Local Oil Execs Make Case for Offshore Drilling

Top executives from Houston-based Shell Oil and BP America are making the case to Congress to expand offshore oil drilling. But will their plans damage the environment? Megan Hughes reports from Washington.

As Congress negotiates a new climate change bill, Shell President Marvin Odum told senators expanding offshore drilling is not only smart but safe.

“The U.S. programs are the most comprehensive and strict is the appropriate word, in the world.”

Odum says offshore drilling has become less intrusive—citing the Peridido project 200 miles off the cost of Texas.

Environmentalists are concerned that in the deeper waters in the Gulf, platforms are more susceptible to hurricanes and devastating oil spills. John Amos made environmental maps of the Gulf.

“It’s not just the risk from what happens on multi-billion dollar high-tech platforms. It’s also the risk posed from the pipelines—and onshore storage facilities.”

A leak from an on-shore holding tank damaged 1700 homes in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu said mistakes happen.

“The same people that had the oil in their homes worked for the company and they didn’t want it to go out of business.”

The Obama administration is considering a five-year plan that might open new offshore areas to drilling.

From Capitol News Connection, Megan Hughes, KHUF-Houston Public Radio News.

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