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Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 1

Scholars Lab File Title

Democratic Unity DA – 1NC Shell.................................................................................................................................3
Democratic Unity DA – 1NC Shell.................................................................................................................................4
UQ: Democratic unity high.............................................................................................................................................5
UQ: Democratic unity low..............................................................................................................................................6
UQ: Democratic unity low..............................................................................................................................................7
UQ: Drilling not coming - BRINK.................................................................................................................................8
UQ: Drilling coming.......................................................................................................................................................9
UQ: Drilling coming.....................................................................................................................................................10
UQ: Drilling coming.....................................................................................................................................................11
LINK: Subsidy cuts divide democrats..........................................................................................................................12
LINK: Subsidy cuts divide democrats..........................................................................................................................13
LINK: Subsidy cuts divide democrats..........................................................................................................................14
Internal Link: Unity blocking drilling...........................................................................................................................15
Internal Link: Unity blocking drilling...........................................................................................................................16
Mpx: Spills....................................................................................................................................................................17
Mpx: Spills....................................................................................................................................................................18
Mpx: Spills....................................................................................................................................................................19
MPX: Fisheries.............................................................................................................................................................20
Mpx: Fisheries...............................................................................................................................................................21
Mpx: Ethanol.................................................................................................................................................................22
Mpx: Polar Bear Module...............................................................................................................................................23
Mpx: Polar Bear/Ecosystem - Extensions.....................................................................................................................24
Mpx: Polar Bear/Ecosystem - Extensions.....................................................................................................................25
Mpx: Polar Bear/Ecosystem - Extensions.....................................................................................................................26
Mpx: Environment........................................................................................................................................................27
Mpx: Environment........................................................................................................................................................28
Mpx: Environment........................................................................................................................................................29
Mpx: Coral Reefs..........................................................................................................................................................30
Mpx: Coral Reefs..........................................................................................................................................................31
Mpx: Species loss..........................................................................................................................................................32
Mpx: Warming..............................................................................................................................................................33
Mpx: Warming..............................................................................................................................................................34
Mpx: Drilling hurts the GOM.......................................................................................................................................35
Mpx: GOM - Fisheries..................................................................................................................................................37
Mpx: GOM - Species....................................................................................................................................................38
Mpx: GOM - Biological diversity/US Economy..........................................................................................................39
Mpx: Laundry list..........................................................................................................................................................40
A2: Drilling lowers oil prices........................................................................................................................................42
A2: Drilling lowers oil prices........................................................................................................................................43
A2: Drilling lowers oil prices........................................................................................................................................44
Oil Prices Down............................................................................................................................................................45
AFF - A2: Spills ...........................................................................................................................................................46
AFF – A2: Spills...........................................................................................................................................................47
AFF – A2: Spills...........................................................................................................................................................48
AFF – A2: Spills...........................................................................................................................................................49
AFF – A2: Spills...........................................................................................................................................................50
AFF – A2: Spills – Oil Increase Species.......................................................................................................................51
AFF – Drilling Doesn’t Harm Reefs.............................................................................................................................52
AFF – Drilling Doesn’t Harm Reefs.............................................................................................................................53
AFF – A2: Fisheries......................................................................................................................................................54
AFF – A2: Polar Bears..................................................................................................................................................55
AFF – A2: GOM...........................................................................................................................................................56
AFF – Drilling Good – Seepage Turn...........................................................................................................................57
AFF – Drilling Good – Cuban Drilling Turn................................................................................................................58
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 2
Scholars Lab File Title
AFF – Drilling Good – Tanker Spills Turn ..................................................................................................................59
AFF – Drilling Good – Resource Wars Turn................................................................................................................60
AFF – Drilling Good – Increases the US Economy......................................................................................................61
AFF – Drilling Good – Decreases Energy Prices ........................................................................................................62
AFF – Drilling Good – Decreases Energy Prices.........................................................................................................63
AFF – Drilling Good – Energy Prices Key to the Economy.........................................................................................64
AFF – Drilling Good – Energy Prices Key to the Economy.........................................................................................65
AFF – Drilling Good – Energy Prices Key to the Economy ........................................................................................66
AFF – Drilling Good – Prices Up.................................................................................................................................67
AFF – Drilling Good – Increases Trucking..................................................................................................................68
AFF – Drilling Good – Trucking Key to Economy .....................................................................................................69
AFF – Drilling Good – Trucking Key to Economy......................................................................................................70
AFF – Drilling Good – Increases Tourism....................................................................................................................71
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 3
Scholars Lab File Title

Democratic Unity DA – 1NC Shell

A. Uniqueness and Internal link-

Pelosi is uniting democrats to oppose drilling

Financial Times 8 (7-28, Stephanie Kirchgaessner,

The Speaker of the House of Representatives has a tough task at hand before Congress begins its
August recess: ensuring that Democratic legislators do not return home empty-handed, without any
proof that they are taking action to tackle record petrol prices. One Democratic proposal that would
have required the government to sell 70m barrels of light sweet crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum
Reserve failed to pass the House last week. In the meantime, Republicans appear to be gaining traction in
their call to expand offshore drilling - putting pressure on Ms Pelosi to keep her caucus unified,
including conservative Democrats who might be tempted to side with the Republicans on that issue.
Steering the Democrats' response to the energy crisis without alienating environmentalists or the
struggling middle class could prove to be one of the biggest tests Ms Pelosi will face this year. Her
record suggests that the speaker will respond to the challenge with astute political manoeuvring,
showing once again that, though she is labelled a "San Francisco liberal", the roots of her political education
lie in the rough and tumble world of Baltimore, where her father was mayor. Outside Washington, Hillary
Clinton's historic run for the White House conveyed the sense that the New York senator and former first lady
was the most powerful woman in the capital, perhaps even the world. Inside the beltway, it is no secret that
crown belongs to Ms Pelosi. In the 20 months since she became the first female speaker of the House, a
position that puts her second in the line of succession to become president, the congresswoman from San
Francisco has proven herself to be a pragmatic and iron-fisted leader of the traditionally fractious Democratic
caucus. Under her leadership, Democrats have backed the majority position 91 per cent of the time,
the highest so-called " unity score" Democrats have achieved in 51 years.

B. Link-

Subsidy cuts split the Democrats

LA Times 7 (7-25, Nicole Gaouette,

Lawmakers are set to debate a farm bill Thursday that would cut subsidies to wealthy farmers, expand a
healthful snack program to all 50 states, and make an unprecedented investment in fruits and vegetables. House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has lauded it as a “first step toward reform” that would provide a safety
net for farmers, promote conservation initiatives and encourage healthful eating. But Pelosi and the
Democratic-controlled committee that produced the bill are facing opposition from a bipartisan group of
liberal Democrats and fiscally conservative Republicans who see the legislation as a boondoggle with
misplaced priorities. They point out that the bill would funnel multibillion-dollar subsidies to crops, including
some like corn that are bringing record prices. And that farmers who earn as much as $1 million a year would
still be able to collect subsidies, an income level five times higher than the Bush administration recommended.
This band of lawmakers, backed by a coalition of advocacy groups, is seeking to tip the bill’s emphasis
from crop subsidies to conservation and nutrition. And they are promising a fight. “American agriculture
cannot afford another status quo bill concentrating more resources in the hands of those who need it least,” said
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 4
Scholars Lab File Title

Democratic Unity DA – 1NC Shell

C. Impacts-

Drilling spills are frequent and have chronic impacts on the marine environmnet

FAO 3 (
Drilling accidents are usually associated with unexpected blowouts of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons from
the well. Only tanker oil spills compete with drilling accidents in regularity and severity. Some rare
occurrences could lead to catastrophic situations involving intense and prolonged hydrocarbon gushing.
Often they involve hydrocarbon spills and blowouts during drilling operations. Usually, these accidents do not
attract any special attention. Nonetheless, the ecological hazards and associated environmental risks can be
considerable - especially given their frequency - and could ultimately lead to chronic impacts on the marine

Marine ecosystems are key to human survival

Weber 94 (Peter, The Environmental Magazine,
Since the beginning of life on Earth, the oceans have been the ecological keel of the biosphere. The
marine environment, from the brackish waters where rivers flow into the sea to the deepest depths,
constitutes roughly 90 percent of the world's inhabited space. The oceans cover nearly 71 percent of the
Earth's surface, and their deepest trenches plunge lower below sea level than Mount Everest climbs above
it. They hold 97 percent of the water on Earth, more than 10,000 times as much water as all the world's
freshwater lakes and rivers combined. The oceans' seminal contribution to the planet was life itself. The
first living organisms on Earth are thought to be bacteria that developed in the depths of the seas some four
billion years ago. Not only are they the evolutionary ancestors of us all, but they created the oxygen-rich
atmosphere - a key to our existence - as a by product of their photosynthesis. Even today the oceans are a
foundation of global climate, and they are home to a unique array of species, many of which cannot be
found on land. Remarkably, deep sea dredges indicate that the ocean floor may contain as many species as
the world's tropical rainforests. Many of the species brought to the surface cannot be identified because
they have never been seen before, and are unlikely to be caught again. Scientists are increasingly turning to
the sea because of its unique biological diversity. They have derived anti-leukemia drugs from sea
sponges, bone graft material from corals, diagnostic chemicals from red algae, anti-infection
compounds from shark skin and many more useful agents. Time and evolution have distanced us from our oceanic origins,
but we still bear the traces of our saltwater heritage in our blood. We have an almost universal fascination with the timeless procession of waves, the smell
of salt water, the call of seabirds, the sheer scale of the sea. From the vantage point of a beach or a coastal cliff, the oceans look limitless and unchanged
from the way they appeared thousands of years ago. Throughout most of human history, we have seen only this view, and our governments have made few,
if any, attempts to protect the marine environment. Today, however, with technologies that allow us to penetrate the salt water depths, we have discovered
that the oceans, too, are vulnerable to the unsustainable trends that degrade the environment on land. Rapid population growth, industrial expansion, rising
consumption and persistent poverty are causing levels of marine pollution, habitat destruction and depletion of marine life that constitute a global threat to
If we were to declare war against the oceans, the most destructive strategy would be to
the marine environment.
target the coasts, the regions of most highly concentrated biological activity. Tragically, that is what we are already
doing - not by deliberate attack, of course, but through overcrowding of coastal areas and unsustainable economic development. Here is where agricultural
and urban waste pours in from the land, smoggy clouds pour out their contaminants, ships flush their tanks, and cities bulldoze wetlands to extend their land
seaward. Over half the people in the world now live within 100 kilometers of the coast, while coastal cities make up nine of the 10 largest cities and over
two-thirds of the top 50 in the world. As these cities continue to grow, developers drain wetlands that once served to trap nutrients, sediments and toxins, so
that runoff from construction, city streets, sewage plants and industrial facilities now flows unimpeded into coastal waters.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 5
Scholars Lab File Title

UQ: Democratic unity high

Democratic party is united because of Obama

Epstein 8 (7-29, Edward, BA Cornell University,
More than just a pep talk to a group of Democrats, who are pretty upbeat about their election prospects,
Obama’s caucus appearance was an opportunity for members to ask their prospective nominee questions. He fielded about a dozen
questions on a wide variety of domestic and foreign policy topics, participants said. Highlights included Obama’s statement that if Iran
thinks it can get a better deal on its nuclear program from the United States and its international partners by waiting for a new president
it is mistaken. Obama, just back from a foreign trip that included stops in Israel and the Palestinian territories, reiterated that he thinks
the United States has a vested interest in pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. He also said the United States has to invest
more in its physical infrastructure and has to be fiscally disciplined to revive the economy. Several of those in the room said Rep. Adam
B. Schiff , D-Calif., met scattered boos when he suggested to Obama that if elected president the senator appoint a bipartisan cabinet that
would include Robert Gates, the current defense secretary, staying on in that post. Schiff wouldn’t comment after the meeting. Even
though they were behind closed doors, Obama chose not to get too specific on any issue. Joseph Crowley , D-N.Y., said Obama told the
caucus, “I don’t want to jinx myself” by getting too specific about what he would do next year if he is elected over the probable
Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain . “I’m not going to talk about that kind of thing until I actually get there,” Crowley said Obama
added. Democratic Senate and House campaign leaders, who expect the party to pick up seats in both houses in November, are warning
Democrats against over-confidence as they head into the fall campaign. Christopher Carney , D-Pa., said Democrats aren’t
overconfident. “Most people in the caucus are pretty smart. They read the polls, They see what’s ahead. And I think Senator Obama
knows he’s got a lot of work ahead of him. This is not put away by any means,” Carney said. John B. Larson , D-Conn., vice
chair of the caucus, said the reason the party is so optimistic about Obama’s prospects to capture the
White House is that “he’s a hope monger. He just exudes hope.’’ Donna Edwards of Maryland, the
Democrats’ newest member said, “It was a wonderful experience. It was an opportunity for us as a
caucus to show how unified we are behind his candidacy whether we represent red or blue states.”

Democratic party unity is at an all-time high

Kilgore 8 (Ed, Ed Kilgore is the policy director of the Democratic Leadership Council,
It's not as though there's a stable and easily identifiable band of rebellious right-leaning Democrats in
Congress who are screwing up everything. According to Congressional Quarterly's (subscription-only) voting
analysis, House Democrats achieved the highest level of party unity in history last year, with 92 percent
sticking together on party-line votes (as compared with the low of 58 percent back in 1972). Senate
Democrats' party-unity rating in 2007 was 87 percent, just below their all-time high of 89 percent
(achieved in 1999 and 2001), and far above the levels common in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

The democratic party is uniquely unified because of the upcoming election

Robinson 8 (7-30, Dan, Dan Robinson is a quarter century news veteran who has had
numerous roles throughout Voice Of America since 1979,
Obama sounded a note of bipartisanship, saying he hopes to be able to work with what he called right-
minded Republicans if he is elected president. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Democrats as
unified in their enthusiasm about Senator Obama, and their excitement about his ideas. "We had a
wonderful discussion about energy infrastructure, health care, America's leadership role in the world.
We congratulated Senator Obama for his trip, for presenting that face of America to the world, and for
his ideas to take us into the future," she said.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 6
Scholars Lab File Title

UQ: Democratic unity low

Democrats are struggling to remain united

Bresnahan 8 (7-22, Josh, the capitol bureau chief of Politico,
Democrats who have been there before say that party unity and discipline can be harder to achieve with
a super-majority, as senators who might stay in line in a one- or two-seat majority suddenly find that
their votes are more in play in a large majority. “When you do have a working majority, then a new
element comes about — some person or persons within our ranks realizes that their one vote will just
frustrate us,” said Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who was first elected to the Senate in 1962 and served in
the big Democratic majorities of the 1960s and 1970s. “It’s a double-edged sword,” added Sen. Patrick Leahy
(D-Vt.), first elected in 1972. “One, the good thing, if you’re close to [60], it is easier in my experience to
peel off two or three people to join you. The other thing, when you have a majority of just one, it is hard to
keep internal discipline, because you’ve always got a couple people saying, ‘For my purposes back home,
you’ve got to let me off this vote.’ “Even if you had 60, you would still have people saying, ‘I gotta be let off
this vote.’ In some ways, it’s even harder.” Although the ideological divides between moderate and liberal
Democrats may not be as great as they once were, those divisions still exist. On issues such as abortion,
immigration, guns, taxes and spending — even Iraq — centrist Democrats are not always comfortable
with the positions espoused by their colleagues from safer East Coast and West Coast seats. “In those
earlier Democratic majorities, ... they were divided among themselves between the Southern conservatives
and the more progressive members from other parts of the country, especially in the ’60s,” said Senate
Historian Richard Baker. “It was very difficult for party leaders to lay down a party line, and they didn’t.”
Some Democratic insiders even speculate privately that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who is
up for reelection in 2010, may be better off politically if Democrats don’t reach the 60-seat threshold. “We
really don’t want 60,” said a senior Senate Democratic aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “We
want 57 or 58. It would be better for Reid — better for Democrats — in some ways. Then you can turn some
Republicans on certain [bills] and make it bipartisan.” A more likely outcome, with Democrats picking up a
half-dozen seats, would make GOP moderates such as Sens. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Gordon Smith of
Oregon, who is up for reelection this year, even more critical to Democrats in the 111th Congress. Despite
the growing euphoria in Senate Democratic circles about the 2008 elections, the party also faces a more
difficult election cycle in 2010, with a number of swing-state senators up for reelection. In addition to Reid,
who says he is running again, Democratic Sens. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Ken Salazar of Colorado
and Blanche L. Lincoln of Arkansas are up, as well. Democrats could also find themselves defending an
Illinois seat vacated by Obama if he wins the presidency, and the potential for unexpected races is always
there in a body with so many older members. “Even if you get 60, you are still going to have Republicans to
support legislation because not every Democrat will be locked in,” said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a
moderate. “If you have a lurch to the left, that probably spells danger for the next election cycle, just as it has
when the other side has had a super-majority and moves [the Senate] to the right. This is not a place that
tolerates lurches.” Reid also faces a potentially tricky situation with Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.).
Lieberman caucuses with Democrats and supports Reid for majority leader. In turn, Lieberman holds the
gavel at the Governmental Affairs Committee by virtue of his position within the Democratic Caucus.
Lieberman, though, has infuriated the Netroots and Democratic activists with his support for Sen. John
McCain’s presidential campaign. Reid has declined to countenance any discussion of removing Lieberman
from his chairmanship, but a Lieberman appearance at the GOP convention in Minnesota might prove to be
too much. If Reid were to take away Lieberman’s gavel, Lieberman could respond by crossing the aisle to sit
with Republicans, potentially endangering a new filibuster-proof majority. But the specter of intraparty
battles doesn’t concern some Democrats, who dream of such a majority to push through their own legislative
priorities after years of seeing Senate Republicans and President Bush filibuster or veto them. “These are
what we call the problems of success, which are a lot better than the problems of failure,” said Indiana Sen.
Evan Bayh, a conservative Democrat. “Look, there are always going to be disagreements, but I do think
the chances of breaking gridlock and getting some significant things done would be substantially improved,
because the differences in our caucus would not be nearly so great as the partisan gulf that separates the two”
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 7
Scholars Lab File Title

