As lawmakers and legislators continue to squabble over climate change and its link to fossil fuel generated Co2 emissions, congress has decided to disregard these warnings and lift the forty-year ban on oil exports that may end up spelling a spilling disaster for the world’s ecological well-being.
While it comes as no surprise that the entire ordeal is a left versus right issue, the GOP backed measure will benefit representatives controlled by the deep pockets of big oil. As a consolation prize, solar power and bio-fuel industry credits will be extended, which is hardly a fair trade-off at the expense of an otherwise fragile environment.
If the ban legislation surpasses a few hurdles and becomes law thru the executive branch, the US based oil industry stands to increase crude production by as much as 3.3 million barrels of crude per day, according to recent studies. What this essentially means is that oil companies in the United States would be drilling an estimated 26, 385 new oil wells every year over the next 15 years, which will have a tremendously negative environmental impact for years to come.
One of the bigger problems in dealing with this initiative is that most of these wells will go through the fracking process, which has already been proven to contaminate groundwater supplies and jeopardize one of our most precious natural resources. The ban itself, enacted in the early 1970s, may very well reverse the environmental progress that has been made over the last few decades and add more fuel to the fire in the following areas.
- Greenhouse gas emissions will increase to the equivalent of 135 coal generated power facilities
- Drilling rig apparatuses will result in the loss of nearly 120 square miles of precious land, or equivalent to the size of the Arches National Park
- The ban would end up filling nearly 1000 Exxon-Valdez sized oil rigs every year
- The ban lift would fill an estimated 4,500 rail cars on an annual basis Senator Jeff Markley (D) Oregon stated that this bill is a huge mistake, and he also said:
“It’s a windfall for big oil at the expense of working Americans and our planet.”
Environmental agencies are also fuming about this proposed legislation, thus urging President Obama to reject the spending bill. Kassie Siegel, a representative for the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute recently said,
“President Obama must veto this horrendous proposal or he’ll show the world that the commitments he just made in Paris are insincere. The president is at real risk of losing any chance he has at a positive legacy on climate.”
Alternate reports are showing that the president will not veto the proposal, as it is attached to the $1.1 trillion budgetary initiative, also known as the omnibus spending bill. Although a number of scientific studies regarding the climate and our environment have concurred that keeping these oil reserves in the ground would help to stave off further negative impacts of a polluted world, this decision by congress is all but slapping environmental scientists in the face, not to mention dealing a hard blow to an already unstable ecosystem.
The Republican Party is once again showing that it could care less about the greater good and caving to lobbyists and special interest groups in order to further their own agendas. The oil ban lift may go down as one of the biggest earmarks in modern history, as big oil continues to strip us of the air we breathe.