Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care
Suppose the United States did decrease drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, or discontinue it altogether. It’s a tempting idea, but the question arises. Then what? What would be our alternatives?
For a nation where oil consumption surged 32 percent between 1970 and 2008 and production declined 40 percent, offshore drilling in the gulf, along with Alaska, represents the new frontier. Some 30,000 to 40,000 rigs in the gulf are drilling deep and pumping oil that comprises more than a third of the nation’s domestic supply, more than any other source. The technology employed to drill so deep and at such underwater depths is so cutting-edge it rivals that of space exploration, the industry says…