UQ: Democratic unity low

Democratic unity low

Hicks 8 (7-28, Jonathan P., New York Times,
In the aftermath of the soap-operalike spectacle that led to the decision by Representative Vito J. Fossella to
not seek another term in Congress, much of the attention has centered on the troubles that his fellow
Republicans have had in finding a candidate to succeed him in the 13th Congressional District. While the
Republicans have endured a highly visible era of disunity, the Democrats in the district, which includes
Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, are not exactly in lock step. In fact, they are now preparing for a
hotly contested primary between two candidates cut from decidedly different cloth. One candidate,
Michael E. McMahon, a city councilman who represents the North Shore of Staten Island, is a self-described
moderate who says he has a record of winning elections in a moderate-to-conservative part of New York.
The other, Stephen A. Harrison, a Brooklyn lawyer who ran against Mr. Fossella two years ago, refers to
himself as a progressive who did better against Mr. Fossella — he won 43 percent of the vote in 2006 —
than any other Democrat in previous elections. Political labels aside, there are stark differences between
the two. Mr. Harrison opposes capital punishment, while Mr. McMahon supports it. The councilman
favors nearly all means of addressing the nation’s energy problems, including offshore drilling,
something Mr. Harrison opposes. Mr. McMahon supported Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s ultimately
unsuccessful congestion pricing plan, while Mr. Harrison opposed it. On the Iraq war, Mr. Harrison
has demanded an immediate withdrawal of American troops, while Mr. McMahon said he supported
“a responsible redeployment of our troops in Iraq.” Mr. Harrison described his opponent as a Johnny-come-lately who
entered the race only after Mr. Fossella announced that he would not run for re-election. “I’ve been doing this for the better part of two
years,” Mr. Harrison added. “We have some real differences between us,” Mr. Harrison said in an interview on Friday. “We have a real
grass-roots campaign going on and he has support mainly from party officials. He has more money. But most of it came from PACs in
Washington.” Despite Mr. Harrison’s strong showing in 2006, virtually all of the Democratic establishment has endorsed Mr. McMahon,
from local officials to Senator Charles E. Schumer and the Democratic members of Congress from New York City. And Representative
Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, broke with a longstanding tradition of
not taking sides in a primary and also endorsed Mr. McMahon. Mr. McMahon said that his moderate stance made him far more
appealing to voters, and that his higher electability quotient explained all the endorsements. “My views are rooted in my experience on
Staten Island,” he said. “In order to win this election, you have to win in the Mid-Island and South Shore of Staten Island as well as
some of the more conservative parts of Brooklyn. And I think that I have the ability to do that.” Mr. McMahon also pointed to his fund-
raising strength as evidence of his broader appeal. He raised nearly $500,000 in about a month. Mr. Harrison said he had raised a total of
$150,000. “But I have the ability to put together a campaign operation together that’s truly grass-roots in every area of this district and to
win this election,” Mr. McMahon said, perhaps alluding to the 2006 election, in which Mr. Harrison fared better in Brooklyn, home to
slightly more than a third of the district’s registered voters, than in Staten Island. Mr. Harrison, not surprisingly, does not share that
contention. He maintained that Mr. McMahon “is not known widely across the district.” And because this is his second run for the seat,
Mr. Harrison said he was “better positioned to win.” The campaign has received considerable attention because the Democrats are
seen as having their best opportunity in a generation to recapture the seat. The tensions between the two
Democrats do not approach the challenges faced by the Republicans. On May 20, weeks after Mr. Fossella
was arrested on a drunken driving charge in Virginia and acknowledged that he had fathered a child in an
extramarital affair, the congressman announced that he would not seek a sixth full term. After a number of
Republican officials declined to run, the party’s leadership selected Francis H. Powers, a retired Wall Street
executive. But he died of a heart attack less than a month later, sending the party into a scramble for a new
candidate before a deadline to submit nominating petitions. The party finally selected a former assemblyman,
Robert A. Straniere. But Mr. Straniere, who has had uneven relations with party leaders over the years, faces
a primary challenge from Dr. Jamshad Wyne, a cardiologist who is the finance chairman of the Staten Island
Republican Party. Still, there is quite enough strain on the Democratic side for most Democrats. “I hope
the tone of this race gets better,” Mr. McMahon said. “Steve Harrison wants to get in the ring of mudslinging
and attack me at the risk of ruining our collective chances of winning this seat. And we can’t afford that.” Mr.
Harrison countered that he was not being personal, “just stating the facts.”
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 8
Scholars Lab File Title

UQ: Drilling not coming - BRINK

Democrats are currently blocking a vote but if a vote came drilling is certain

Taylor 8 (8-1, Andrew, Associated Press writer,

Lawmakers sped for the exits Friday as Congress was to begin a five-week recess after a summer session
noteworthy for bitter partisanship and paralysis on the issue topmost in the minds of many voters: the cost of
gasoline. As its last major act, the House passed by a 409-4 vote its first spending bill, a $72.7 billion
measure awarding generous increases to veterans programs and military base construction projects. More
noteworthy however, was what Congress failed to do: pass energy legislation and other measures aimed at
lowering the price of gasoline. Senate Republicans blocked a bill aimed at curbing speculation in oil
markets, while a similar bill and several others by House Democrats — including a plan to encourage
drilling in already available coastal areas and in Alaska — failed to advance after party leaders
brought them to the floor under procedures that required supermajorities to pass. That procedure
blocked Republicans from forcing a vote on opening new areas to oil drilling. Republicans have been
pressing to allow oil exploration in areas that are currently off limits, including the eastern Gulf of
Mexico and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. They have been relentless in their assault on Democrats over
the topic, even though opening the Outer Continental Shelf to new exploration wouldn't put any oil on the
market for a decade or more. Democratic leaders have been resolute in blocking new offshore
exploration, even as oil patch members and moderates in the party support the idea. It's clear that if a
vote were allowed, new offshore drilling plans would be allowed.

Democrats will prevent offshore drilling from happening

Raju 8 (8-2, Manu, Senate reporter at The Hill,

The most critical test will be on Congress’s response to soaring gas prices, as Democrats face mounting
pressure from Republicans to open up offshore areas to new oil and gas drilling. But so far, Democratic
leaders don’t want to expose their members to tough votes on drilling. Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid (D-Nev.) is likely to block the GOP from offering amendments on offshore oil drilling during an
upcoming energy debate, while House Democratic leaders scrapped appropriations bills to deny the
GOP a forum to debate expanded exploration and are moving critical legislation through the
suspension calendar — where amendments are not allowed. Still, Democrats are taking advantage of
fears over the economy and Bush’s low poll numbers to schedule votes they can portray as a choice between
hurting and helping key constituencies, such as the elderly, unemployed and military veterans. And the
Republicans are buckling under the pressure, as they did Tuesday when Congress voted to override Bush’s
veto of a Medicare bill, just the third time lawmakers have overruled his veto pen since he took office in
2001. “It’s hard to be against something that is promoted as doing good,” said Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), the
minority whip who is in charge of lining up GOP votes, speaking to the Democrats’ strategy. He said keeping
Republican unity varies on the issue.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 9
Scholars Lab File Title

UQ: Drilling coming

Support for drilling is increasing

Keefe 8 (8-2, Bob, MBA from Pace University, Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
With polls showing most Americans back new offshore drilling, many politicians are on board. In
Florida, longtime drilling opponent Gov. Charlie Crist last month abruptly changed his position, saying
offshore drilling is safe and that Floridians need relief from high-energy prices — even though any new
drilling wouldn't result in oil for years, if not decades. Crist is a potential running mate for presidential
candidate John McCain, who also favors increased offshore drilling. Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue also has
said he backs offshore drilling, as have 12 of Georgia's 15 representatives and senators. "This is exactly
what our nation needs right now," Rep. Jack Kingston, a Savannah Republican, said in a statement following
Bush's lifting of the executive ban. "Domestic exploration is step one."

Bipartisan work will lead to drilling

Talley 8 (8-1, Ian, Associated Press,
As Democrats and GOP leaders excoriate each other's energy policies as key tenets of their election-
year strategies, a bipartisan group of lawmakers may be charting a solution that could attract the
majorities needed to push their energy proposal into law. The proposal, which the politicians expect
could be brought to the floor in September, appeals to both parties by taxing Big Oil and funneling those
funds into alternative and renewable fuels - but opens up major portions of the Outer Continental Shelf
currently closed to exploration. Party leaders may have difficulty whipping members into line to support their
presidential candidates' policy positions after lawmakers come back from the August recess, where they'll
likely receive an earful from voters angry at Congress for not passing any legislation to cut record oil prices.
"Nothing gets done in this body without 60 votes, and you don't get 60 votes without a true bi-partisan
effort," said Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., who along with Kent Conrad, D-N.D., led the "Gang of Ten"
Senators - five Democrats and five Republicans - who formed the proposal. "It hopefully does break
down some of the barriers around here," said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. Conrad said a number of Senators
had already expressed interest in the proposal. The campaign office for presidential candidate Sen. Barack
Obama, D-Ill., posted a statement that stopped short of an endorsement but praised the proposal as "a good
faith effort" and "an important step in the process of reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil."
Although Obama said he remained " skeptical" that new offshore drilling will bring down gas prices in
the short term, his comments opened the door toward working with the group, saying he welcomed "the
establishment of a process that will allow us to make future drilling decisions based on science and
fact." While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he didn't agree with all of the provisions in the
proposal, he said, "I am hopeful this plan can begin to break the current legislative stalemate on the
Senate floor." He later told reporters the package stood little chance of passing, indicating the
comprehensive energy bill was unlikely to be voted into law in the run-up to November elections.
Specifically, the proposal would open up sections of the OCS 50 miles off the shores of Maryland,
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and off Florida's west coast in the Gulf of
Mexico. All of those states except Florida would be able to opt for leasing of the acreage off their coasts, and revenue from the leases
from 50 to 100 miles out would be shared between the federal and state governments. Revenue from leases beyond 100 miles would be
federal funds. The proposal would fund a conversion of the nation's petroleum-guzzling vehicles to 85% non-oil fuel sources such as
batteries and alternative fuels within 20 years, contributing $15 billion for research and development and helping auto manufacturers
retool their plants. It would offer a $7,500 tax credit to purchase advanced vehicles. It also would extend renewable energy and
efficiency tax credits through 2012, some of which expire at the end of this year. To pay for the $84 billion proposal - and give
Democrats another lure for support - besides leasing and royalty revenues, the gang offers to repeal a manufacturing tax credit to oil
companies and require oil firms that haven't paid royalty fees from faulty 1998-1999 leases in the Gulf of Mexico to ante up the billions
lawmakers believed is owed the government. Karen Matusic, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based American Petroleum Institute,
said while the group commended the bipartisan effort to expand production, "we remain concerned some proposals in this broad energy
plan would impede efforts to maximize U.S. energy supplies." It immediately drew the ire of Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez:
"The proposal would eliminate Florida's 2006 Gulf protections and give Floridians absolutely no voice in determining where exploration
could occur," the Senator said in a statement. In the House, another bipartisan group of legislators has offered a
similar proposal and has said they would work with their Senate colleagues to gather support.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 10
Scholars Lab File Title

UQ: Drilling coming

The energy proposal that will lead to drilling now has bipartisan support

Diamond 8 (8-1, Robbie, Diamond has a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School,
"This bipartisan collection of leaders has put forward a serious vision to end oil as our primary source of
transportation fuel, and to meet our energy needs in the interim," General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th
Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and co-chairman of SAFE's Energy Security Leadership Council
(ESLC) said. "We worked closely with members of both parties last year to draft and pass legislation
that included the first improvement in vehicle fuel economy standards in three decades. In recent weeks, we
have worked with the Gang of 10 and their staffs to take the next important steps.
"We share the same goals with this bipartisan group of senators, and though we may not agree on all of
the steps to reach those goals, this proposal includes several key policy elements that SAFE and the ESLC
are advocating," Kelley added. "It leads our nation toward the long-term transformation to an electrified
transportation system that is no longer dependent on oil. It also details the necessary steps -- including
research and development and environmentally responsible domestic supply -- to support that effort and meet
our current critical energy needs. This is a strong proposal, and SAFE is eager to continue working with
members of the Group of 10 and the entire Congress to refine it and pass it into law." The proposal includes
policies that will put the U.S. on a long-term course toward dramatically reducing its dependence on oil,
primarily by electrification of the transportation system. It includes several provisions that SAFE is
advocating, including: increasing research and development funding for alternative fuel vehicles (including
batteries); financial support to help U.S. automakers retool factories to produce these vehicles; consumer tax
credits to encourage the purchase of these vehicles; expanding transmission capacity for power from
renewable sources; and others. To fund these measures and to meet crucial energy needs in the interim, the
proposal includes provisions to lift congressional moratoria to allow environmentally responsible energy
production in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, as well as a carbon sequestration credit for use in enhanced
oil recovery in existing wells. "There are few more important national security priorities for the United
States than energy security," Kelley continued. "Time is short. There are very few legislative days
remaining in this election year. It is time for both the House and the Senate to move forward, and this
proposal provides a solid framework with which to do so."

Support for drilling is rapidly increasing due to bipartisan efforts

Sand Francisco Chronicle 8 (8-2, Zachary Coile,

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators seeking to end the energy wars raging in Congress unveiled new
legislation Friday that would allow some offshore oil drilling but also would invest heavily in wind and
solar power, electric vehicles and alternative fuels. The new proposal arose as tempers flared anew over
energy in Congress on Friday. As the House adjourned for its August break without a vote on new oil
drilling, Republicans refused to leave, continuing the debate in a darkened chamber with the microphones
off. Democrats called it a stunt. Republicans likened it to "a Boston tea party on energy" and concluded the
session by singing "God Bless America." In a sign of how quickly the political terrain is shifting in
response to high gas prices, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Friday he would be
willing to support limited additional offshore drilling as part of a broader policy boosting renewable
energy and conservation. He previously had opposed any new offshore drilling. "My interest is in making
sure we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices," Obama told the
Palm Beach Post. "If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well-
thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage -
I don't want to be so rigid that we can't get something done."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 11
Scholars Lab File Title

UQ: Drilling coming

Its too late- democrats are already switching to support new drilling

Talley 8 (7-9, Ian, Wall Street Journal,

Faced with mounting pressure from voters to respond to record gasoline prices, some senior Democratic
lawmakers Tuesday opened the door to a compromise with Republicans that would open more land on
and offshore to oil and gas exploration and production. Separately Tuesday, U.S. House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi (D., Calif.) called on the Bush administration to draw down "a small portion" of oil held in the
government's emergency petroleum stockpile in an effort to boost available supplies and reduce oil prices.
The White House has repeatedly said it is opposed to tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to moderate
prices. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), said "I'm open to
drilling and responsible production," adding that he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D.,
Nev.), could support a modest expansion of offshore production.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 12
Scholars Lab File Title

