A story out of Australia illustrates why some of us don't think drilling off the coast of Virginia is such a great idea. Aside from the fact that it wouldn't reach the market for years, won't lower crude oil prices and won't be anywhere near enough to satisfy our oil needs, it has the potential to wreak havoc on Virginia's economy--think about damaged fisheries and lost tourism dollars, not to mention the billions of dollars in cleanup costs.
The spill off the coast of Australia has been going on since August, and began when a pipe on the sea floor burst open. It has still not been plugged and continues to expand by about 300 barrels per day, contaminating an enormous area of ocean and killing unknown quantities of wildlife. Money quote from the Guardian article:
Still, Llewellyn says experience from previous oil disasters suggests the damage will be long lasting. "We know that oil can be a slow and silent killer. Impacts from the Exxon Valdez disaster are still being seen 20 years later, so we can expect this environmental disaster will continue to unfold for years to come," she said.In case you're inclined to say "People first, let's get the oil even if it kills some fish," don't forget that what's in the ocean tends to end up in a lot of our food. It's not just an issue of seals dying, it's toxic waste going right onto your dinner plate. Let's hope Governor-Elect McDonnell (sigh) doesn't get too Drill-Baby-Drill crazy.