Since the left seems to be thinking they can capitalize on the mess in the Gulf of Mexico to hamper efforts to increase offshore energy exploration let’s add a bit of sanity to the knee-jerk reactions.
1. The well that is leaking is leaking about 42,000 gallons of oil per day at current estimates.
2. Natural seepage of oil into the Gulf from the ocean floor is roughly 126,000 gallons per day (or 3x the current spill amount).
3. During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the emergency shut-in valves on Gulf of Mexico platforms functioned 100% of the time.
4. The Gulf situation with oil leakage is not comparable to offshore drilling in North Carolina. The deposits off our coast are mainly natural gas (the largest about 45 mi NE of Cape Hatteras) contains as much as 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
What happens when natural gas “spills”? It is either burned off or evaporates as a gas into the environment.
So to sum up: 3x more oil seeps into the Gulf daily from nature than is leaking currently. Fears of this happening off the coast of NC are not applicable because we have natural gas off our coast, not oil.