LINK: Subsidy cuts divide democrats

Subsidy cuts divide along geographic rather than party lines

Muñoz 05 (Sara Schaefer, The Wall Street Journal’s Sara Schaefer Muñoz is the lead
writer for The Juggle,
The lower agricultural subsidies President Bush proposed in his budget have divided the farm lobby
and ignited a fight in Congress that has split lawmakers along geographic, rather than party, lines. The
president's budget request, which calls for lower payments to farmers, would hit cotton and rice farms
in the South and California harder than the Midwest's corn, wheat and soybean farms, which
generally receive smaller subsidy checks. Many farmers oppose the cuts, but some small farmers applaud them, saying
subsidies drive up land prices. Intent on paring the federal deficit, Mr. Bush last month sent Congress a budget plan that would cap
subsidies to individual farmers at $250,000 a year, about 30% less than the current $360,000 limit. The blueprint includes a 5% across-
the-board cut for farmers, based on current formulas, said an Agriculture Department spokesman. If enacted, the plan would trim federal
spending on agriculture by $587 million for the 2006 fiscal year and by $5.74 billion over the next decade. A number of agricultural
economists say this is the first time in nearly a decade that the White House has put some real muscle into restructuring the farm
program. The 2002 Farm Bill spared America's growers hefty cuts in payment limits. "Effectively, the 2002 farm bill didn't have much of
a White House stamp on it at all," said Allan W. Gray, an agricultural economist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. "This is a
dramatic turnaround from where they were before." With the White House behind them, Sens. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) and Byron
Dorgan (D., N.D.) have rolled out legislation setting a $250,000 cap. "The president's support gives a lot of impetus to this that we
wouldn't have otherwise had," said Mr. Grassley, who sits on both the budget and agriculture committees. But the bill is unlikely to go
far if Senate Agriculture Chairman Saxby Chambliss has a say about it. The Republican from Georgia -- home to a $600 million cotton
industry -- recently said on the nationally syndicated radio program "AgriTalk" that he opposed cutting payments. "[Critics] keep talking
about the fact the largest payments go to the largest farmers," Sen. Chambliss said. "They don't ever talk about the fact that the larger
farmers also take the largest losses." A 2003 Agriculture Department study found that the largest 6% of growers received 30% of federal
payments in 2001. Growers of cotton and rice are more likely to hit current payment limits because costly equipment and complex
cultivation make those crops more expensive to produce. The Environmental Working Group, a Washington nonprofit that has been
critical of farm subsidies, calculated that of the $16.4 billion in subsidies paid in 2003, cotton operations received $2.7 billion and rice
operations received $1.5 billion. Some small farmers say lowering the payments would bring indirect benefits, such as protection against
being gobbled up by large farms. Ferd Hoefner, who represents the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, a group of organizations that
includes small and midsize farms and conservation groups that work with them, said farm subsidies have spurred a rise in land prices,
making it harder for small and midsize producers to expand. According to data from the Agriculture Department, subsidies can increase
farm land values by 15% to 25%, depending on the region, Mr. Hoefner said. Iowa cattle farmer Mark Leonard recently spent several
days on Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to vote for the president's lower cap on subsidies. Mr. Leonard, who grows corn and soybeans for
his cattle on 1,100 acres east of Sioux City, says leasing additional land would cost him $30 to $40 an acre more than the land he uses
now. At that price, he says, expansion isn't worth it. Many supporters of sustainable agriculture back lower subsidy
caps. American Farmland Trust, a Washington organization that represents farmers and ranchers interested in environmentally sound
farming practices, says limiting money flowing to big farms may be a step toward a subsidy system that rewards land-conservation
efforts by farmers -- regardless of size, location or crops. By proposing lower payment limits, the administration "took on a tough issue
and opened the door to reassessing how we spend our dollars," says Jimmy Daukas , the organization's director of communications. But
the National Farmers Union, a Denver group that represents 250,000 farmers and ranchers, opposes
Mr. Bush's plan. It is an about-face from the 2002 Farm-Bill debate, in which the group pushed for subsidy caps as a way to free up
funds for other farm spending. This time, however, the National Farmers Union doesn't feel that significant amounts of farm aid should
be diverted to help balance the federal budget. Lower subsidy caps came before Congress during debate on the $118 billion Farm Bill,
when a measure that would have set the limit at $275,000 passed the Senate but was rejected in the House. Opposition to lower subsidies
is again mounting in the House. In a show of bipartisan cooperation, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.)
and the panel's ranking Democrat, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, recently wrote House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle (R.,
Iowa), urging him to leave programs in the 2002 Farm Bill alone.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 13
Scholars Lab File Title

LINK: Subsidy cuts divide democrats

Subsidy cuts divide democrats like no other issue

New York Times 7 (Catharine Richert, 7/16/07,
The farm bill could come to the floor at the end of this month, and the issue most likely to divide
Democrats is whether to cut subsidies. Leadership is under pressure to end what critics describe as
expensive, trade-distorting farm payments to the richest farmers. Some Democrats — such as Ron Kind of
Wisconsin, who touts his own version of the farm bill — would like to steer the money spent on subsidies
toward conservation, rural development, biofuel and nutrition programs — all priorities of the
Democratic leadership. House Agriculture Chairman Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., also is under
pressure to cut subsidies, largely because his budget to write the farm bill is tighter than in past years. His
committee can spend $20 billion over the measure’s baseline of about $226 billion, but only by finding
offsets. Leadership says it is working to find funds in other federal spending programs, but expects Peterson
to redistribute cash within his own bill. Peterson now is toying with ways to limit subsidies; those changes
are likely to come up when the full Agriculture Committee begins debating the bill Tuesday. But major
changes could threaten the re-election hopes of most freshmen Democrats on the committee, who barely
won Republican-leaning districts where victory could come down to farm votes. “There’s no swing voter
like a farmer,” said Brent Gattis, a farm lobbyist for Olsson Frank Weeda and a former Republican
aid for the House farm panel. While many farmers fit a conservative profile, their votes typically come
down to money, Gattis said.

Subsidy cuts promote democratic division

Bogardus 7 (7-25, Kevin, Reporter for The Hill,

A farm bill backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is under attack from members of her own
party and outside groups that say it would do little to reduce the billions in subsidies paid to corporate
mega-farms. Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), a leading proponent of reforming farm subsidies, said he and his
allies were not satisfied with the reforms in the committee bill. “In many respects, they make the problem
even worse,” Kind said.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 14
Scholars Lab File Title

LINK: Subsidy cuts divide democrats

The plan greatly divides democrats and unites them with republicans

Davis 7 (7-24, Julie Hirschfeld, Associated Press writer,
A multibillion-dollar farm bill has sparked an internal Democratic fight pitting the party's new crop of
farm-state centrists against its traditional urban base. Fearful of losing her fragile majority in 2008,
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is siding with subsidy-seeking moderates -- including many freshmen from
conservative-leaning rural states -- putting her at odds with environmental activists who want bigger
changes. Pelosi and other top Democrats including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland once backed an approach that steered
money to conservation and nutrition programs and substantially pared back commodity payments. They have drastically scaled down
those goals in a measure headed to the House floor Thursday. Instead, they've endorsed a measure that would keep large subsidies intact
for major commodities like rice, cotton and corn. It would cut aid only for the wealthiest farmers -- those with annual incomes averaging
$1 million or more -- something Pelosi called "a critical first step toward reform." The speaker and the powerful farm
interests with whom she is allied are facing a fight, however, from an unlikely coalition: liberal
Democrats and conservative GOP budget hawks. They are staging a revolt against the bill and seeking
deeper subsidy cuts for a wider swath of farmers. Under the plan by Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Jeff
Flake, R-Ariz., anyone earning an average $250,000 or more would be barred from collecting farm
payments. That's closer to President Bush's proposal for an income cap of $200,000. It would also steer more
money toward conservation, aid for specialty crops like fruits and vegetables, and nutrition and rural
development programs. "Current farm bill policy has really resulted in large subsidies going to a few but
very large and, quite frankly, very wealthy entities," Kind said, dismissing the legislation headed for the
floor as token reform. "We think that there is a better way." Kind's effort, which he said could cost $13
billion less, has exposed deep rifts among Democrats and inspired bitter feelings among farm-state lawmakers who
argue it would devastate agricultural programs and cost the party its newly won majority. "He's a lone ranger on this, and he's dividing
the caucus, and I don't appreciate it," said Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., clearly angry at the prospect that a fellow Democrat could
upset a painstakingly forged compromise he crafted with substantial input from Pelosi. It's not clear whether Kind, who came close to
winning adoption of a similar proposal in 2002 -- with support from Pelosi and Hoyer -- has the votes to prevail when he offers his
amendment this year. If he does, though, said Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., who is helping lead the fight against the rival plan, "it destroys
the whole (farm bill), and it will be tragic, not just for farm policy but for the party. It will be a wedge that we can't drive out, and it will
land us in the minority." Farm bills, perennial affairs on Capitol Hill, are always a matter of regional alliances
and crop-specific horse-trading that defy partisan lines or traditional ideological coalitions. This year's
measure has ignited a particularly bitter debate, highlighting broader conflicts among Democrats that echo the party's dilemma on the
Iraq war. There, too, Pelosi has had to steer a careful course between the swing-district moderates who helped bring her to power and an
ardently anti-war base that has pushed for an immediate troop withdrawal and funding cutoff. The latter group is her traditional source of
support. In the case of the farm bill, Pelosi pushed for some major changes considered anathema to powerful farm interests, such as the
bar on subsidies to those making $1 million or more and a new measure to prevent farmers from collecting payments for multiple
agricultural businesses. The measure includes a new $1.6 billion infusion for specialty crops, much to the chagrin of commodity-
producer interests. "We have made changes that nobody thought would ever be made," Peterson said, adding that one leadership aide had
told him, "It's not as much as we wanted, but, frankly, it's more than we ever expected out of the (Agriculture) Committee." But Pelosi
also signaled early on that rural-state freshmen's interests would be protected, seating nine of them on the Agriculture Committee and
insisting that they be included in crafting the measure. It's the only politically prudent strategy for this year's measure, said Rep. Earl
Pomeroy, D-N.D., who is fighting to defeat Kind's amendment. When Democrats fell from power in the early 1990s, "we lost those
swing rural districts. The success of our comeback is in part because we've had greater success in those areas, which gives rural concerns
a larger voice in our caucus," Pomeroy said. "That has to be reflected in this bill." Democratic critics argue instead that their plan would
help more farmers in the vast majority of congressional districts, including the first-termers'. "There are a lot of people who
have a lot of vested interests in all of this, so this is for keeps. It's spirited," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer,
D-Ore., a Kind supporter. This week is only the beginning of the struggle. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the
Agriculture Committee chairman, called Kind's measure "a little bit too much, too soon, and I don't think it
would get very far in the Senate." Harkin's panel will consider farm legislation in September, he said, adding
that he hopes to include payment limits "a little tougher" than those in the House bill.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 15
Scholars Lab File Title

Internal Link: Unity blocking drilling

Party unity is the only thing preventing drilling now

Maynard 8 (7-13, Roy, Journalist

Congressional Democrats now have their unified response to increasing calls for oil exploration in
Alaska and in the waters off our shores: The energy companies, they say, are already sitting on plenty of
oil, refusing to recover it. But is that true? “Energy companies are not producing oil or gas on 68 million
acres of federal land under their control,” claims Congressman Maurice Hinchey, a New York Democrat.
“The fact of the matter is Congress has already allowed oil companies to drill, but those companies are
refusing to drill because they want to lock up as much federal land as possible and wait for oil to rise to $200
or $300 a barrel so that they can make even greater profits than they are making now.” Therefore, the
Democrats say, there’s no need to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer
Continental Shelf, despite the crippling rise of gasoline prices. “Why should the U.S. government continue
to give away precious acres of public land to massive energy companies when they’ve already demonstrated
that they will just sit on those acres and not produce oil in a timely fashion?” The party even advanced a
bill last week they called “Use It or Lose It,” which would deny energy companies additional leases until they
“demonstrate that they are diligently developing” the leases they already have. “If they were showing in good faith that they were
drilling on some of the 68 million acres they have now, it might change some of our attitudes,” says Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Yet
the unified response rings hollow — and untrue. Oil companies — in the business of finding, retrieving and selling petroleum — don’t
want to? The best work debunking the Democrats’ claim comes from the reliable Investors Business Daily. “This is yet another slander
of ‘Big Oil’ by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — one that has become a major talking point for Democrats in Congress,” the newspaper
said in a July 3 editorial. “It’s completely dishonest.” Oil companies are driven by profits, and they’ve already sunk billions of dollars
into those existing leases. And they are drilling — an increase in activity of more than 66 percent since 2000, according to that editorial.
“They are searching for oil even as you read this,” the Daily says. “Some parts of those 68 million acres will have oil, some won’t. But
at $145 a barrel, you can bet oil companies have plenty of incentive to find it.” In fact, I have a friend who supplies oilfield equipment.
He says he’s now spending much of his time explaining to customers that he’s having trouble meeting all their pipe needs — the demand
is extremely heavy, and the supply is being further limited by a worldwide shortage in steel. The Daily’s helpful editorial goes on to
dispel several more myths. Can we drill our way out of the energy crisis? “Actually, we can,” it notes. “Conservative estimates put the
total amount of recoverable oil in conventional deposits at about 39 billion barrels. Offshore we have another 89 billion barrels or so. In
ANWR, 10 billion.” That’s not counting the oil shale deposits with an estimated 1 trillion barrels, or natural gas. As for those who claim
additional drilling won’t impact gas prices for years, remember: what’s helping to drive prices upward is the oil futures market. Markets
would suddenly have to discount future oil prices for the expected gain in oil supply,” the Daily says. “That would cause oil prices,
especially in futures markets, to drop.” Congressional Democrats are already feeling the pressure to allow
additional drilling, but so far they’re not budging. “This call for drilling in areas that are protected is a
hoax,” Ms. Pelosi said on Thursday. “It’s an absolute hoax on the part of the Republicans and this Bush
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 16
Scholars Lab File Title

Internal Link: Unity blocking drilling

Democratic partisan unity is crucial preventing offshore drilling

Washington Times 8 (7-27, Gary Andres, Special to the Washington Times, Lexis)
The House majority leadership has pulled out all the stops to block votes on measures aimed at
increasing domestic supply. The entire appropriations process has virtually ground to a halt because of
Democratic leadership concerns that Republicans might offer amendments aimed at expanding energy
resources. The majority has canceled markups in committee and restricted the types of bills the House
considers, using its considerable procedural power to exclude amendments and other legislative ideas
from consideration. All of these efforts are aimed at blocking one thing: congress working its will.
Lawmakers could come together on legislative proposals aimed at more domestic production,
expanding refining capacity and investing in renewable resources. But these days, the House is more
likely to name a post office than pass energy legislation. It is a pattern that reinforces Americans' worst
stereotypes about the institution. House Republicans feel emboldened by their successes so far. "This is the
most unified and energized I have seen our members all year," a senior Republican leadership aide told me.
The House Democratic leadership is making a common error: failing to produce legislative
achievement by compromising with the minority. In today's polarized environment on Capitol Hill,
party politics is a zero sum game. If Republicans develop a popular new idea, Democrats bury it. The
notion of sharing political accomplishment is not in the congressional leadership's lexicon. A former
Democratic senator once told me, "Party leadership now approaches legislation like the Super Bowl; there's
only winners and losers." Lawmakers found a model for legislative success earlier this year with the bipartisan economic stimulus
legislation. The economy needed a boost; Congress came together to do what it could. If Democrats reached out and repeated this pattern
several more times - on issues such as energy, for example, voters would take notice. That would boost congressional popularity and
probably solidify the Democratic majority. Democrats are starting to talk more about domestic production, but it sounds more like a
buffer against blame than a bipartisan solution. This week, the House may consider Democratic legislation to expedite production in the
National Petroleum Reserve - an area of Alaska where drilling is already approved - as well as a plan to force oil companies to "lose"
leases they don't use and possibly some other minor measures. Yet all these ideas have two things in common: Republicans did not
dream them up, and they would do little if anything to address our nation's energy problems. Congressional rules and
procedures provide many ways for the minority to frustrate the majority's ability to pass these
superficial measures that would not address our nation's energy needs. So the default is a stalemate
until Democrats decide they are willing to confront the energy problems and their environmental-
interest-group supporters. The House majority appears either unwilling or unable to do this - leading to
continuing declines in approval. It also means nervous rank-and-file Democrats have a tough time explaining
how their leadership's obsession with scuttling Republican legislative ideas eases the pain at the pump. Taken
together, these actions send a clear message to voters: Congress is dysfunctional and more interested in
accommodating narrow, private interests or partisan aspirations than coming together to address the
big problems of the day. Circumstances rarely provide lawmakers with a chance to address the desires of a
focused public. Energy policy does just that - giving the majority a chance to rise above expected
patterns of partisanship. Good-faith compromise could help refill the tanks of public confidence. So far,
the House Democratic leadership is running on empty.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 17
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Spills
Despite safety improvements spills still occur

Keefe 8 (8-2, Bob, MBA from Pace University, Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Still, spills occur. Last year alone, according to the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service,
about 2,225 barrels of oil were spilled in coastal waters because of mishaps involving offshore rigs.
Even though the Interior Department and others did not deem them major spills, more than 16,280 barrels of
oil were spilled in 2005, the year Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit. Just last week near New Orleans, a spill
occurred in the Mississippi River after a tanker ship hit a barge carrying 419,000 gallons of oil. Given
that many existing oil platforms and other equipment are decades old, it's surprising there haven't
been more spills, said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist
University in Dallas. Bullock, who worked for an offshore oil services company for 25 years before joining
academia, also cautioned that offshore drilling and well management operations are only part of the equation.
The nation's worst oil spill involved a tanker — the Exxon Valdez — not an offshore platform. "Let's say
you're talking about offshore Florida," Bullock said. "In reality, there's probably more risk of an incident
from a tanker going down the coast to get into the Gulf or vice versa than there is putting a well in 1,000 feet
of water." And improvements in technology or not, offshore drilling is still plenty risky, opponents say.
"Even if they aren't spewing out of their rigs, the entire process is incredibly dirty," said Jennette Gayer,
policy advocate for the group Environment Georgia. "There's no way you can tell me it won't have an impact
on our coast — and our coast in Georgia is incredibly valuable."

