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In light of the recent oil spill in the gulf, should America proceed with new offshore drilling?

Asked at Speedway Shell, 1733 Mass. on May 14, 2010

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Photo of Juliana Schafer

“Regardless of the oil spill, i don’t think that we should explore further (drilling) options because we need to plan for the future a little bit better, and that should start now.”

Photo of Dennis Stine

“The alternative to stop drilling might be worse than taking the risk in continuing to grill. We need to find safer and better ways of doing it.”

Photo of Don Stratton

“I believe yes, they should. I think we need to be, as a country, more capable of taking care of ourselves than relying on other nations, and we need to figure out a way, if this happens again, that we’re more capable of fixing it a lot faster.”

Photo of Dominicke McCawley

“Yeah, but further offshore drilling because less animals will be harmed in the process in the event there is a spill.”


RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

Drill baby drill!! The Carrier Independence uses 150,000 BARRELS of fuel per day, one Abrams tank burns 8 gallons of diesel fuel per mile and my SUV gets 9 miles per gallon! What's a few shrimp or sea turtles compared to my need to run to town for a 20 pak of Bud Light and a 500 round brick of .22 hollowpoints? Alternative fuels? Ha! You ever try to run a light destroyer on methane? There aren't enough bean eatin' sailors in the navy to run one of them for 30 minutes! Jeez, look at all them prairie dogs out there! Hey Earl-Bob, hand me my M-16 and hold my beer, you won't believe this sh---!!!

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

Disclaimer; ^^Roe not responsible for his thought process from 2 AM to 6AM. Deprived of breast milk from birth and fed directly from cuzin Elroy's still thereafter, he tends to behave poorly at this hour. It's not his fault, he's a victim of his environment.

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

And that Juliana is just as cute as she can be but Dennis has that Mick Jagger look goin' for him. Don looks like he just bit into one of those cellophane wrapped turkey sandwiches and Dominicke - - well I ain't saying nothing 'bout her. Looks like she's ready to start kickin' butt and takin' names and I don't want mine at the top of her list! Question: Did these people get asked this OTS before or after they filled their tanks with $3 gas at Shell?

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

Well, I see it's time to take my first round of medications. Ya' all come back now, ya' hear?

A20271 7 years, 8 months ago

I thought Dennis looked like Thomas Haden Church ( The guy from Sideways... except not as cute.

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

Face it,faceit, it got your troll butt to take a look! Always enjoy dragging the lifeless up for a breath of fresh air though, gets them out of the basement long enough to see the seasons still change. No need to thank me, I consider it a public service.

tbaker 7 years, 8 months ago

Whether or not we explore for oil, in the ocean or otherwise, has nothing to do with this recent blow-out tragedy. This moronic proposition is a classic example of the cause and effect fallacy.

If a Kansas tornado blows away my house, shouldn't I live in a cave from now on?

In the lifetime of everyone reading this, we will have no choice. We simply cannot live without crude oil, and transportation is but one consideration. The clothes on your back, all your posessions, the food in your stomach, the keys on the keyboard someone will use to respond to this post - all come from crude oil.

I'm all for alternatives to crude oil, most especially for transportation fuel, but the leaps in technology we need to make those happen will not occur because of some grand presidential / government proclamation to work together towards some common goal, etc. The fact the oil spill is from a well in 5000' of water came from deep-water drilling technology the oil companies invested heavily in because there was the promise of profit if they somehow found away to extract more oil to sell frmo that environment. The same promise of profit will drive the human ingenuity that will create the technologies to replace crude oil.

Unfortunately, when profits depend on government involvement, the human ingenuity you'll see is the sort focused on discovering new ways to secure federal favors and subsidies, not technological progress.

parrothead8 7 years, 8 months ago

Comparing a tornado blowing away your house to the oil well explosion makes no sense. The oil disaster is manmade and could have been prevented from happening. The tornado is an "act of God" and could not.

The problem is not that we "need" crude oil...the problem is how much we need it. We've given ourselves over to the philosophy that it is our "right" to have cheap gas. We sit on our fat butts in our cars for any trip longer than 50 yards, and we build our country to accommodate that mindset. If we had different transportation options and built our neighborhoods to support those options, then we could, at the very least, use far less oil in the foreseeable future.

And then it wouldn't be so "imperative" for us to "drill baby drill" in areas where an accident causes a catastrophic environmental event.

Randall Barnes 7 years, 8 months ago

an act of god, so you do believe in god ? so therefore everything happens for a reason. a tornado or an oil spill everything happens for a reason. yes they are both the same( an act of god.) so yes indeed drill baby drill.

tbaker 7 years, 8 months ago

Parrot - It makes sense because the context demonstrates the fallacy I spoke of. You are mistaken: We NEED crude oil. We have no choice. How much we need it is simply a function of there being no substitute for it. Speaking of "ifs" - if we shut off the crude oil supply to the United States, the human suffering that would result would be epic. If we want a more enviromentally friendly alternative that will reduce our demand for crude oil AND is totally within our capability now, we should all support the Pickens Plan. Personal transportation should be fueled by Compressed Natural Gas in the United States.

georgiahawk 7 years, 8 months ago

L1 has no solutions other than to watch and trust that the same people (corporations) that screwed us the last time won't do it again because, because, huh because!

