energy by the Numbers, An Economic Analysis of Offshore Drilling and Wind Energy in the Atlantic, from Oceana challenges these claims by showing that "offshore wind would produce twice the number of jobs and twice the amount of energy as offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean."

In the next 20 years, offshore wind could create about 91,000 more jobs than offshore drilling and could generate enough energy to power over 115 million households.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

It turns out that the fossil fuel industry's estimates on revenue and job creation potential have been inflated because of the "inclusion of oil and gas resources that are not economically recoverable" and a reliance on "an assumption of a state revenue-sharing system" that just does not exist. Not only are the benefits exaggerated, but the estimates do not account for the loss of jobs and revenue in fishing, tourism and recreation, which depend on a healthy marine ecosystem. Drilling threatens the aquatic life in this ecosystem, nearly 1.4 million jobs and more than $95 billion in gross domestic product.

Oceana points out offshore drilling poses a serious threat to aquatic life even before "a rig is ever put in the water" because oil and gas companies use seismic air guns, which "make dynamite-like blasts to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor." The Obama administration announced its decision last July to consider proposals for the use of seismic air guns from Delaware down to Florida.

“Based on the government’s own estimates, seismic blasting in the Atlantic could harm fish populations while injuring as many as 138,000 marine mammals like whales and dolphins, disturbing the vital activities of as many as 13.5 million more,” said Andrew Menaquale, report author and energy analyst at Oceana. Menaquale also found, again based on the government's own estimates, that "if all of the economically recoverable offshore oil and gas in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf were extracted and used, oil demand would only be met for less than five months and gas demand would only be met for less than 10 months, at current consumption rates."

Alternatively, the report shows, "in just 13 years, offshore wind could generate more energy than could be provided by all of the economically recoverable offshore oil and gas resources." And in the next 20 years, "offshore wind could create about 91,000 more jobs than offshore drilling" and "could generate enough energy to power over 115 million households."

"Unlike offshore drilling, offshore wind provides power directly to coastal communities where we need energy the most, without the risk of oil spills or carbon pollution,” said Menaquale. “It’s time for the U.S. to use the lessons learned from more than 20 years of offshore wind development internationally and apply them to generating clean, renewable energy off our coasts.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Cuban Province Well on Its Way to 100% Renewable Energy

Ohio’s Renewable Energy Freeze Threatens Growth of Solar and Wind Investments and Jobs

The War on Solar

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The Earth's atmosphere. NASA

By Jeremy Deaton

You may have heard about the hole in the ozone layer, which hovers over Antarctica. It has shrunk over time thanks to policies that curbed the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. In the nearly 40 years that NASA has kept track, it has never been smaller. That's the good news.

Read More Show Less
Garden interns learn plant and weed identification at the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Cheyenne River Youth Project / Facebook

By Stephanie Woodard

Many Americans are now experiencing an erratic food supply for the first time. Among COVID-19's disruptions are bare supermarket shelves and items available yesterday but nowhere to be found today. As you seek ways to replace them, you can look to Native gardens for ideas and inspiration.

Read More Show Less
Although considered safe overall, aloe vera does carry the risk of making some skin rashes worse. serezniy / Getty Images

By Kristeen Cherney

Skin inflammation, which includes swelling and redness, occurs as an immune system reaction. While redness and swelling can develop for a variety of reasons, rashes and burns are perhaps the most common symptoms. More severe skin inflammation can require medications, but sometimes mild rashes may be aided with home remedies like aloe vera.

Read More Show Less
There are plenty of things you can do every day to help reduce greenhouse gases and your carbon footprint to make a less harmful impact on the environment. ipopba / Getty Images

By Katie Lambert and Sarah Gleim

The United Nations suggests that climate change is not just the defining issue of our time, but we are also at a defining moment in history. Weather patterns are changing and will threaten food production, and sea levels are rising and could cause catastrophic flooding across the globe. Countries must make drastic actions to avoid a future with irreversible damage to major ecosystems and planetary climate.

Read More Show Less
Petri Oeschger / Moment / Getty Images

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Sleep is one of the pillars of optimal health.

Read More Show Less

Junjira Konsang / Pixabay

By Matt Casale

For many Americans across the country, staying home to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) means adapting to long-term telework for the first time. We're doing a lot more video conferencing and working out all the kinks that come along with it.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Looking south from New York City's Central Park. Ajay Suresh / Wikipedia / CC BY 4.0

By Richard leBrasseur

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered humans' relationship with natural landscapes in ways that may be long-lasting. One of its most direct effects on people's daily lives is reduced access to public parks.

Read More Show Less