Even risk of a small spill has catastrophic environmental and economic impacts
Independent Florida Alligator editorial, 7-1-8
(Risky Business: Offshore drilling threatens Fla. ecosystem, economy,, accessed 7-17-8)
It is nearly impossible to find a silver lining in $4–a–gallon gasoline. But if one is to be found, it is in the fact that skyrocketing prices at the
pump” and the resulting anger and discontent felt by Americans from sea to shining sea ” are forcing our politicians to finally have a much
needed debate on what should be done to solve the nation’s dependency on foreign oil. Regrettably, the contours of this debate have been shaped
by unabashed duplicity and a complete disregard for reality. Instead of being honest with the American people about the need to develop
alternative energy and to curb consumption of fossil fuels, the Bush administration, Sen. John McCain, Gov. Charlie Crist and a legion of right–
wing radio talkers have propagated the myth ” made out of equal parts deception and delusion ” that we can simply drill our way out of
dependence on foreign despots for our energy needs.
In recent weeks, both McCain and Crist have flip–flopped on the issue of repealing Congress’ moratorium on offshore drilling, contending that
advanced technology has made drilling environmentally safe and that the exponentially increasing price of energy has made it economically
essential. In actuality, however, the calls to expose Florida’s coasts to the vagaries of Big Oil, while perhaps politically expedient, are
environmentally and economically suicidal.
Floridians should roundly reject the hollow rationale for drilling off the Sunshine State’s coastline, if not for the prospect of serious
environmental harm, then for the tremendous threat that such action poses to our tourist economy, which brings in some $50 billion to our state
annually. One needs to look no further than historical precedent to determine how detrimental and catastrophic an oil spill could be to Florida’s
tourism industry: In 1979, an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused tar balls to wash up on Texas beaches. The result was a 60 percent decline in
the state’s tourism.
Even a relatively minor spill could cause enormous and irreparable damage to Florida’s overall economic health.
But Florida need not face an environmental disaster on par with the Exxon Valdez spill of 1989 to feel the deleterious effects of offshore drilling.
Toxic chemicals such as mercury, lead, benzene, barium, chromium and arsenic, just to name a few, are routinely emitted from “technologically
advanced” oil platforms. And while large oil spills may be unlikely, smaller ones are quite frequent and almost as damaging ” the U.S. Coast
Guard estimates that more than 200,000 small spills occurred in the Gulf of Mexico from 1973 to 2001.
Even if new drilling rigs can drastically reduce the chance of spillage and allay environmental concerns ” the evidence suggests this is dubious ”
the economic benefit of drilling would not be felt for at least seven years, with some estimates placing the economic impact of exploration around
2030. And what’s more, Big Oil has not drilled three–quarters of the territory that Congress has made available for exploration. Why should we
endanger our beautiful, economically lucrative beaches if the oil industry refuses to explore the areas already open for drilling?
Offshore drilling proponents claim that the price of oil has nothing to do with price gouging, speculation or unrest in the Middle East. It is simply
a supply–and–demand problem that is easily curable if we would just invest in domestic exploration. Once again, those little things called the
facts get in the way of a pro–drilling talking point. According to the House Natural Resources Committee, domestic drilling permits have
increased 361 percent since 1999, yet the price of gas continues to climb to record–breaking plateaus.
Florida’s beaches are a national treasure, and their preservation should be a top priority for all Floridians. Our elected state and federal officials
should fight to prevent unnecessary and risky exploration in the name of political gamesmanship.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 18
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Spills
Oil spills cause harm to animals in a multitude of ways.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 4
(“Effects of Oil Spills on Wildlife and Habitat: Alaska Region,” December 2004, P. 1,, Date Accessed: 7/16/08)
Oil causes harm to wildlife through physical contact, ingestion, inhalation and absorption. Floating oil can
contaminate plankton, which includes algae, fish eggs, and the larvae of various invertebrates. Fish that feed on
these organisms can subsequently become contaminated. Larger animals in the food chain, including bigger fish,
birds, terrestrial mammals, and even humans may then consume contaminated organisms. Initially, oil has the
greatest impacts on species that utilize the water surface, such as waterfowl and sea otters, and species that inhabit
the nearshore environment. Although oil causes immediate effects throughout the entire spill site, it is the external
effects of oil on larger wildlife species that are often immediately apparent.

Marine invertebrates hit hard by oil spills

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2004
(“Effects of Oil Spills on Wildlife and Habitat: Alaska Region,” December 2004, P. 2,, Date Accessed: 7/16/08)

Oil can be directly toxic to marine invertebrates or impact them through physical smothering, altering metabolic and
feeding rates, and altering shell formation. These toxic effects can be both acute (lethal) and chronic (sub-lethal).
Intertidal benthic (bottom dwelling) invertebrates may be especially vulnerable when oil becomes highly
concentrated along the shoreline. Additionally, sediments can become reservoirs for the spilled petroleum. Some
benthic invertebrates can survive exposure, but may accumulate high levels of contaminants in their bodies that can
be passed on to predators.

Fish are directly impacted by oil spills

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2004
(“Effects of Oil Spills on Wildlife and Habitat: Alaska Region,” December 2004, P. 2,, Date Accessed: 7/16/08)

Fish can be impacted directly through uptake by the gills, ingestion of oil or oiled prey, effects on eggs and larval
survival, or changes in the ecosystem that support the fish. Adult fish may experience reduced growth, enlarged
livers, changes in heart and respiration rates, fin erosion, and reproductive impairment when exposed to oil. Oil has
the potential to impact spawning success, as eggs and larvae of many fish species, including salmon, are highly
sensitive to oil toxins.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 19
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Spills
Years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, environmental damage still lingers.
Wilkinson, Christian Science Monitor Correspondent, 2002
(Todd , Christian Science Monitor, "After 13 Years, Valdez's Oil Damage Lingers," October 29, 2002,, Date Accessed: 7/16/08)

"People who spent a lot of time in Prince William before the spill will tell you it has become the 'Sound of silence,'"
Mr. Steiner says. "There used to be a profusion of seabirds filling the sky with their calls but their absence is, I
believe, symptomatic of something more far- reaching. The oil spill left the system in a condition of chaos." On
March 24, 1989, some 11 million gallons of North Slope crude escaped through a cracked hull into the Gulf of
Alaska, spreading a toxic sheen westward across thousands of square miles of open ocean and soaking 1,500 miles
of largely pristine coastline. Exposure to oil resulted in the deaths of 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 250 bald
eagles, nearly two dozen killer whales, and billions of salmon crucial to the thriving commercial fishing industry.
After the spill, Exxon enlisted a small army of independent scientists to assess the damage. "Exxon was horrified by
this spill, and we are extremely sorry for it," Mr. Cirigliano says. "We stayed on the scene carrying out cleanup until
the Coast Guard and the state of Alaska told us it was time to stop." The Alaska Coalition's request for additional
damages comes in the wake of an ecosystem assessment released in August by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee
Council. The council was created to oversee disbursement of roughly $1 billion paid by Exxon in the settlement
aimed at restoring the sound to its former vitality. That fee is on top of the $2.5 billion charged to the company for
cleanup in the two years after the spill.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 20
Scholars Lab File Title

MPX: Fisheries
Offshore drilling will put fisheries at risk

St. Claire 8 (7-9, Jeffrey, Investigative journalist, writer, and editor,
“New offshore drilling, such as the President proposes, won’t make a dent in the price at the pump, but it
sure as hell could damage our fisheries,” said Zeke Grader, Executive Director for the Pacific Coast
Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA). “Our members have experienced first hand drilling in
the Santa Barbara Channel and this is not something we want expanded into pristine ocean waters and
some of our nation’s best fishing grounds.” PCFFA’s members include the Commercial Fishermen of Santa
Barbara, Inc., and the Southern California Trawlers Association. It has worked for thirty years to protect fish
and ocean habitats. “The simple fact is that it will take at least a decade before any oil comes to market from
new offshore leasing and that oil will go into a world market,” continued Grader. “Offshore drilling isn’t
about helping consumers at the pump, it’s about the President helping his oilmen cronies who have already
been making obscene profits off the backs of average citizens; it’s psycho babble from politicians looking for
campaign contributions from big oil.” The fishing group said the oil industry still hasn’t developed all of its
existing leases for offshore drilling and said most of the problems that existed 30 years when fishermen
fought drilling along the Central and North Coast of California, Oregon and Washington, Bristol Bay
(Alaska) and offshore New England’s Geroges Bank still exist. PCFFA acknowledges advances in slant
drilling may mean fewer wells, but serious problems remain for fisheries from offshore drilling. Those
include: · Seismic Testing. The sound blasts kill small foraging fish and scare other fish off making fishing
difficult, if not impossible, where it occurs; · Loss of Fishing Grounds. Fishing grounds are lost to the
placement of rigs and the “safety zones” placed around rigs where fishing is prohibited. Moreover, debris left
on the seafloor from offshore drilling operations can damage or destroy fishing gear; Chronic Small Spills.
Large major oil spills from rigs (such as what occurred in 1969 in the Santa Barbara Channel) are relatively
rare, however, chronic, unreported small spills are frequent that can foul fishing gear or taint the catch; Loss
of Port Infrastructure. Offshore oil and gas operations often displace commercial fishing facilities
(marinas, fish processing plants, ice houses, etc) making fishing operations difficult to conduct; ·
Contamination of Fish. Fish found around oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have high concentrations of
mercury and heavy metals, making these fish, many taken by sport fishermen, questionable for consumption.
Much of the contamination is associated with the drill muds and their disposal on the seafloor near the rigs,

Drilling poses little to no risk to the environment

NYT 8 (8-2, John Tierney,

Why risk populated or ecologically fragile coasts, they say, when oil is available elsewhere? There surely is
some risk of damage. But the technology of containing spills and vigor of regulation have come a long
way since Santa Barbara. No serious spill has marred the harvesting of four billion barrels from 12,000
drilling rigs in American waters since 1970. Statistically, tankers bearing imported oil now pose a
much greater environmental danger. Since then the risks have shrunk further. A 2003 report from the
National Research Council noted that only 1 percent of oil that entered U.S. waters during the 1990s
came from extraction operations (like the offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico). Even if you
combined that amount with the oil spilled by tankers, it amounted to only 3 percent of the total — and
only 1/20th as much oil as entered the water through natural seepage from the ocean floor. Of course, an oil
spill concentrated in one spot can harm the local environment, but banning offshore drilling doesn’t
lessen the risk of big oil spills — it simply makes it more likely there’ll be a spill from a foreign tanker.
In 1989, when Congress moved to ban drilling off the New Jersey coast, this ban was criticized by Lawrence
Schmidt of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection:
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 21
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Fisheries
Drilling leads to more tankers and therefore spills destroying fisheries and the environment

FAO 3 (
Tankers carry about 1 000 million tonnes of oil per year, about 50% of which is extracted on the
continental shelf. On some offshore oil fields shuttle tankers are the main way of delivering
hydrocarbons to the onshore terminals. The principal causes of tanker accidents that lead to large
spills include running aground and into shore reefs, collisions with other vessels, and cargo fires and
explosions. More recently, a number of accidents occurred when vessel structures collapsed during
severe weather conditions. Tanker accidents often result in vast oil spills or massive release of harmful
chemicals transported in bulk. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the amounts of
oil spilled during tanker accidents in 1989 and in 1990 were 114 000 and 45 000 tonnes, respectively. Some
of the most substantial oil spills have been: the Torrey Canyon in 1967 with 95 000 tonnes of oil spilled on
the French and British shores; the Amoco Cadiz in 1978 with 220 000 tonnes of oil spilled, the Exxon Valdez
in 1989 with 40 000 tonnes and the Braer in 1993 with 85 000 tonnes of oil spilled. The spill caused in 2002
by the Prestige transporting 77 000 tonnes of oil resulted in significant impacts on the fisheries and
aquaculture sectors in Galicia, Spain. The most dangerous are accidents involving underwater storage
tanks that contain dangerous substances such as methane. Such incidents are possible and the resulting
spills could have disastrous effects on coastal ecosystems, fisheries, aquaculture installations and, in
some instances, on human life. Major impacts of oil spills on fisheries and aquaculture are the smearing
of nets and fish cages and the tainting of fish and shellfish, rendering them unfit for marketing. Longer-
term impacts on the ecosystem depend on the nature of the pollutant and the ecological characteristics of the
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 22
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Ethanol
The energy bill’s passage would give 2.5 billion towards ethanol production

Sand Francisco Chronicle 8 (8-2, Zachary Coile,

The ethanol industry would also benefit, with $2.5 billion in new research money to create more
efficient biofuels as well as loan guarantees for building new ethanol pipelines and tax breaks for
biofuel, electric and hydrogen refueling stations. The bill would speed up the processing of permits to
build new nuclear power plants and offer up to $10 billion in loans for new coal-to-liquid plants, as long as
they captured their carbon emissions.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 23
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Polar Bear Module

Drilling threatens polar bears

Knickerbocker 8 (2-5, Brad, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor,
The political fight over offshore oil and gas drilling in Alaska intensifies this week. Native Alaskans and
environmentalists have filed a suit to prevent the federal government's sale of drilling leases in Alaska's
Chukchi Sea. The sales, set to begin Wednesday, will allow drilling in about 30 million acres, including
critical polar bear habitat, environmentalists say. A decision on whether to list polar bears as "threatened" under the
Endangered Species Act (ESA) is expected this week as well. The potential designation has left the Pacific Legal Foundation, a
conservative public-interest law firm, poised to challenge "any arbitrary, unjustified ESA listing" of the iconic Arctic bear, setting up a
likely court battle. Property-rights advocates and business groups have been weighing in as well. Researchers differing over the impact
of climate change also affects the debate. Hundreds of prominent scientists are urging Congress to pass legislation that would curb
global warming in order to protect wildlife, including polar bears. But other experts say the data used to bolster the argument for ESA
listing - in particular computer modeling showing declines in polar bear populations because of climate change and other factors - are
based on "questionable assumptions." All of this is uncharted territory for government-ordered species protection, which typically is
based on numbers dwindling toward extinction. Polar bear populations in fact may be larger than they were decades ago. By some
estimates there were as few as 5,000 polar bears in the 1950s when hunting for sport and profit was far less regulated. Today, scientists
believe there are 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears, though this is still about 60 percent below historic levels. And many scientists say the loss
of Arctic sea ice, which bears rely on for hunting and denning, is accelerating to record levels due to global warming. As a result, US
Geological Survey scientists recently warned that projected changes in sea-ice conditions could lead to the loss of about two-thirds of the
world's polar bear population by midcentury. "Global warming is already causing serious damage and disruptions to wildlife and
ecosystems, and reliable projections call for significant additional damage and disruptions," more than 600 scientists warned in a letter to
members of Congress last week. Officials at the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) say polar bears already are
protected under the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act. "The bear currently receives regulatory protections even stricter than those
available under the Endangered Species Act," MMS Director Randall Luthi wrote in a posting on his agency's website Friday. "No action
is permitted that has more than a negligible impact on the bears. Should the bear be listed as a threatened species, all the [oil and gas]
exploration and potential activities will only occur after meeting the regulatory requirements of that listing." Activists don't consider
such assurances sufficient - not only regarding the eventual impact of climate change linked to greenhouse gases and fossil fuels but also
more immediately with the dangers posed by oil and gas drilling in a marine environment. "The MMS has admitted a
substantial likelihood of oil spills in the Chukchi Sea," says Kristen Miller, legislative director for
Alaska Wilderness League, one of the groups suing to stop new drilling there. "There is no proven
method to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic's broken sea ice, or even to reliably clean up a spill in open
water." The situation there puts the US Interior Department in the unusual position of considering protection for a species while at the
same time offering industrial activity in that species' habitat. Critics see this as a conflict of interest, especially because the decision on
listing polar bears under the ESA by the Interior Department's Fish & Wildlife Service was delayed until the lease sale offering was to be
made this week. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a government whistleblower organization, recently
released internal government e-mails allegedly showing how MMS officials ignored the urgings of agency scientists in pressing for new
oil and gas exploration in the Chukchi Sea. "I do not see how the MMS can pass the 'red face' test ... when polar bear issues which have
been raised have been repeatedly and completely ignored by both [oil company] Shell and MMS," former agency biologist James Wilder
wrote in one e-mail from January 2007. Congress is also debating the issue. In the Senate last week, John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts
introduced legislation prohibiting any new drilling activity in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas until the polar bear is listed under the
Endangered Species Act and critical habitat is designated. "Before the government sells even more of their habitat off
to big corporate interests, we need to know the full impact of further drilling, and we need to know
whether this would push us past the tipping point and devastate the polar bear habitat," Senator Kerry

Polar Bear survival is vital to ensure an intact ecosystem

Norris 2 (May, Stefan, WWF head of conservation,

As the polar bear is a keystone species at the top of the food web in the arctic seas, which include some
of the world’s most productive marine ecosystems, it is a good indicator of the overall status of these
ecosystems (Eisenberg 1980). Successful conservation of polar bears and their habitats can thus have
positive effects on many other species, in several key ecoregions, as well as on local human communities
within the Arctic. Addressing the conservation of such keystone species therefore has a high priority
within WWF. Through its work in priority ecoregions, WWF is a driving force in the protection of large expanses of unfragmented land
and marine areas to ensure that space-demanding species, such as the polar bear, can continue to roam undisturbed in intact
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 24
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Polar Bear/Ecosystem - Extensions

Drilling leads to polar bear extinction

DWAF 8 (Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund,
It's no secret that polar bears are in trouble. Global warming and habitat loss are driving these
majestic animals to the brink of extinction. Yet even as the government's own scientists have
acknowledged these threats, the Bush/Cheney Administration has just announced oil and gas exploration
plans that would disturb essential polar bear habitat and fuel America's dependence on fossil fuels that
cause global warming.