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

"If you want to get off the oil ASAP for national security and ecological reasons then you have to except nuclear power. We will have to except electric cars we have to charge." Psst, dude, look in your dictionary for the word "accept". I think you will find it useful.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 8 months ago

Heck naw! It's time to develope solar and wind and stuff that doesn't poison the planet.You don't end an addiction by finding a new dealer. End this addiction to oil.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 8 months ago

Something good can come out of something bad.

We cannot let the oil industry go on with business as usual. They should have foreseen something like this happening and they probably did but didn't care enough to spend the money to prepare for it.

They would rather spend that money on politicians.

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

took me a bit to cyfer that one word there multi but i got it figured out i think. sumpthin bout my backside but no it weren't me it was the dog what let fly

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

Oh, do let us increase our dependence on foreign oil! The gasoline shortage in the 70s was such jolly fun!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

Oil drillers know little about drilling 5,280 feet below the sea or 5,280 feet below the earth. That tells us that easy oil is gone gone gone.

It also tells us there is NOT enough oil around the USA to satisfy the USA never ending need to drive gas guzzling vehicles everywhere we go everytime we go.

Peak oil has come. The party is over.

The USA government needs to stop killing thousands upon thousands of people to have control of what oil and natural gas is elsewhere. Killing ton tons and tons and tons of people and killing our economy is dumb economics and this relentless and illegal war pisses people off around the world.

The world DOES NOT support the USA government war for oil control!!!!!!

bad_dog 7 years, 8 months ago

Merrill, oil exploration companies routinely drill below 5280'-right here in Kansas.

They drill far beyond that in Colorado, Oklahoma, Alaska and Texas. That's just land based rigs-not offshore rigs drilling from multiple derricks simultaneously.

If BP as operator would have properly overseen the operation, all of this mess could have been avoided. This was, however, a multifaceted cluster.... with plenty of responsibility (and liability) to share with Transocean and Halliburton.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

BTW no one knows how to cap this deep water screw up plus toxic oil and toxic chemicals to break up toxic oil oil is killing marine life NOW. At more than 5,000 barrels a day or whatever how much toxic chemicals will be necessary? NO ONE KNOWS!

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

5000 a day is what BP admits. I suspect it is a good deal worse than that.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

As Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Spreads, BP, Halliburton and Transocean Executives Deflect Blame for Spill at Senate Hearings

As thousands of gallons of oil continue to spew daily from a damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico, representatives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton were grilled by lawmakers in back-to-back hearings on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Industry executives from all three corporations began with prepared testimony that involved blaming each other for the explosion and deflecting responsibility for the unfolding environmental and economic disaster.

We air excerpts and speak with marine biologist Rick Steiner. For the past week he has been working at the site of the oil spill and on the Louisiana coast, where he collected several samples of the oil washing up ashore.

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

I tried to read merrill once. Fell asleep on the second cut and paste. Haven't tried since. Far as I can tell that's about all anybody else does.

BigAl 7 years, 8 months ago

Do you mean like how Dick (5 deferment) Cheney said that Iraq Oil would pay for the Iraq war?

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

That wouldn't be very smart when Shell & Exxon & Citgo, etc. can all sell at a cheaper price. I say fine the criminals.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

Don't be so coy, R_I. Tell us what your really think.

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

Another petroleum product, vaseline, was invented by Robert Chesebrough (1837-1933), who was said to have believed in its healing ability so much that he ate one teaspoonful every day.He would often have his "nurse" cover him from head to toe for "healing" purposes.He lived to be 96.

Fortunately our government keeps huge volumes of vaseline on hand for use with dealing with US citizens. Stored in IRS facilities nationwide. Don't be afraid to ask for it.

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

On that note I will now go out to the shop, fire up my 30 hp zero turn mower and mow my over size lawn/pasture. Followed by push mowing around trees, garden, house and outbuildings, then weed eater to make everything look just so. An hour of tilling the garden to knock back the few weeds that are showing, and loosen the soil.Then off to the Speedway Shell to fill the 34 gallon tank on the 11 mpg F-250 plus the 5 - 5 gallon cans of mower gas. Maybe I'll get to meet Juliana! Or I could just have merrill do it.

Later, tater . . .

Mike Hatch 7 years, 8 months ago

I knew a woman who, when she was a kid and was sick, had to eat a teaspoon of Vicks Vap O Rub. Her dad swore it would cure all.

Did you hear about the newlywed couple that didn't know the difference between Vaseline and putty?

