- Indigenous peoples across the continent have been vigorously protesting offshore drilling for decades.
- Offshore drilling threatens key fishing and hunting grounds of Alaskan native peoples, risking malnutrition and economic disruption.
- Native Alaskan people are already becoming climate refugees due to melting permafrost.
- Indigenous people along the Gulf Coast are also being forced to relocate due to rising sea levels from climate change
Safety and Worker’s Rights
- According to the CDC, offshore oil workers are seven times more likely to have a fatal work accident than the average American.
- 28 out of every 100,000 offshore workers dies on the job, averaging 15 deaths per year. In contrast, OSHA reports four fatal accidents for the entire solar industry to date
- Almost half of offshore drilling deaths are related to equipment failure, and new regulation repeals will lower safety standards more.
- Decreased safety standards means a higher risk of all accidents, including major explosions and oil spills.
- Each drilling platform leaks over 90,000 metric tons of toxic drilling fluid per year into the ocean.
- A single drilling platform can produce 2 billion gallons of wastewater per year. That wastewater includes over 70,000 gallons of oil
- Waste from the platform construction and drilling, including metal shards and toxic chemicals, is dumped directly into the ocean, adding to overall pollution.
- Drilling has been linked to increased mercury levels in local fish
- Current US offshore drilling operations dump 880,000 gallons of oil into our oceans each year.
- Drilling platforms use and contaminate billions of gallons of drinking water each year, contributing to water shortages around the country.
- Toxins released during drilling can damage the immune systems of fish, birds, and mammals– including humans
- Predators, including humans, can suffer kidney failure and other fatal health problems from eating fish exposed to toxins from offshore drilling.
- Flares from offshore drilling rigs produce black carbon, which contributes significantly to climate change.
- CO2 generated by the oil rig itself is equivalent to 7,000 cars driving 50 miles a day.
- Planned new offshore drilling projects would release 850 metric tons of carbon (the equivalent of driving 3.2 million cars over 50 years.
- The previously estimated cost of those emissions would exceed $170 billion from natural disasters, health problems, and climate refugees.
- Noise pollution from offshore oil exploration and drilling can kill fish eggs, and kill or disorient adult fish up to 2,500 miles away from the drilling site.
- Marine biologists estimate the 138,000 whales and dolphins would be killed in the seismic blasts from new proposed East Coast drilling alone.
- Whales and dolphins that don’t die from seismic blasts can become deaf, rendering them unable to navigate or hunt.
- Flares from offshore oil rigs incinerate 200,000 seabirds each year in the Gulf of Mexico alone. In contrast, the average wind turbine kills fewer than three birds in a year (10x-100x fewer than the average office building)
- Oiled wildlife
- Offshore drilling endangers the coastal tourist industry, which is worth $166 billion USD on the west coast alone.
- Washington would lose $52 billion in coastal tourism revenue.
- The Pacific Northwest stands to lose $800 million in revenue from recreational fishing.
- Washington’s $300 million dollar commercial fishing industry would be destroyed by offshore drilling