Polar Bears are key to the arctic ecosystem

Rafferty 7 (1-18, John, doctorate in geography from the University of Illinois,
Protecting the polar bear and its habitat could pay several dividends. Polar bears are often considered a
keystone species in the Arctic ecosystem, meaning that their influence over the Arctic ecosystem goes far
beyond their raw abundance. Certainly these animals directly affect the populations of ringed seals (also
equally dependent on the presence of Arctic ice), beluga whales, and other prey by outright hunting; but
they also indirectly benefit other organisms that seals and belugas prey on, such as krill (planktonic
crustaceans often forming the foundation of marine food chains) and smaller fish. With polar bears present,
seals and belugas must also carefully select where they travel, rest, and obtain food to avoid being eaten. In
essence, polar bears help to maintain the proper functioning of the Arctic ecosystem. Secondly,
protecting the polar bear’s habitat creates a conservation “umbrella” that protects the ringed seal, a source of
food, clothing, and other items for Inuit hunters. In this way, they can maintain a lifestyle and culture that has
been around for thousands of years. Incidentally, there are provisions for the limited polar bear hunting by
Inuit groups and some sport hunters. This may seem contradictory at first, but carefully regulated hunting
could reinforce incentives to protect the polar bear by directly linking the economic livelihoods of people to
the animal’s success. Thirdly, the fuss over the polar bear may bring the plight of other large carnivores,
which often act as keystone predators in their own resident ecosystems, to light. Wolves, mountain lions,
tigers, South American and African felines, and others face the similar challenges of shrinking habitats and
altered ecosystems due to our need for new and better housing and food resources to feed a growing human
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 25
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Polar Bear/Ecosystem - Extensions

The arctic ecosystem is crucial to our food supply, medicine, building supplies, climate
control, human knowledge, and ultimately the survival of the planet

Sexton 7 (3-19, Cheryl, marine biologist for the Centre for Marine Biodiversity,
Most people are unaware of the large part marine ecosystems play in our lives. Food, for humans and Arctic
animals, is one of the obvious but significant contributions. Plankton and krill live in Arctic waters and
are a primary food source for fish, clams, seabirds, whales, walruses, seals, and other marine
organisms. They play a part in nourishing animals that we eat such as seals, polar cod, and whales.
Another apparent contribution is that of raw materials. Marine ecosystems provide us with medicine,
polysaccharides, building materials, and feed for livestock. Many types of medicine come from plants
found in the ocean. Several drugs that fight cancer originate from marine plants. A couple examples of these
are Cytosar-U®, which comes from a type of sea sponge in the Caribbean, andthe ecteinascidin in
Yondelis™, which comes from tunicates, or sea squirts, that live in mangrove swamps and coral reefs in the
West Indies. A new pain medicine named Prialt™, has been discovered as well. It comes from the poison of
cone snails and is one thousand times stronger than morphine when used to treat some kinds of chronic pain.
Alginates are polysaccharides that are derived from different types of seaweeds. They are in the substance
used to dress wounds and can possibly help cure tuberculosis, arthritis, colds, the flu, worm infestations, and
tumors. Biodiversity is important in aquatic ecosystems because it makes it possible for us to continue
discovering medicines like these. Building materials are obtained from the rocks and sand of coral.
Shrimp shells, crab shells, and seaweed are used to feed livestock. Seaweed is also used as compost on
farms. A less obvious way our lives are affected by marine biodiversity in Arctic ecosystems is that it
permits adaptation. Our environment is frequently changing, mainly in ways that we ourselves have
induced. Destruction of habitats, water pollution, global warming, and overpopulation are all causes of
changing ecosystems. Natural selection is a process that is required for adaptation to take place. It
occurs with evolution and distinguishes between favourable and unfavourable traits. It causes the
favourable traits to be inherited more often. Without genetic biodiversity, we, and other organisms,
cannot adapt which is necessary for our survival in this world we have created. Another way we are
unknowingly dependant on this type of biodiversity is that it helps regulate climate. Certain organisms in
the ocean take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen creating a fragile balance with the other organisms in
the water. If something was to happen causing a great number of these oxygen-producing organisms to die,
there would be a boost in the carbon dioxide levels in the water. This would result in an increase of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere which would further the Greenhouse Effect. Therefore, biodiversity in oceanic
ecosystems is vital in controlling the worlds climate. Finally, marine biodiversity is necessary for
human knowledge. Most of the earth’s oceans have yet to be investigated and mapped. They cover
approximately 71% of the surface of our planet. The oceans are a huge part of our world to be so unfamiliar
with, especially because they have a much greater biodiversity than terrestrial ecosystems. Little of the
existing knowledge of biodiversity in oceans is from the Arctic Ocean. It is thought that the Arctic
Ocean has evolved differently; separate from the other three oceans. Predictions have been made that
completely different types of species exist there. Gakkel Ridge is a unique, somewhat isolated part of the
Arctic Ocean. Members of species that are extinct everywhere else could be living there because it is so
different and has not, in the past, shown strong correlation with the occurrences of the other oceans. We need
to preserve biodiversity in the Arctic Ocean so we can explore Gakkel Ridge and other unstudied
regions like it. This is essential for the knowledge of the human race.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 26
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Polar Bear/Ecosystem - Extensions

The arctic ecosystem is vital to the survival of millions

UNEP 2 (United Nations Environment Programme,

The fate of the Arctic environment deserves global consideration. The Arctic is the world’s last
continuous, undeveloped and unexploited coastal and marine region. It is an area highly unique in
terms of its landscape, its peoples and ecosystems; as well as its vulnerability to climate change. The
region is home to some 4 million people; roughly one-third of which are indigenous peoples whose
traditional way of life depends directly on the health of the Arctic environment. Living as herders,
hunters and gatherers, Arctic indigenous peoples have developed lifestyles that are inextricably linked to
their surroundings. These peoples have lived sustainably in the Arctic for thousands of years, and are now
faced with massive environmental change.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 27
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Environment
Even with technological advances OCS drilling will destroy ocean biodiversity

Sierra Club, April 19, 2005
Lifting the OCS Moratorium will have Damaging consequences for our beaches, for marine life and
their habitat, and for the broader environment. Damage to Marine Life and habitat: While there have
been many advances in oil and gas recovery technologies in recent decades, many serious consequences
still result from exploration and drilling for either oil or gas. Seismic Surveys
The first step to drilling for oil and gas involves doing an inventory of estimated resources. One technology
used for this type of inventory is a "seismic survey." This technology involves ships towing multiple
"airgun" arrays with tens of thousands of high-decibel explosive impulses to gather geologic profiles of
seabed rock structures. These airgun arrays fire regular bursts of sound at frequencies in the range of 20 to
150 Hz, which is within the auditory range of many marine species, including whales.
Marked changes in behavior in marine species in response to loud underwater noises in the ocean have been
well documented. Seismic survey devices and military sonars (which operate at a similar decibel level) have
been implicated in numerous whale beaching and stranding incidents, including a December 2001 mass
stranding of 16 whales in the Bahamas, an incident of Cuviers beaked whales being beached and stranded in
the Galapagos Islands and a more recent stranding in the Canary Islands.
The auditory organs of fish are particularly vulnerable to loud sounds such as those produced by survey
airguns. As fish rely on their ability to hear to find mates, locate prey, avoid predators, and
communicate, damage to their ears can seriously compromise their ability to survive. In addition,
mortality is possible in species like salmon that have swim bladders (the flotation organ that fish use to orient
themselves vertically in the water), which have been shown to rupture on exposure to intense sounds.

Best scientific studies prove OCS drilling will harm the environment

Sierra Club, April 19, 2005

Science should guide future Congressional decisions about coastal drilling

The prestigious nonpartisan National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences
(NAS) issued a peer-reviewed finding in 1991, after a year-long study conducted by this body at the request
of former president George Herbert Walker Bush, Sr. The NAS found that there is insufficient scientific
data available to permit leasing in the moratorium areas and ensure that the environment can be
protected. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) Environmental Studies Program has done virtually no
new work to fill these identified data gaps found within the OCS moratorium areas since the NAS study, in
spite of the fact that the Congressional moratorium does not preclude this type of scientific research by the
MMS Environmental Studies Program. Current concerns about the cumulative impacts of ongoing
routine marine discharges of spent drilling muds, cuttings, and produced waters were highlighted by
the recent late-2004 report of the President's own US Commission on Ocean Policy as a primary priority
topic needing serious scientific evaluation.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 28
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Environment
Drilling in the OCS will lead to pipelines that cause massive water pollution that crushes biodiversity

Sierra Club, April 19, 2005
Onshore damage: The onshore infrastructure associated with offshore oil or gas causes significant harm
to the coastal zone. For example, OCS pipelines crossing coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico are
estimated to have destroyed more coastal salt marsh than can be found in the stretch of coastal land
running from New Jersey through Maine.
Water pollution: Drilling muds are used to lubricate drill bits, maintain downhole pressure, and serve other
functions. Drill cuttings are pieces of rock ground by the bit and brought up from the well along with used
mud. Massive amounts of waste muds and cuttings are generated by drilling operations - an average of
180,000 gallons per well. Most of this waste is dumped untreated into surrounding waters. Drilling
muds contain toxic metals, including mercury, lead and cadmium. Significant concentrations of these
metals have been observed around drilling sites.
A second major polluting discharge is "produced water," the water brought up from a well along with oil and
gas. Offshore operations generate large amounts of produced water. The Minerals Management Service
estimates that each platform discharges hundreds of thousands of gallons of produced water every day.
Produced water typically contains a variety of toxic pollutants, including benzene, arsenic, lead,
naphthalene, zinc and toluene, and can contain varying amounts of radioactive pollutants. All major
field research programs investigating the fate and effects of produced water discharges have detected
petroleum hydrocarbons, toxic metals and radium in the water column down-current from the discharge.

More Oil rigs will destroy the environment regardless of whether they spill oil

Weiss June 30, 2008 (Daniel, senior fellow and director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress
Action Fund, Politico)

Offshore oil drilling is dirty business. Despite contrary claims by McCain, the Coast Guard estimated
that oil rigs hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita spilled more than 7 million gallons of oil into the Gulf.
Rigs routinely discharge thousands of pounds of mercury, lead, benzene and other toxic chemicals into
the water.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 29
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Environment
Offshore Drilling harms the environment

Cohn 2 (Fall, Jeffrey P., a Washington-based science writer who specializes in zoo and conservation issues,
Environmental advocate Richard Charter is worried. Charter fears that conservationists, the news media
and the public have been so heavily focused on the recent debate over whether to allow oil and gas
drilling on the coastal plains of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northeastern Alaska that
they may have overlooked similar and equally serious threats to wildlife. One such threat comes from
the Bush administration’s plans to expand domestic energy production by selling oil and gas lease sites
in federally controlled waters. And despite the 54 to 46 Senate vote in April to prohibit drilling within
ANWR, these plans could still affect the refuge and other, still largely pristine coastal areas in Alaska and
elsewhere in the United States. “There are significant undiscovered resources" in the Arctic, Vice President
Richard Cheney’s energy task force stated in its report to the president last year. “This is another area where
periodic, well-scheduled lease sales can help contribute to national energy production." The vice president’s
report also noted that new technology, including directional drilling and injection of wastes into the ground,
“is making it possible to explore and develop oil and gas with significantly less impact on the
environment." Not so, warns Charter, who specializes in offshore oil and gas issues for the conservation
group Environmental Defense. “We are sacrificing the natural environment to produce oil and gas," he
says. “[The administration’s plan] is an industry wish list. If we allow oil companies to drill off the northern
Alaska coast, they will eventually create political pressure to drill on land in ANWR too. Oil development is
totally incompatible with wilderness values." To date, most offshore oil and gas drilling has been along the
southern California coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. In Alaska, there are two production wells, both in state
waters, 30 exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea near Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope and 16 production
wells in state-owned waters in Cook Inlet on the southern coast near Anchorage. Under the Submerged Lands
Act of 1980, states control offshore waters for three miles from the shoreline and the federal government
controls the waters from there to the 200-mile limit of the U.S. exclusive economic zone. But significantly
more drilling may be in the works soon. Interior Secretary Gale Norton approved a new five-year plan in July
that would allow the Minerals Management Service (MMS) — the Interior Department agency responsible
for regulating offshore oil, gas and minerals activities — to sell additional oil and gas leases on the outer
continental shelf, which is the federally controlled part of the relatively shallow waters from the coastline to
the continent’s edge. The proposed sales involve up to 20 leases in eight offshore MMS planning areas of
Alaska and the western Gulf of Mexico. The new leases could produce an estimated 10 to 21 billion barrels
of oil and 40 to 60 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. “The five-year program will provide access to significant
resources," says Renee Orr, chief of MMS’s leasing division. Although the MMS plan includes new lease
sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore drilling remains a hot legal issue in California, Alaska remains the
area of greatest concern for most conservationists. “It’s Alaska, Alaska and Alaska," says Warner Chabot, The
Ocean Conservancy’s vice president for regional operations. The MMS plan calls for eight lease sales in
Alaskan waters alone — three in the Beaufort Sea, one in the Chukchi Sea along Alaska’s North Slope, one
each in Norton Sound and Hope Basin off Alaska’s western coast, and two in Cook Inlet on the southern
coast near Anchorage. MMS requires oil companies to train their employees to protect the environment and
to avoid conflicts with and monitor the status of wildlife, says Orr. “All OCS operations must be conducted
within the rigorous requirements of the law and implementing regulations," she states. “The resulting safety
and environmental record of the OCS program, which has been operating in the Gulf of Mexico for more
than 50 years, is outstanding." Orr also says that some areas around Barrow, Alaska, and elsewhere off the
North Slope were withdrawn from the five-year plan from earlier drafts. Environmentalists are not so sure.
They fear that if a large blowout similar to one in 1969 off the California coast near Santa Barbara
occurred off Alaska’s North Slope, it could trap oil for months under sea ice, where it would be
difficult for cleanup crews to reach. The oil could also collect around the edges of ice sheets and
breathing holes used by seals, bowhead whales and other marine mammals. Further, offshore
operations require onshore facilities to process the oil and gas and to house workers. They also require
networks of roads, pipelines, waste disposal sites and runways, all of which disrupt the environment
and wildlife.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 30
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Coral Reefs

New off-shore drilling threatens deep-water reefs worldwide

Charlotte Observer July 3, 2008

Scientists are just beginning to explore deep-water coral reefs, possibly millions of years old, that
stretch from North Carolina to Florida. They form pristine oases, alive with fish, crabs and weird
creatures that one researcher says "look like Dr. Seuss went crazy down there." The discoveries have caught
the attention of the Bush administration, which is reported to be interested in protecting 25,000 square miles
of reefs off the Southeast as a national monument. President Bush also called last month for more offshore
oil and gas exploration. A federal moratorium now prohibits drilling along most of the U.S. coastline until
2012, and political opposition in North Carolina remains strong. But momentum to lift the ban is growing
with the price of gasoline. Scientists say drilling, and to a greater extent deep-sea trawling, threaten deep-
water corals worldwide.

Deep water reefs are extremely fragile – they won’t recover if harmed by drilling

Charlotte Observer July 3, 2008

In less than a decade, researchers have documented individual corals 2,500 years old, making them the oldest
animals on Earth. They've found dozens of new species, from eels to sea stars. Cancer-fighting and anti-
inflammatory drugs extracted from deep-sea sponges and other reef animals are under development,
and researchers expect to find more medicinal uses. Scientists preoccupied with mapping the bottom and
recording species are still trying to learn what larger role the coral reefs play in the oceans. Among the reefs'
most promising uses: as a living history of the seas. Some long-lived coral species form growth rings the
way trees do. Their skeletons can reveal centuries of past water temperatures, pollutants and currents. Deep-
ocean currents have a profound effect on the world's climate. Understanding past patterns, researchers say,
could provide insights into the future of a warming world. Experts also know that deep reefs are fragile. The
skeletons of dead corals, which can form mounds up to 1,000 feet tall, are hard but brittle. They grow
slowly and don't recover easily, if at all, from disturbance.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 31
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Coral Reefs

Drilling cleanup of inevitable oil spills will wipeout coral reef systems

Science Daily 07 [', accessed

on 7/16/08/]
In a setback for efforts to protect endangered coral reefs from oil spills, researchers in Israel report that
oil dispersants -- the best tool for treating oil spills in tropical areas --are significantly more toxic to
coral than the oil they are used to clean up. Their study, which urges caution in the use of these materials,
is scheduled for the August 1 issue of ACS' Environmental Science & Technology.Called the 'rainforests of
the sea,' coral reefs are an endangered ecosystem and are disappearing at an alarming rate due to numerous
threats, including over-fishing, global warming and pollution, particularly oil spills. Besides hosting a rich
diversity of marine organisms, these habitats are also potential sources of life-saving medicines and food for
humans. Scientists looking for better ways to protect this important habitat have recently focused on the
environmental impact of oil dispersants, detergents used break down oil spills into smaller, less harmful
droplets.In the new report, Shai Shafir and colleagues evaluated the effects of both crude oil and six
commercial oil dispersants under laboratory conditions on the growth and survival of two important species
of reef corals. The dispersants and dispersed oil droplets were significantly more toxic to the coral than the
crude oil itself, the scientists report. The dispersants caused "significant harm," including rapid,
widespread death and delay in growth rates, to the coral colonies tested even at doses recommended by
the manufacturers, they add."Decision-making authorities should carefully consider these results when
evaluating possible use of oil dispersants as a mitigation tool against oil pollution near coral reef areas," the
report said.

