Presentation on theme: "Energy At Any Cost? Michael Ferder Science Department Herbert Lehman High School Bronx, New York."— Presentation transcript:
Energy At Any Cost? Michael Ferder Science Department Herbert Lehman High School Bronx, New York
Introduction As industrial societies grow, so too has the need for more of the world’s resources. The needs of man are often in direct conflict with nature. The balance necessary for an industrial society to grow, and for animals to survive within their habitats is constantly being tested.
Problem: Damage To The Alaskan Environment By Oil Pollution
Background 1967: Largest oil field on U.S. soil discovered at Prudhoe Bay. 1977: Commercial oil production begins at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, after the completion of the Trans-Alaska pipeline. Cost $10 billion. Pipeline stretches 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay to the port of Valdez. Oil production at Prudhoe Bay- approximately 1.8 million barrels/day.
1999: Alaska received >$ 3 billion taxes in oil revenue a- state residents each received rebate check worth $1,770
Environmental Problem March 24, 1989: The Exxon Valdez runs aground in Prince William Sound, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into an environmentally fragile ecosystem.
Clean up of Prince William Sound Wildlife killed > 3,000 otters which are keystone predators. Birds killed >10,000 Fish and marine organisms killed tens of thousands Fishing Industry losses exceed $1 billion. Clean up exceed 5 years
Possible Solutions to The Problem Grass roots effort(s): Including local fisherman suing Exxon, the State of Alaska and the Federal government. Environmental Groups: Lobbying state and federal governments to enact laws to protect the environment against corporate indifference.
Better self policing by the oil industry Reduce or stop governmental oversight. Conservation of energy: Slowing down the need to produce oil from environmentally fragile areas. Controlling future development of Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Willingness of state residents to forego future oil refunds.
Evaluation of Current Policies and Actions Grass Roots Effort: Local fisherman demand compensation for destruction to the Local fishing industry. Environmental Interest Groups: Lobbied Congress to enact stricter laws and fines governing oil transportation in ships. Action: Law suits filled in state and federal courts. Case not settled Action: Federal government law passed making it mandatory for new tankers to be double hulled.
Evaluation of Current Policies and Actions Conservation of Energy: Easiest self regulating policy to adhere to. Controlling future development in Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Action: Federal regulations determine gas consumption for cars. More SUV’s being purchased increasing demand for oil. To-date not effective. Action: Environmental Interest Groups lobbied the Federal government to withhold oil rights to the federal lands. To-date, highly effective.
Evaluation of Current Policies and Actions Self regulation and policing by the petroleum industry. Willingness of state residents to forego oil endowment refund, or royalty taxes. Action: Self policing by the petroleum industry is considered unacceptable by environmental groups. Considering the poor track record the industry has regarding the environment. Action: State politicians unwilling to stop payout from the endowment fund to residents. State dependent upon tax revenues from oil production.
Conclusion The survival of our fragile ecosystems rests on the beliefs that corporate responsibility and environmental policies can be balanced for the good of a nation. These policies/beliefs are constantly being challenged to prevent further Exxon Valdez type catastrophes.