All their windows fell out.

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

I bet that woman's dad's real motive was keepin' her regular while sick! Not to mention the cool minty smell wafting up from the thunder mug!

As for the newlyweds, ah . .um, . .no. Don't wanna know how the putty worked out.

Bill Lee 7 years, 8 months ago

There isn't enough oil off our shores to make a long-term difference, so risking additional accidents seems foolish to me. We need to accept the fact that most of the world's oil is elsewhere and work on alternative energies.

My brother and his company are working as hard as they can to control the Gulf oil slick, and he says there's no way they will be able to prevent further damage to the shores.

Jay Keffer 7 years, 8 months ago

Just try to take away offshore drilling in the Gulf - want to see the economy in that region really tank? That would do it.

Drill and dig. Drill offshore with current technology and tight regulation. Get off the foreign oil spigot. Develop alternative energy at a light speed pace.

We can't just stop using cheap, abundent energy. So work to get out of the Middle East and also be first in line with viable alternative sources. First one to that prize gets a whole lotta power. In more ways than one.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

How cheap is it if we destroy our environment to get it?

Jay Keffer 7 years, 8 months ago

I guess we could ditch all the advances we have made since the dawn of time and let everything go back to seed. And crush the world economy in the process.

No thanks. Drill and dig, leverage the cheap energy and let good ol' American ingenuity work its magic.

riverdrifter 7 years, 8 months ago

Deepwater Horizon was the same rig that drilled a well to 35,500 ft. below the ocean floor in the gulf last Sept. This is the deepest well ever and is to a huge discovery. Learn from the mistakes and keep drilling. BTW, for those who would summarily end offshore drilling in the gulf: on any day there are 13-14,000 people working on rigs. That is a lot of high paying jobs.

make_a_difference 7 years, 8 months ago

We shouldn"t have been drilling there in the first place.


Deja Coffin 7 years, 8 months ago

I think we need to make more things vegetable oil powered! For being such an obese country, I'm sure we have plenty of used veggie oil to spare!

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

Whew! Just finished mowing the estate! Well, couldn't get to the back 10, still a little muddy, as was the garden so no tilling. Mowed the neighbors yard too, they're outa town and the grass will be a foot high by the time they get back. Only took a little under 5 gallons this time so I didn't have to load up the cans and run to Larry for resupply. Sure stirred sumpthin' up though, my sinuses feel like they been hammered by the ball-peen.

Guess I won't be meetin' that Juliana after all! Mrs Roe probably wouldn't approve anyhow.

RoeDapple 7 years, 8 months ago

Last time I tried drillin' in the yard the neighbors was kinda suspicious like I was trying to bury sompthin'. Tried explainin' to them I don't do that no more but they called the law anyway. Ya know, one backhoe can really wreak havoc with the sod! Glad they didn't look under the concrete driveway! oops . . .

Andrew Reeves 7 years, 8 months ago

  1. Q: Why are we still hooked on oil? A: Because Exxon Mobile made $35 Billion in TAX FREE profits last year.

  2. I don't buy the whole "dependency on foreign oil" theory. We're selling a lot of our oil overseas. Why not sell it all here? I'm sure there are reasons for the companies ($$$), but it doesn't say much for American oil independence.

Plus, how many foreign corporations are drilling in our territory? Where does that oil go? These oil guys care about making money, they don't care about "homeland security".

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago


and exploit natural gas as alternate fuel for internal combustion machines.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

In other news: "President Obama, in a no-questions allowed press conference, fumed about the reactions of the heads of the three companies involved with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.


"I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter," he intoned. "You had executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else."

Of course, he gave no specifics as to what was said or who engaged in what "finger-pointing."

As is usual with these "hearings," the entire "spectacle" was no more than a stage for arrogant Congressional members to grandstand for the public. Never mind that the oil is still gushing and no one has any proof as to what actually led to this accident.

In the same breath, he blamed other administrations for failing to set and maintain strict standards (Obama has been in office now for almost a year and a half. His Democratic party has held Congress since 2006.):

"For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill. It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore."

In other words: It's Bush's fault!

Apparently, Obama has selective amnesia, as he has been the largest recipient of BP campaign contributions in the last 20 years! Pretty "cozy," no Barack?..."

More at

tbaker 7 years, 8 months ago

So what do you suggest Merrill?

Do you believe the USA should stop using crude oil? About 46% of the crude oil that goes to an oil refinery is made into gasoline. Where do you think the remaining 54% goes? What are those keys you're typing on made out of? You cannot touch anything that doesn't owe at least a part of it's being there for you to touch, without crude oil. All that is required to get us off of crude oil is alternative energy forms that are profitable. In the last 15 years, oil companies have managed to triple the depth of water they can drill off-shore in. Where did that inovation and incredible leap in technology come from? Some government program? Some presidential proclimation?

It came from profit, or at least the potential for it.

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