EPA studies prove drilling will kill reefs

Donatoni ’02. [Matthew, Expert on oil drilling at Santa Clara University,, July 16, 2008]

Does the federal government have the right to say it is okay to take marine life in order to set up an offshore drilling
rig and drill for oil and gas? The federal government seems to feel that our well being is more important than
marine life, so they allows companies to drill for oil beneath the ocean floor. The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) performed a test, which produced results showing how drilling fluids had an effect on coral. It
is ironic that a governmental agency, such as the EPA has done tests showing how disastrous offshore oil rigs
can be, yet the federal government still allows the drilling to take place.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 32
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Mpx: Species loss

Drilling results in the losses of several species
Cohn 2 (Fall, Jeffrey P., a Washington-based science writer who specializes in zoo and conservation issues,
Orr says the chances of a blowout are slim, given improved technology. Industry and MMS claim some success in testing cleanup
methods in icy conditions, but most environmentalists remain skeptical that small-scale tests are sufficient if a
full-blown spill occurred. Martin Robards, marine ecologist and The Ocean Conservancy’s program manager for Alaska, says
the odds may be small, “but all it has to happen is just once" for devastating results to occur. Even a relatively
small leak in the pipelines that carry oil and gas from offshore rigs to onshore facilities could leave
hundreds of miles of coastline on Alaska’s North Slope awash in oil. Environmentalists fear any
offshore drilling around Alaska threatens the wildlife that abounds in the frigid North. Arctic waters
are renowned for such marine mammals as bowhead and beluga whales and ringed, spotted and
bearded seals. Researchers have shown that whales avoid oil rigs, Robards says, which could cause
them to abandon prime feeding areas. Whales are particularly sensitive to the noise of drilling operations
and the seismic waves from air-gun explosions that industry uses to detect oil and gas deposits. Some biologists fear that
noise and oil spills could also cause female polar bears to abandon their newborn young. One important area
where offshore oil and gas activities could threaten wildlife and natural vistas is the 23-million acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in the state’s
northwest corner. Larger than ANWR, the petroleum reserve was set aside by President Warren Harding in 1923 as an oil reserve for the Navy. At the time,
it was a largely unknown area of mostly untouched wilderness and it was, the president’s proclamation said, to be used only in times of pressing national
need. The petroleum reserve was turned over to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Department of the Interior in 1976. Today the area consists
mostly of rolling tundra with countless small lakes, marshes and streams surrounded by a sea of grass. Only a few wind-blown, scraggly willows grow north
of the Brooks Range, mostly along rivers and creeks in this dry climate that averages only 12 inches of precipitation a year. In the northwest corner of the
reserve lies Teshekpuk Lake, Alaska’s third largest. The Teshekpuk area, a network of wet meadows, river deltas, coastal lagoons and small ponds, is the
prime calving grounds for a 25,000-strong caribou herd. Up to 60,000 geese, especially the northern or black brant, summer here. Beluga whales, spotted
and ringed seals, waterfowl and shorebirds feed amongst the rich shallows and barrier islands of Kasegaluk Lagoon along the petroleum reserve’s northwest
coast. Another herd of 25,000 caribou summers in the highlands of the southwestern part of the reserve. Moose browse along the Colville River, the longest
on the North Slope. One of the world’s healthiest populations of peregrine falcons nests along cliff ledges overlooking the river while grizzly bears, Arctic
wolves, wolverines and foxes prey on the abundant wildlife. But the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is not exactly pristine. More than 100 exploratory
wells have been drilled there during the past half century. In addition to any new offshore drilling in the Chukchi Sea, BLM spokesman Edward Bovy says
the agency issued permits for exploratory drilling, which began in 2000, within an 867,000-acre site in the reserve’s northeast corner. The agency also
expects to issue exploratory permits for a second, 579,000-acre site in that area in 2004. BLM is also studying possible oil and gas sites in the reserve’s
northwest corner for possible exploratory drilling to begin no earlier than 2005. Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt specifically excluded Teshekpuk
On Alaska’s
Lake from those lease sales. Defenders of Wildlife and other groups have filed a suit challenging the drilling program in the reserve.
southern coast, planned drilling in Cook Inlet could threaten wildlife and pristine wilderness in two
national parks — Lake Clark and Katmai, which protect about 4 million acres each. Lease sales in Cook Inlet are scheduled to occur in 2004,
despite the fact that oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill is still found along the inlet’s cobblestone beaches and within nearby Prince William Sound.
Meanwhile, offshore drilling remains an intensely controversial issue in California. Congress voted to create a moratorium on new offshore leases in 1981, a
one-year ban that has been renewed each year since. Those moratoriums have since been extended to the entire west and east coasts and to Bristol Bay north
of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. In 1991, then-President George Bush deferred issuing any new offshore leases off the California coast until 2002.
President Bill Clinton later extended the ban until 2012. In all, more than 600 million acres of the entire U.S. outer continental shelf have been declared off
limits to oil and gas drilling. Further, the California legislature banned new leases in state offshore waters in 1994. The issue in California today, says The
Ocean Conservancy’s Chabot, is what to do with 36 previously awarded offshore oil and gas leases that have not yet been developed. When the Interior
Department began a process of extending the lifetime of those leases in 1999, California sued under an obscure but important legal provision that requires
state approval of federal offshore activities to ensure “consistency" with California’s coastal management plans. The Interior Department argued that state
approval was not required for lease extensions, but a U.S. district court in San Francisco ruled against the department last year. The case has been appealed,
but no decision has been issued yet. For now, though, both Democratic and Republican politicians as well as the public in California support a continued
moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling. “It is the equivalent of a political third rail," Chabot says of any proposals to allow drilling. “Touch it and you
die!" In Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to stop the Interior Department from issuing exploration and production permits, which
would be required to actually begin drilling. The Senate has not yet acted. As for the Gulf of Mexico, President George W. Bush and his brother, Florida
Governor Jeb Bush, announced in May a $115-million plan to buy back nine of 11 existing undeveloped offshore leases in the Destin Dome area 25 miles
west of Pensacola along with another $120 million to retire leases on land in the Everglades. Governor Bush and Interior Secretary Norton had announced in
2001 that a new offshore lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico south of the Florida panhandle would be scaled back in size by two-thirds and pushed farther
offshore. “This was a huge but imperfect environmental victory," says Mark Ferrulo, director of the Florida Public Interest Research Group, which fought
the lease sales. Further west, the Minerals Management Service has already begun new lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana,
Mississippi and Alabama as part of its five-year plan. All are in waters with existing large-scale oil and gas drilling. “That’s where offshore development is
taking place," Chabot says. Environmental Defense’s Charter adds, “That has become our national sacrifice area." In the end, Charter remains optimistic that
environmental values will win out. “Conservation of our natural heritage is one of our core values as a nation," he says. “Americans care deeply about the
natural environment. That will eventually wake us up to a future with renewable energy. Even the oil industry will not be able to take that away. The
direction of our energy future speaks to the survival of so many sensitive species and wonderful
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 33
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Mpx: Warming
OCS drilling will lead to the release of methane hydrates which destroy biodiversity and spur quick warming

Sierra Club, April 19, 2005

Global Warming pollution: Methane hydrates are ice-like structures formed from frozen water and methane.
These structures are found in Arctic permafrost and beneath the seafloor of the Outer Continental Shelf where water
depths are greater than 500 feet. The Congressional Research Service reports that "safety problems related to gas
hydrates may be anticipated. Oil and gas operators have recorded numerous drilling and production problems
attributed to the presence of gas hydrates, including uncontrolled gas releases during drilling, collapse of well
casings, and gas leakage to the surface." The report continues that methane hydrates easily become unstable,
potentially triggering seafloor subsidence and catastrophic landslides. In addition, a single unit of methane
hydrate can release 160 times its own volume in gas. As methane is a greenhouse gas more than twenty times
more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to global warming, this volume of gas release would be
extremely dangerous.

Releasing methane hydrates guarantees rapid warming and climatic instability

Dillon 1990 (Dr. William, US Geological Survey, 07/16/08

Hydrates store immense amounts of methane, with major implications for energy resources and climate, but the
natural controls on hydrates and their impacts on the environment are very poorly understood. Gas hydrates occur abundantly in nature, both in
Arctic regions and in marine sediments. Gas hydrate is a crystalline solid consisting of gas molecules, usually methane, each surrounded by a
cage of water molecules. It looks very much like water ice. Methane hydrate is stable in ocean floor sediments at water depths greater than 300
meters, and where it occurs, it is known to cement loose sediments in a surface layer several hundred meters thick. The worldwide
amounts of carbon bound in gas hydrates is conservatively estimated to total twice the amount of carbon to
be found in all known fossil fuels on Earth. This estimate is made with minimal information from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
and other studies. Extraction of methane from hydrates could provide an enormous energy and petroleum feedstock resource. Additionally,
conventional gas resources appear to be trapped beneath methane hydrate layers in ocean sediments. Recent mapping conducted by the USGS off
North Carolina and South Carolina shows large accumulations of methane hydrates. A pair of relatively small areas, each about the size of the State of
Rhode Island, shows intense concentrations of gas hydrates. USGS scientists estimate that these areas contain more than 1,300 trillion cubic feet of methane gas, an
amount representing more than 70 times the 1989 gas consumption of the United States. Some of the gas was formed by bacteria in the sediments, but some may be
derived from deep strata of the Carolina Trough. The Carolina Trough is a significant offshore oil and gas frontier area where no wells have been drilled. It is a very
large basin, about the size of the State of South Carolina, that has accumulated a great thickness of sediment, perhaps more than 13 kilometers. Salt diapirs, reefs, and
faults, in addition to hydrate gas, may provide greater potential for conventional oil and gas traps than is present in other east coast basins. The immense volumes of
gas and the richness of the deposits may make methane hydrates a strong candidate for development as an energy resource. Because the gas is held in a crystal
structure, gas molecules are more densely packed than in conventional or other unconventional gas traps. Gas-hydrate-cemented strata also act as seals for trapped free
gas. These traps provide potential resources, but they can also represent hazards to drilling, and therefore must be well understood. Production of gas from hydrate-
sealed traps may be an easy way to extract hydrate gas because the reduction of pressure caused by production can initiate a breakdown of hydrates and a recharging
of the trap with gas. USGS investigations indicate that gas hydrates may cause landslides on the continental slope. Seafloor slopes of 5 degrees and less should be
stable on the Atlantic continental margin, yet many landslide scars are present. The depth of the top of these scars is near the top of the hydrate zone, and seismic
profiles indicate less hydrate in the sediment beneath slide scars. Evidence available suggests a link between hydrate instability and occurrence of landslides on the
continental margin. A likely mechanism for initiation of landsliding involves a breakdown of hydrates at the base of the hydrate layer. The effect
would be a change from a semi-cemented zone to one that is gas-charged and has little strength, thus facilitating sliding. The cause of the
breakdown might be a reduction in pressure on the hydrates due to a sea-level drop, such as occurred during glacial periods when ocean water
became isolated on land in great ice sheets. Methane, a "greenhouse" gas, is 10 times more effective than carbon dioxide
in causing climate warming. Methane bound in hydrates amounts to approximately 3,000 times the volume of
methane in the atmosphere. There is insufficient information to judge what geological processes might most affect
the stability of hydrates in sediments and the possible release of methane into the atmosphere. Methane released as
a result of landslides caused by a sea-level fall would warm the Earth, as would methane released from gas
hydrates in Arctic sediments as they become warmed during a sea-level rise. This global warming might counteract
cooling trends and thereby stabilize climatic fluctuation, or it could exacerbate climatic warming and thereby
destabilize the climate.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 34
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Mpx: Warming
Releasing methane hydrates will spark quick and devastating climate change

Dickens 4 (Gerald. oceanographer and associate professor at Rice University, 07/16/08
Buildup of free gas within sediment might then cause local pressures to exceed those of overlying sediment
— thus releasing methane from the seafloor through venting or sediment failure. The capacitor concept brings
some essential elements to discussions of gas hydrates and climate change. Perhaps most important to note is that widely accepted
models for the global carbon cycle invariably omit gas hydrates and seafloor methane fluxes. These models remain accurate portrayals
of carbon cycling when a small carbon input to gas hydrates roughly balances a small carbon output, which probably describes the
present-day situation, but not necessarily the conditions of past time periods. Additionally, sedimentary strata suggest that organic carbon
has accumulated in relatively cold deep waters (less than 15 degrees Celsius) throughout the geologic record. Thus, methane production
and gas hydrates have likely been ubiquitous phenomena over time. Lastly, sea level has dropped and bottom-water temperature has
warmed in the past, sometimes abruptly. Large amounts of carbon-13-depleted methane might escape the seafloor during these intervals,
potentially leading to a warming in the atmosphere. Substantial oxidation of methane in the ocean, however, would also affect the
environment, principally by removing dissolved oxygen from seawater and dissolving carbonate on the seafloor. Thus, irrespective
of whether methane burst into the atmosphere or ocean, the methane would ultimately convert to carbon
dioxide, which would propagate throughout the ocean, atmosphere and terrestrial biomass. A massive
release of carbon-13-depleted methane would, therefore, decrease the ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 across
Earth’s surface — a ratio geologists can measure for different time periods in the past. Pronounced drops in
the carbon-13 to carbon-12 ratio of carbonate and organic matter mark several ancient events of extreme
global environmental change. During the Phanerozoic, these times include the Permian/Triassic boundary,
250 million years ago; multiple episodes of the Mesozoic, particularly 183 and 120 million years ago; and the
Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), 55 million years ago. For each time period, researchers
suggest that a massive release of methane from marine gas hydrates is an important ingredient of geologic
change. Several researchers have also speculated that marine gas hydrates have influenced Quaternary
climate. Evidence for tremendous methane outgassing from gas hydrates is most compelling for the
PETM, a brief interval that happens to coincide with a prominent deep marine extinction, extreme global
warming and extraordinary mammal diversification. At least 50 different stable isotope records, constructed using
carbonate and organic matter from both marine and terrestrial environments, show a prominent decrease in the ratio of carbon-13 to
carbon-12 across the PETM. This truly global isotope excursion begins as an abrupt drop over about 20,000 years, followed by a more
gradual return over about 200,000 years. The drop marks a rapid and massive addition of carbon depleted in carbon-13, while the return
indicates its subsequent sequestering into the rock cycle. The best explanation for this carbon input is a massive release of methane into
the ocean or atmosphere, given the signature’s abruptness and magnitude. Equally important, oxygen isotope records from fossilized sea
life suggest a sudden rise in deep-ocean temperatures, perhaps by 6 degrees Celsius. This temperature change would have affected the
distribution of gas hydrate dramatically. Deep-marine sequences also indicate a substantial drop in dissolved oxygen and pronounced
dissolution of carbonate, consistent with release and oxidation of methane from dissociation of hydrates. Even for the PETM, however,
at least three major problems face the notion of massive release of methane from gas hydrates. First, deep-ocean waters averaged 10
degrees Celsius before the Paleocene/Eocene boundary. This temperature means that the GHSZ on continental margins was much
smaller than it is today. To cause the observed isotope excursion, gas hydrates must have been more abundant within the GHSZ during
the Paleocene than at present-day levels. Second, widespread methane release from the seafloor should have left
physical traces, such as vent structures or sediment slumps. Although seismic profiles have documented
numerous mud volcanoes, apparently formed during the PETM in the North Atlantic, these features vented in
relatively shallow water depths, so they cannot signify methane escape from gas hydrate systems. Lastly,
methane release from gas hydrates during the PETM requires that bottom-water warming preceded, at least
in part, carbon input. But, evidence for this remains elusive because of intrinsic difficulties in determining the
relative timing of rapid environmental changes in ancient strata. Over the last 90 million years, pressure and
temperature conditions affecting gas hydrate stability were most perturbed during the PETM. This event also
has the hallmark geologic signatures expected for a massive methane release from the seafloor. Until new
evidence emerges, however, gas-hydrate-driven climate change during the PETM or other time intervals
remains a fascinating but unproven idea. Conceivably, we live in a world with an enormous amount of gas
hydrate and free gas that affects climate and global systems over time. Most current models for global
carbon cycling and climate change, however, have continued to omit the large and dynamic seafloor methane
cycle. We may be sitting on the brink of a major shift in thinking about the carbon cycle and climate
change, one that would permeate throughout the broad geoscience community. Hopefully, over the next few
years, an appropriate understanding will come through new drilling of gas-hydrate-bearing sequences, new
carbon cycle models incorporating gas hydrates and free gas, and new records to pinpoint past seafloor
methane release.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 35
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Mpx: Drilling hurts the GOM

Drilling will damage Gulf of Mexico wildlife

Defenders of energy 8
Offshore drilling can have very damaging effects on wildlife. Congressional efforts to undermine the
offshore drilling moratorium and protection for our coasts have led to an ongoing battle. In a back-door move
during the final days of the 109th Congress, S. 3711, the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act was ultimately
included in broad tax extender legislation passed by both the House and Senate. While less sweeping in
scope than an earlier House-passed bill, the final language is nonetheless damaging and was opposed by
Defenders and other environmental groups. It undermines the offshore drilling moratorium by
authorizing drilling in 8.3 million acres of currently protected waters in the eastern Gulf of Mexico,
gives away billions of dollars in federal royalties to four Gulf States, offers no protections for any other
coastal state – including Florida’s Atlantic coast, and costs tens of billions of dollars in lost revenues to the
federal treasury over the next several decades.

