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A new report from Oceana, an environmental advocacy group, claims that installing offshore wind farms along the Atlantic coast would be more economically productive and energy efficient than the oil industry's drilling proposals. "Wind could create more than twice as many jobs, and in 20 years, it could produce more than twice the energy" as offshore drilling, the report states. The organization estimates that translates to around 218,000 jobs (91,000 more than drilling) and 11.4 billion BOE (barrels of oil equivalent, a unit for comparing energy) compared with drilling's 6.1 billion. In addition to never running out, wind power would also be much safer, Oceana claims, with zero risk of oil spills and far less impact on marine animals.
Industry advocates at the American Petroleum Institute disagree, citing a study by Quest Offshore Resources that claims drilling would create 280,000 jobs and $50 billion in revenue. "Independent experts know it will take an all-of-the-above approach to meet the growing energy needs of American families and businesses," said the API in a statement provided to NBC News.
Absent from the Oceana report are comparisons of initial costs for the two types of proposals, though estimates for decades-long projects would necessarily be somewhat speculative. The report also downplays the fact that oil and gas could be exported, adding to states' revenues. Instead, Oceana focuses on the potential disruption of $95 billion in business for local tourism, fishing and shipping industries, which it claims are at greater risk from drilling operations. The full report can be read at Oceana's website.
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