Sunday, April 25, 2010

Offshore Oil Drilling Disaster Update

Here is a link to an ABC news story on June 11, 2010:

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – Oil is leaking from the ruptured well of a large rig that exploded, burnt and sank in the Gulf of Mexico...

In light of the oil disaster in the Gulf, here is an excerpt from my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are large, but fragile.

 Presently, offshore drilling for oil and gas is not permitted in the Great

Lakes. The eight governors of the states bordering the Great Lakes

ban oil drilling in the Great Lakes because they are so vulnerable to

oil contamination.

Canada has allowed 55 wells in Lake Erie.

Yet some oil exploration companies have drilled under Lake

Michigan from on shore sites by means of directional drilling and

want to explore for more oil under the Great Lakes. So far twelve

wells have been drilled from offshore using directional drilling to go

under the rock underlying the Lake Michigan basin. The first was in

1979 and the most recent, in 1997. There has been so much citizen

opposition that this practice has been temporarily halted.

Many people believe this is circumventing the intent of the

agreements among the state governors. Directional drilling for oil

has the potential for destroying the world’s greatest source of fresh

surface water. Oil rigs on shore with the capability to drill under the

lakes have an uncertain safety record.

Gambling with Lake Michigan, a lake with an outflow that takes

nearly 100 years, could do great harm.

New York State has banned both directional drilling and offshore

drilling for gas and oil in Lake Ontario.

Accidental oil spills in the Great Lakes have the potential for far

more serious damage than an oil spill at sea because the water in the

Great Lakes takes a long time to circulate through the system. An oil

spill would affect the whole ecosystem from the microscopic

plankton to the eagle with a seven-foot wingspan. It would affect the

people who depend on Great Lakes water for domestic, agricultural

and manufacturing purposes.

*The Dynamic Great Lakes was published in 2001.  Now the number of Canadian offshore wells has increased along with the possibility of oil spills.

*From the website Environment Ohio:

•Fifty-one natural gas spills directly associated with gas drilling in Canada's portion of Lake Erie were documented between 1997 and 2001—an average of almost a spill a month.

•The Canadian side of Lake Erie confronted 83 petroleum spills from all sectors between 1990 and 1995 (the last year for which data was made available for this report).

•Only 45 percent of the spill's contaminants were cleaned up, on average.

•Direct discharges of drilling wastes into Lake Erie have subjected aquatic organisms to immediate and long-term health effects risks, ranging from localized fish kills to aquatic organism developmental impairment.


  1. Actually, Canada has drilled well over 500 wells in Lake Erie, your basic facts are wrong, thus your conclusions are simply not valid.

  2. Here is a link to what is happening with oil wells in Lake Erie:

  3. Awful. I think so many of us are totally unaware of the scope of drilling. And interestingly enough many companies have shut down productive wells on land to be able to get the "water" leases. It is rather like pissing on all the possible corners before more leases are not allowed.

    We seriously need to find other, cleaner sources of fuel. Not drill more wells.

  4. I agree. I am hoping wind and solar will become alternatives for energy and soon.

  5. This I know: freshwater is life. We can't drink oil.

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