Drilling hurts the Gulf of Mexico

Murphy 7 (Keren, Sierra Club expert on offshore drilling and fishing,
Favorite destinations from the rocky shores of Maine, to Virginia Beach and North Carolina’s Outer
Banks, to Florida’s Gulf Coast would be put at risk if industry succeeds in opening our coasts to
offshore oil and gas drilling. Drilling off of our sensitive coasts would do little to lower prices or make
us more energy independent, but it would threaten our beaches with pollution and potential oil spills
and destroy billion dollar tourism and fishing industries. Hurricane Risks: The Gulf Coast and East Coast
- the two offshore areas most coveted by the oil and gas industry - are no strangers to destructive
hurricanes that could wreak havoc on offshore drilling operations. The 2005 hurricane season
highlighted the danger of depending on this vulnerable offshore oil and gas infrastructure. It was the first
year in recorded history with three category 5 storms--- Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. Myth: There were no significant spills in the Gulf as a
result of the 2005 hurricane season Truth: The 2005 hurricanes (Katrina and Riga) caused massive spills of oil (9 major spills and at least
7 million gallons of oil) and other pollutants and seriously affected the production, refinery capacity, and price of oil in the United States.
By comparison, about 11 million gallons leaked along Alaska’s coast in 1989 in the Exxon Valdez incident1. The knee-jerk reaction to
throw up more rigs offshore – especially in places like Florida’s Gulf Coast and the Eastern Seaboard – is precarious at best and not
smart energy policy. · On May 1, 2006 The U.S. Minerals Management reported that Hurricanes Rita and Katrina
caused six spills of 1,000 barrels or greater; the largest of these was 3,625 barrels in the Eugene Island Block 51 area. With
a total of 146 spills of 1 barrel or greater have been reported in the Federal OCS waters; 37 of these were 50 barrels or greater2. · The
U.S. Minerals Management Service reports that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed 113 petroleum production platforms in the Gulf
of Mexico. The storms also damaged 457 pipelines connecting production facilities in the Gulf and bringing oil and natural gas to
shore.3 · One spill affected St. Bernard Parish in southeast Louisiana; parts of the area were covered in oil and sludge after the spill. Two
class action lawsuits were filed against Murphy Oil, which owns the refinery where the spill occurred, on behalf of the residents. Recent
Oil Spills: · On June 19th, 2006, just 10 days before Congress passed HR 4761, a waste oil tank at the CITGO Refinery on the Calcasieu
River, LA was compromised during a violent rain storm. According to NOAA, up to an estimated 71,000 barrels (approximately 3
million gallons) of waste oil was released. The exact amount of oil spilled and the amount reaching the water is still unknown.4 ·
Newspaper reports document that in November 2005 an oil tanker spilled between 1 to 3 million gallons of oil after it hit a sunken
platform in the Gulf that had drifted from its prior location. Onshore damage: The onshore network of access roads and docks to
facilities, buildings, and other infrastructure associated with offshore drilling causes significant harm to our fragile coasts. For example,
pipelines crossing coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico are estimated to have destroyed more coastal salt marsh than can be found in
the stretch of coastal land running from New Jersey through Maine6. Air pollution: Offshore natural gas drilling causes a
significant amount of air pollution. Each offshore oil platform generates approximately 214,000
pounds of air pollutants each year (National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration). An average
exploration well for oil or natural gas generates some 50 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 13 tons of carbon
monoxide, 6 tons of sulfur dioxide, and 5 tons of volatile organic hydrocarbons7. These pollutants are the
precursors to smog, acid rain and contribute to global warming. Water pollution: Oil and Gas drilling
operations generate huge amounts of waste that is discarded into water. According to the National
Academy of Sciences, a single well produces between 1500 and 2000 TONS of waste material. Debris
includes drill cuttings, which is rock ground into pieces by the bit; and drilling mud brought up during the drilling process. This mud
contains toxic metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury. Other pollutants, such as benzene, arsenic, zinc and other known carcinogens
and radioactive materials are routinely released in “produced water,” which emerges when water is brought up from a well along with
the oil or gas8. Oil Spills: Oil is extremely toxic to a wide variety of marine species, and current cleanup methods are incapable of
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 36
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removing more then a small fraction of the oil spilled in marine waters. Offshore drilling platforms and pipelines spilled 1.8 million
gallons of oil in U.S. waters from 1990-1999 in 224 reported accidents – that’s an average of almost 500 gallons a day9.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 37
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Mpx: GOM - Fisheries

The Gulf of Mexico is crucial to fisheries

Ault 8 (1-23, Jerald, Professor for Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Miami FL,
In assessing the potential to reach the goal of sustaining key regional fisheries in the context of the ‘Islands in
the Stream’ initiative, it is incumbent upon us to evaluate whether there are appropriate data and a conceptual
framework adequate for the mission that we have in mind? The Gulf of Mexico fishery ecosystem spans a
wide range of habitats and biogeographical environments, from tropical to subtropical marine in the
south, to temperate-estuarine in the north. These environments are connected by the very energetic physical
oceanographic current systems that regulate the biological and fisheries productivity of the ecosystem. The
fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico are greatly influenced by exploitation, habitat degradation, hurricanes
and pollution. To sustain these economically- and ecologically-important resources, it is critical that we
develop a system science perspective when tackling such an enormous and complex problem. This would entail linking the
dynamics of the ocean environment with range of uses and drivers of systems productivity. The goal would be to develop an integrated
information management system that successfully links assimilation of key data on population dynamics, habitats and bioeconomics to a
range of model-building activities that link fisheries biology, ocean physics, habitats and humans, which would provide the basis for
fishery resource risk assessments to policy alternatives. This will be a challenge, because for many important resources data have not
been collected until very recently, limiting our understanding of what were the historical limits of ecosystem productivity. A very
important forward-looking component of monitoring, data assimilation and modeling are maps of the resources to ocean environments.
In the Florida Keys we have relatively good maps that define habitats, circulation dynamics, bathymetry and rugosity, for example, but a
major limitation is that not all areas are mapped. For example, the West Florida shelf is not well mapped. This will have to be a priority
mission as the GOM IITS initiative moves forward. The economics and ecology of the Gulf of Mexico have been
historically dominated by large commercial fishery enterprises. This is not surprising since there is
prodigious shrimp and “baitfish” production associated with the Mississippi River plume dynamics and the
substantial reef fisheries on coastal shelf areas around the Gulf. For example, Gulf menhaden currently
produces the second largest annual tonnage of fish catches in the entire United States, while Gulf
shrimp are number one nationally in economic value. While the Gulf is famous for its extensive red
snapper and reef fish fisheries, it is also an important natal ground for sailfish, marlins and tunas. But
that seascape is rapidly changing due to explosive growth of recreational fishing throughout the Gulf of
Mexico and its enormous economic impacts. Currently, recreational tarpon fishing alone is a $5-7
billion annual industry in the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, the world-famous Florida marine recreational
fishing industry is now 10 times more valuable than commercial fishing, and now more valuable than the
historically dominant Florida citrus industry! So, management for sustainability of the Gulf’s precious fishery resources will take new
perspectives. For example, the concept of “connectivity” needs to be considered from a much broader perspective, not only in terms of
larval transport – but also that of adults that can actively move relatively great distances around the region. Recent satellite-based PAT
(passive archival transmitting) tagging studies have shown that tarpon move widely throughout the Gulf of Mexico and southeast US
region. Fish appear to spawn off of Mexico, feeding off of Louisiana, and tarpon also spawn off of the West Florida shelf. Seasonally
fish move north to US waters from Veracruz, Mexico, and the Gulf of Campeche to off Galveston, Texas, then on to Louisiana and
Mississippi from the west; and up along the Florida Keys and west Florida shelf to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana from the east. So
the real question is “are our tarpon their tarpon?”, and what specific management regimes will sustain this multibillion-dollar industry? A
sad related story about the unquantified killing fields is reflected in the observation that, in May 2007, a Veracruz, Mexico, fishing
tournament killed 73 large tarpon in about 3 fishing days, amounting to 10,243 pounds (or > 5 tons) of large, mature tarpon! These are
fish that to live to very old ages (>80 years) and are highly vulnerable to precipitous stock declines with fishing. The result is a very
substantial impact on the spawning stock of such a old and highly vulnerable fishery resource of substantial economic value to the
region The Gulf of Mexico initiative to sustain the economically- and ecologically-valuable fisheries must
recognize all solutions run through Mexico! Proceedings: Gulf of Mexico Science Forum In summary, the
Gulf of Mexico ecosystem is a highly dynamic coupled biophysical environment. Shelf waters <30
fathoms account for >70% of the fishery landings, and these are highly susceptible to human and
natural impacts. The regional ecosystem is under significant anthropogenic & environmental stresses.
Management strategies for sustainability of this valuable ecosystem requires development of a systems
approach that also protects habitats that support a broad range of fisheries productivity. Ensuring
sustainable fisheries and economics will require strategic inter-state and international cooperation and
partnerships in both science and management.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 38
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Mpx: GOM - Species

The Gulf of Mexico contains a crucial keystone species

Koenig 8 (1-23, Christopher and Felicia Coleman, Florida State University Coastal and Marine
The most interesting behavior we discovered is red grouper excavating behavior. It is interesting
because it casts them in the role of keystone species (a species whose ecological position is heavily
supportive of other species within that ecosystem). That is, they create reef habitat that is used by many
other species. Our experiments (mostly on juveniles in Florida Bay) and observations on the shelf edge
show that red grouper expose habitat (or substrate) for many other reef species, including other fishes,
motile invertebrates, and sessile invertebrates such as corals and sponges (Coleman et al. in preparation).
We found that red grouper begin to dig soon after metamorphosis (Colin et al. 1996) and continue that
behavior throughout their lives. Historically, before they were overfished, red grouper were likely responsible
for exposing extensive ledge and other rocky habitat after major storms occluded them through siltation. To
evaluate the importance of their role as habitat engineers on shelf habitat it would require additional
experimental reserves in shallower areas where storms have a significant effect on sediment movements to
evaluate their impact on the exposure of reef habitat and the use of that habitat by other species. It is ironic
that we spend considerable funds constructing artificial reefs, yet we decimate the very species that
exposes and maintains reef habitat.

The Gulf of Mexico is a crucial habitat for multiple species

Ault 8 (1-23, Jerald, Professor for Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Miami FL,
Most reefs and hard-bottom areas in the Gulf of Mexico formed on relic shorelines and barrier islands that
were above sea level at some point during the past 125,000 years. Some deep reefs found in the gulf were
likely formed by other physical processes such as strong currents and by gas seeping through the sediment.
These areas contain a diversity of marine life. Depending on the reef, the bottom is covered by encrusting
algae, sponges, soft corals and hard corals in a few shallow locations such as the Flower Garden Banks.
Recent surveys have identified many unique habitats in the gulf. For example, a survey at McGrail Bank
resulted in the description of a unique Stephanocoenia intersepta (blushing star coral) coral reef. Pulley Ridge
(eastern Gulf of Mexico) is found to the northwest of the Dry Tortugas and contains the deepest known coral
reef on the continental shelf of North America. Some of these sites have already been designated as
national marine sanctuaries or identified as areas of critical habitat. Most are currently afforded some
degree of habitat protection by different management entities from one or more identified threats. A few areas
are currently closed to fishing to protect spawning aggregations.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 39
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: GOM - Biological diversity/US Economy

The Gulf of Mexico is crucial to biological diversity and the US economy

Hine 8 (1-23, Albert, Associate Dean of Research Geological Oceanography Professor A.B.
Dartmouth College,
We know more about the ecology and biological diversity of the Gulf of Mexico than any other
comparable body of water on the planet. The scientific forum participants concluded that there was
sufficient science to support the implementation of a marine protected network in the Gulf of Mexico. There
are a number of ecologically vital and enormously productive sites in the Gulf that are interconnected
by currents and are dependent upon one another for there well-being. Some of these sites have already
been designated as marine sanctuaries or identified as areas of critical habitat. Most are currently
afforded some degree of protection by different management entities. However, we currently lack a
comprehensive management approach that recognizes the interdependence of these sites across the entire
Gulf of Mexico and its broader connections with the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. By implementing an
ecosystem-based management approach to the larger area of the Gulf of Mexico, a marine protected area
network will be greater than the sum of its parts for two main reasons. First, the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem
is under significant human-caused and environmental stress. We must protect habitats that support the
breadth of marine life found in the Gulf and also serve as refuges that can replenish other areas after
significant natural or human disturbances. These places are our insurance policy to maintain the
important commercial and recreational activities that depend on a healthy Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.
Second, the network will enhance administrative coordination and focus additional resources to support
science and management activities across the entire Gulf of Mexico. It will also facilitate increased
international collaboration with our regional partners whose activities directly impacts the health of the Gulf
of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is a special place. It is unlike any other place on the planet and is one of
the driving forces in the United States economy. It is also one of the most highly shared ocean places in
the world when one considers all of the economic, recreational and scientific activities conducted within its
waters. The Gulf’s oil and natural gas fields support our U.S. economy. The Gulf also supports
important commercial and recreational fisheries. The decline of snapper, grouper, and shark
populations has had a major economic and ecological impact. The states around the Gulf of Mexico,
particularly Florida, are economically dependent upon tourism, clean beaches and unpolluted waters.
Now is the time to start doing things differently in marine resource protection and the Gulf of Mexico is the
place where we need to start. There is an opportunity to lead the nation in terms of how we think about ocean
space and how we sustain ocean ecosystems and our nation’s economic vitality.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 40
Scholars Lab File Title

Mpx: Laundry list

Drilling is bad

Jervis 8 (7-14, Rick, USA Today,
From his perch at the southern tip of Louisiana, port director Ted Falgout sees green: the color of money that comes from the nation's
busiest haven of offshore drilling. "It's OK to have an ugly spot in your backyard," Falgout says, "if that spot has oil coming out of it."
From her vantage point in Santa Barbara, Calif., a city known for beautiful beaches and wealthy residents, Mayor Marty Blum recalls
black: the color of more than 3 million gallons of oil that flowed from a drilling rig blowout in 1969 and covered 35 miles of coastline
with a thick layer of goo. "The people of Santa Barbara don't want any more oil drilling. That's just pretty plain," she says. "But
everybody's got a price, and at a certain price per gallon, we're all going to want more drilling." Environmental hazard or
energy bonanza: Oil and natural gas trapped beneath the USA's ocean floor mean different things to
different people. As gasoline soars beyond $4 a gallon, President Bush and his would-be Republican successor, John McCain, see a
viable source of domestic production. Democrat Barack Obama and the nation's environmentalists see a threat to pristine waters and
beaches — and little help at the pump from offshore drilling. It's a debate with a rising decibel level, thanks to an energy crisis fueled by
rising demand halfway around the world. The United States consumes nearly one-fourth of the world's oil but produces only about 10%.
Its 1.76 billion-acre Outer Continental Shelf, which extends from about 3 to 200 miles offshore, is prime hunting ground. In 2006, a
consortium led by Chevron proved that oil could be produced from a geological area about 175 miles from Louisiana that's estimated to
hold 3 billion to 15 billion barrels of oil. Since Congress imposed a moratorium on new drilling in 1981, most of the nation's coastline
has been off-limits — a type of ban that does not exist in countries such as Brazil and Norway, which have found large oil deposits
offshore. As prices rise, polls show two-thirds of Americans favor new drilling for oil and gas. "The big discoveries are happening
offshore," says Robert Bryce, managing editor of Energy Tribune. "This is where the action is." By most estimates, at least 18 billion
barrels of oil can be produced from areas that are off-limits, on top of 68 billion barrels in areas where drilling is allowed. The 18 billion
barrels would be enough to fuel the country for 2½ years. Randall Luthi, director of the Minerals Management Service, says the estimate
is "extremely conservative, because it's been 20 or 30 years since we've had the opportunity to look and see what's there." A tale of two
coasts No two places illustrate the two sides of the debate better than Louisiana and California, where much oil has been produced but
much more lies below: •Louisiana has had offshore drilling since 1947. About 172 active rigs dot the Gulf of Mexico
waters off the coast, producing about 79% of the oil and 72% of the natural gas that comes from drilling off the nation's coastlines.
The state gets about $1.5 billion annually in oil and gas revenue, a figure that will grow when it starts receiving part of oil companies'
royalty payments in 2017 under federal law. "It's absolutely worth it," says Garret Graves, head of the Governor's Office of Coastal
Activities. The biggest environmental impact has been the estimated 10,000 miles of canals dug by the oil
and gas companies to transport oil and lay pipelines. The canals crisscross the coastal wetlands of
Louisiana and have contributed to coastal erosion, says Mark Davis of Tulane University.
Environmentalists say the canals and lack of marshland removed an important natural buffer against
storms and amplified Hurricane Katrina's damage. Offshore drilling also draws bustling ports,
pipelines, petrochemical plants and other infrastructure that can disrupt natural coastal ecosystems.
"Where you have oil and gas, you have petrochemical plants," says Cynthia Sarthou of the Gulf
Restoration Network. "I haven't seen one come without the other." •California was home to the first U.S. offshore
oil production in 1896, from a wooden pier in Summerland. Today, it's easy to spot oil rigs from coastal highways and the pricey seaside
real estate that dots Santa Barbara County's hillsides. There are 26 oil and gas drilling platforms off the southern California coast and
1,500 active wells. Those in federal waters have produced more than 1 billion barrels of oil and 1.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas since
the 1960s, says John Romero of the Minerals Management Service. Since the 1969 spill, he says, they've spilled only 852 barrels of oil,
the result of better technology and regulatory vigilance. Federal geologists, Romero says, estimate an additional 10 billion barrels of oil
and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are under the sea floor in areas where drilling is banned. But producers are mindful that, since
1969, public opinion has not been on their side. "Our industry has gotten a pretty clear message from the California public that at least
up until recently, there was not much interest in seeing new drilling off California," says Joe Sparano, president of the Western States
Petroleum Association. 'Oil and water don't mix' Environmentalists see two basic problems from offshore drilling:
pollution from everyday operations and oil spills from platforms, pipelines and tankers. On both fronts,
they acknowledge, the industry has improved through the years. "Today's technology is much better at
routine drilling, at avoiding the kinds of seepages that were common a generation ago," says Tyson Slocum
of Public Citizen. Even so, there are still risks. When oil is brought up from beneath the ocean floor, other
things are, too. Chemicals and toxic substances such as mercury and lead can be discharged back into
the ocean. The water pumped up along with the oil may contain benzene, arsenic and other pollutants.
Even the exploration that precedes drilling, which depends on seismic air guns, can harm sea
mammals. "Basically, oil and water don't mix," says Melanie Duchin of the environmental group Greenpeace, who lives in Alaska
and still sees pollution from the 11 million-gallon Exxon Valdez spill of 1989, which supplanted Santa Barbara as the nation's worst. "Oil
smothers wildlife." Government officials and industry specialists say improved technology and government oversight have made routine
drilling safe. State and federal laws regulate how much of each chemical can be discharged into the water; most are at
(Card Continues)
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 41
Scholars Lab File Title
(Card Continues)
insignificant levels, according to the Minerals Management Service. The mercury that's generated cannot be absorbed by fish tissue,
officials say, avoiding the food chain. "The best fishing in the Gulf is where the rigs are," says Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., a leading
proponent of offshore drilling. Spills from platforms have become far less frequent over recent decades, federal data show. A report by
the National Research Council found that offshore oil and gas drilling was responsible for just 2% of the petroleum in North America's
oceans, compared with 63% from natural seepage and 22% from municipal and industrial waste. Coast Guard reports show that the
amount of oil spilled in U.S. waters dropped from 3.6 million barrels in the 1970s to less than 500,000 in the 1990s. During Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita in 2005, 115 oil platforms were toppled, but only insignificant amounts of oil spilled, says Roland Guidry, Louisiana's
oil spill coordinator.
There was significant pollution — 8 million to 10 million gallons of oil spilled, mostly from tanks and pipelines on land and from
tankers striking submerged drilling platforms — but less than 10% of that came from federal offshore operations. Today's technology,
such as automatic shutoff valves on the seabed floor and mechanical devices that can prevent blowouts caused by uncontrolled buildups
of pressure, has greatly reduced the risk of oil spills. "Offshore drilling is the safest way to go," Guidry says. "Those guys don't spill oil."
Environmentalist Richard Charter of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund says smaller spills are still too
common. "This is a dirty, polluting industry," he says. "I've seen it with my own eyes, stepped in it with my
own feet." The biggest pollution risk involved in offshore drilling is in transporting the oil back to shore
— by pipeline, barge or tanker. The 2002 National Research Council report found that marine
transportation was responsible for one-third of worldwide petroleum spillage, about eight times the
amount caused by drilling platforms and pipelines. Still, the Minerals Management Service projects about
one oil spill per year of at least 1,000 barrels in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 40 years. Every three to
four years, it says, a spill of at least 10,000 barrels can be expected. "If that hit a beach in western Florida
once every four years, I think people would care," says Michael Gravitz of Environment America. "Those
communities live and die by having clean beaches."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 42
Scholars Lab File Title

