This is the second part in the multi-part series detailing the EnergyFLA project. In this post, I’ll answer the questions readers e-mailed to me regarding the first post. To read the first post of the series that explains EnergyFLA, click here.
Q: Will the drills used to retrieve the oil be visible from the beach? (Sandy R.)
A: Only if you’re looking for it through binoculars. Temporary rigs will be built from 3 to 6 miles off of the shore, which will be far enough away to prevent visibility from the beach. Also, technology has changed quite a bit since Florida last allowed offshore drilling in state waters. The unsightly rigs of the late 80s have evolved into the nearly invisible rigs of today. Don’t worry, the pristine views from the beach won’t be damaged at all.
Q: Gas prices are declining, so obviously supply is sufficient. Why do we need more oil? (Robert M.)
A: While gas prices have decreased, it’s not because we’re producing more oil. According to a study posted in the Washington Post, oil consumption nearly doubled production in the U.S., the biggest consumption vs. production gap in our nation’s history. We turn to other suppliers for our oil; in fact, the U.S. is the number 1 oil importer in the world.
Q: Are we positive that oil is located off of Florida’s coasts? (Cindy C.)
A: Yes. Some amount of oil is definitely located off of Florida’s coast. Oil can be found in Jay and Blackjack oil fields, as well as in the Sunniland region. In between these two areas are 4.5 million acres of unexplored ocean floor that experts believe could hold many more potential oil fields. The goal of EnergyFLA is to explore potential areas oil and natural gas could be located.
Q: Will drilling hurt the sea life? (Michael S.)
A: This is one of the most common misconceptions about offshore drilling. States throughout the gulf manage to balance offshore drilling and a successful fishing industry. Clearly, if it hasn’t caused a problem for the other gulf states, it wouldn’t cause a problem for Florida.
Q: I don’t live in Florida, why should I support this? (Steve L.)
A: That’s a great question. Domestic offshore drilling will push the United States closer to energy independence. We won’t have to rely on foreign nations to give us our energy because we’ll have it all here at home. Domestic drilling also gives Americans the possibility for potentially lower gas prices. Who wouldn’t won’t to pay a little less hard earned cash for gas? Oh yeah, I’m not a resident of Florida either, but as you can see I realize the benefits this will have across the nation.
Q: How many jobs will this project create? (Matt T.)
A: I think I covered this in the first post, but if you missed it I’ll review. Offshore drilling in Florida will 20,000 additional permanent jobs. When you factor in the manpower to get the drills going, you have 40,000 jobs created. All of the additional jobs in addition to the increase in revenue will be a pleasant boost to Florida’s economy.
I still have several questions that I’ll save for another day, so if you have something you’d like to be answered, send it in! I’ll be happy to answer it to the best of my ability.
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