A2: Drilling lowers oil prices

More drilling will have no affect on the oil market

Mercury News 8 (6-22,

The surge of gas prices above $4.50 a gallon is hammering consumers and the economy. It calls for
dramatic action - but instead of looking to the future, President Bush and Republican presidential
candidate John McCain grope for answers in the discredited past: They want to end a 27-year ban on
offshore oil drilling. It must not happen - and the peril to already-fragile oceans is the least of the reasons.
The billions of dollars it would cost to pull finite supplies of oil from the bottom of the sea instead
should be invested in renewable energy sources. The drilling proposal feeds America's self-defeating
addiction to oil. But innovation can be a cure for long-range energy needs and restore the United States
to economic leadership. Bush's own Energy Information Administration estimates that opening up
coastal oil and gas deposits would have no significant effect on U.S. production or prices before 2030.
(Yes, 22 years from now. But hey, hang onto that SUV just in case.) The prognosis is similar for the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge. And even if it were easy to access offshore oil, the amounts are so small
relative to the world supply that they would not affect prices, let alone diminish our reliance on foreign
oil. The United States controls less than 3 percent of global oil and gas deposits, but it accounts for 25
percent of world oil consumption.

Drilling will have no affect on oil prices

Feinstein 8 (7-22, Dianne, US Senator,

There is no quick fix to $4.50-a-gallon gas, no way to provide instant relief to consumers we know are
hurting. Yet President Bush and others continue to push the false promise of offshore oil drilling. Just
this week, the president lifted the executive order banning drilling that George H.W. Bush put in place in
1990. And he's asked Congress to lift its own moratorium on oil exploration on the outer continental shelf
– which includes coastal waters as close as three miles from shore. This would be a terrible mistake. It
would put our nation's precious coastlines in jeopardy and wouldn't begin to fix the underlying energy-
supply problem. And it surely wouldn't ease gas prices any time soon. The vast majority of the outer
continental shelf is already open to oil exploration: Areas containing an estimated 82 percent of all of
the natural gas and 79 percent of the oil are today available to energy companies through existing
federal leases. Federal agencies are issuing drilling permits at three times the rate they were in 1999 –
but that hasn't slowed oil prices during the climb from $19 to beyond $140 a barrel. Meantime, energy
companies haven't fully used their existing permits to drill on another 68 million acres of federal lands
and waters. Exploiting these areas probably could double US oil production and increase natural gas
production by 75 percent. Opening the protected areas of the continental shelf, on the other hand,
wouldn't produce a drop of oil for seven years or longer. It takes at least two years to process the new
leases. Industry experts tell us that there's a three- to five-year waiting list for new drilling ships and other
equipment. And with any drilling, oil spills are a very real threat. Californians have learned the hard way how
much damage – environmental and economic – can be caused by a major spill. A healthy coast is vital to
California's economy and our quality of life. Ocean-dependent industry is estimated to contribute $43 billion
to California each year. We cannot drill our way out of the energy problem. Our nation doesn't need
smooth talk and rosy scenarios. We need a cleareyed view of our energy situation. Oil markets are global.
Economic growth around the world – including millions of new cars in Asia – means demand for oil is
on the rise. With less than 3 percent of the world's oil reserves, our nation simply doesn't have enough
domestic oil to lower the price dramatically.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 43
Scholars Lab File Title

A2: Drilling lowers oil prices

Drilling would have a minimal and delayed affect on the price of oil

Walsh 8 (6-18, Bryan, Time Magazine,,8599,1815884,00.html)
But there's a flaw in that logic: even if tomorrow we opened up every square mile of the outer
continental shelf to offshore rigs, even if we drilled the entire state of Alaska and pulled new refineries
out of thin air, the impact on gas prices would be minimal and delayed at best. A 2004 study by the
government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that drilling in ANWR would trim the
price of gas by 3.5 cents a gallon by 2027. (If oil prices continue to skyrocket, the savings would be greater,
but not by much.) Opening up offshore areas to oil exploration — currently all coastal areas save a section of
the Gulf of Mexico are off-limits, thanks to a congressional ban enacted in 1982 and supplemented by an
executive order from the first President Bush — might cut the price of gas by 3 to 4 cents a gallon at
most, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. And the relief at the pump, such as it is,
wouldn't be immediate — it would take several years, at least, for the oil to begin to flow, which is time
enough for increased demand from China, India and the rest of the world to outpace those relatively meager
savings. "Right now the price of oil is set on the global market," says Kevin Lindemer, executive managing
director of the energy markets group for the research firm Global Insight. President Bush's move "would not
have an impact." The reason is simple: the U.S. has an estimated 3% of global petroleum reserves but
consumes 24% of the world's oil. Offshore territories and public lands like ANWR that don't allow
drilling may contain up to 75 billion barrels of oil, according to the EIA. That may sound like a lot, but
it's not enough to make a significant difference in a world where global oil demand is expected to rise
30% by 2030, to nearly 120 million barrels a day. At best, greatly expanding domestic drilling might
eventually lower the proportion of oil the U.S. imports — currently about 60% of its total supply — but
petroleum is a global commodity, and the world market would soak up any additional American production.
"This is a drop in the bucket," says Gernot Wagner, an economist with the Environmental Defense Fund.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 44
Scholars Lab File Title

A2: Drilling lowers oil prices

Offshore drilling wont lower prices 7-14-8
(, “Bush lifts executive ban on offshore oil drilling”,, accessed 7-14-8)
Experts say offshore oil drilling would not have an immediate impact on oil prices because oil exploration takes
"If we were to drill today, realistically speaking, we should not expect a barrel of oil coming out of this new resource
for three years, maybe even five years, so let's not kid ourselves," said Fadel Gheit, oil and gas analyst with
Oppenheimer & Co. Equity Capital Markets Division.

Offshore drilling will not lower oil prices, especially not in the short term

US News and World Report, 2008

(“Will Offshore Drilling Lower Gas Prices?,” July 16, 2008,
trucks/daily-news/080716-Will-Offshore-Drilling-Lower-Gas-Prices-/, Date Accessed: July 16, 2008)
President Bush has lifted an executive ban on offshore oil drilling, the price of oil has seen its steepest one
day drop in 17 years, and the price Americans pay at the pump is… Not budging. The AP reports,
"President Bush on Monday lifted an executive ban on offshore oil drilling and challenged Congress to follow
suit, aiming to turn the enormous public frustration about gasoline prices into political leverage. Democratic
lawmakers rejected Bush's plan as a symbolic stunt." Bush argues that lifting the offshore drilling ban
would send an important psychological signal to markets, which could ease oil prices. According to NPR,
"The Department of Energy says there may be 18 billion barrels of oil in coastal waters, but they also say
that drilling for it would not have a significant impact on production or prices until 2030." Oil industry
insiders "say drilling won't ease the oil pinch." Matthew Simmons, President of energy investment bank
says, "It's really misleading to hold that out as a panacea. It won't work. It might work for our
grandchildren." The AP cautions, "The president's direct link between record gas prices and offshore
drilling glossed over a key point. Even if Congress agreed, the exploration for oil would take years to
produce real results. It is not projected to reduce gas prices in the short term. Even the White House
routinely emphasizes there is no quick fix." In fact, even a sharp drop in the price of oil doesn't seem to
shake gas prices in the short term. CNN Money reports, "Oil prices plummeted by the second-largest margin
on record Tuesday as investors feared a further decline in U.S. demand." The price drop was seen as a reaction
to comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, warning that "high energy prices have helped to limit
the purchasing power of U.S. households." Despite Bush's announcement and the drop in oil prices,
however, CNN reports, "Gasoline prices in the U.S. maintained record highs at $4.109 a gallon Tuesday."
Research the most fuel-efficient small cars and hybrids with U.S. News' car rankings and reviews.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 45
Scholars Lab File Title

Oil Prices Down

Oil prices will fall, US demand 
Gulf News June 29, 2008
Crude oil may fall this week because of rising supplies and declining fuel demand in the US, the country
responsible for almost a quarter of global consumption. Eleven of 24 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, or 46 per cent,
said prices will decline through July 3. Nine of the respondents, or 38 per cent, said oil will rise and four forecast little change. "Demand in
the US has certainly been weakening," said Victor Shum, senior principal at Purvin & Gertz Inc. in Singapore.
"If there is a clear indication of demand falling in some of the key developing markets, like China, then there
will be more significant pull back in oil prices." US crude oil inventories gained 803,000 barrels to 301.8 million last week, the
Energy Department said in a June 25 report. Fuel consumption averaged 20.2 million barrels a day in the past four weeks, down 2.3 per cent from
a year earlier.

Oil prices , US demand is falling

The Financial Times June 26, 2008
Oil prices dropped sharply yesterday as traders reacted negatively to evidence that record retail petrol prices
above $4 a gallon were damaging demand in the US. Nymex August West Texas Intermediate sank $2.45 to settle at $134.55 a barrel,
after touching a session low of $131.95, while ICE August Brent lost $2.13 at $134.33 a barrel after the latest US inventories data showed an
unexpected rise in crude stocks of 800,000 barrels last week, confounding the consensus forecast for a fall of 1.4m barrels. With US retail prices
for diesel up by almost 40 per cent this year and petrol pump prices up by a third, weakness in US demand was expected, but the
pace of decline in consumption appears to have accelerated.

Oil prices and demand are , supply is 

The Associated Press June 25, 2008
NEW YORK (AP) — Oil futures fell sharply Wednesday after the Energy Department said the nation's supplies of
fuel and oil were larger than expected last week — evidence that the soaring price for gasoline has sliced into Americans' demand
for fuel. The Federal Reserve's decision to hold interest rates steady had little impact on trading. At the pump, gas prices inched lower
but remain entrenched above $4 a gallon. In its weekly inventory report, the department's Energy Information Administration said
crude oil supplies rose slightly last week. Analysts surveyed by research firm Platts had expected a 1.7 million barrel decline.
Gasoline supplies fell less than expected. And inventories of distillates — which include diesel fuel and heating oil — rose much more than
expected. Demand for gas, meanwhile, fell 2.1 percent.

Oil prices will soon decline, slowing global economy proves

The Economic Times June 25, 2008
NEW DELHI: As crude oil prices soar upwards of $135 per barrel, sending stock markets across the globe plummeting, investors’ sentiments
have frayed further. Increasingly deafening global noises surrounding crude oil reaching $200 a barrel are driving investors away from stocks.
The milliondollar question now on every analyst’s mind is: How long can crude oil prices continue to scale new highs? Though experts fears are
not unjustified, our answer is contrary to that. We have reason to believe that crude oil is near its apex and will soon reverse its
upward trend. If we look back in history, we can almost see the inevitable fate of the spiralling oil prices.
Crude oil has been on a secular uptrend since 2003, but it has seen an unprecedented rise of around 100% on a year-on-year basis so far in 2008.
Consequently , oil’s weightage to global GDP has risen from 3% to 6% reaching a level similar to the one that occurred during the oil crisis of the
1980s, which led the world into an economic slowdown. Hence, such a composition is not unprecedented and repercussions not unpredictable. An
ever-rising crude oil prices will bring the global economy to its knees. And a worldwide recession and soaring
oil prices cannot go hand-inhand for long.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 46
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF - A2: Spills

New technologies make offshore drilling spills near impossible

Keefe 8 (8-2, Bob, MBA from Pace University, Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
One expert says tankers, not offshore drilling platforms, are at the most risk for spills. "And then you
started to see the animals," he recalled. First were birds, too many to count, Eckberg said. Then came the oil-
coated seals and otters and other sea life. "It changed my life," he said of the sight. Today, Eckberg can't look
at the oil platforms still dotting the sea off Santa Barbara without disdain. Now 60, he has become an
environmental activist, an eco-friendly real estate developer and director of a group called Get Oil Out. But
government and oil industry officials say the fears that drive Eckberg and others to oppose offshore drilling
are misplaced. Almost 40 years after the blowout at Union Oil Co.'s Platform A resulted in the nation's most
environmentally damaging drilling accident, they say new offshore technologies and techniques make it
almost impossible for a similar disaster to occur. That's a point President Bush has pushed repeatedly
as he lifted an executive order banning new offshore oil exploration. He is asking Congress to lift its
ban. This week, the Interior Department took steps to jump-start new offshore oil exploration, announcing
plans for a lease program that could open up new areas off the coasts of several states, including Georgia, to
drilling if Congress lifts the ban. On Friday, the department will begin taking public and industry comment
on the plan. "The technology has improved, the safety systems we now require have greatly improved,
and the [industry] has a good record," said Randall Luthi, director of the department's Minerals
Management Service, which handles offshore oil field regulations and leases. Luthi and others said new tools
that make offshore drilling safer include: • Seismic technology and directional drilling techniques that
let oil companies drill 100 exploratory wells from a single offshore platform. That reduces the number of
derricks and therefore the potential for problems, they say. • Automatic shutoff valves underneath the
seabed that can cut the flow of oil immediately if there's a problem or a storm coming. Blowout prevention
equipment can automatically seal off pipes in the case of an unexpected pressure buildup. • Undersea
pipelines and wellheads that can be monitored with special equipment such as unmanned, camera-equipped
underwater vehicles and sensor-equipped devices called "smart pigs." The devices move through pipelines
and can detect weak spots and blockages. • Advances in metallurgy and construction techniques that have
made platforms stronger and more likely to withstand hurricanes and other calamities. "Any human endeavor
has some level of risk," said Dave Mica, director of the Florida Petroleum Council, which is pushing for
drilling off the Florida coast. "We can't eliminate all of it, but we're trying." Interior Secretary Dirk
Kempthorne said hurricanes Katrina and Rita provided the ultimate test of modern-day drilling
operations. About 3,000 of the 4,000 oil platforms currently in the Gulf of Mexico were in the direct
path of the two hurricanes in 2005, yet there were no major spills, he said. "The shutoff valves below
the ocean floor, all of them worked," Kempthorne said. "There was no significant loss of oil."

Drilling doesn’t increase risk of spills

NYT 8 (8-2, John Tierney,

Why risk populated or ecologically fragile coasts, they say, when oil is available elsewhere? There surely is
some risk of damage. But the technology of containing spills and vigor of regulation have come a long
way since Santa Barbara. No serious spill has marred the harvesting of four billion barrels from 12,000
drilling rigs in American waters since 1970. Statistically, tankers bearing imported oil now pose a
much greater environmental danger. Since then the risks have shrunk further. A 2003 report from the
National Research Council noted that only 1 percent of oil that entered U.S. waters during the 1990s
came from extraction operations (like the offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico). Even if you
combined that amount with the oil spilled by tankers, it amounted to only 3 percent of the total — and
only 1/20th as much oil as entered the water through natural seepage from the ocean floor. Of course, an oil
spill concentrated in one spot can harm the local environment, but banning offshore drilling doesn’t
lessen the risk of big oil spills — it simply makes it more likely there’ll be a spill from a foreign tanker.
In 1989, when Congress moved to ban drilling off the New Jersey coast, this ban was criticized by Lawrence
Schmidt of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection:
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 47
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – A2: Spills

The threat of spills is greatly over-exaggerated

Murdock 8 (7-24, Deroy, American conservative syndicated columnist for the Scripps
Howard News Service,
Painfully high vehicle- and jet-fuel prices are propelling popular demands for extracting the estimated 18
billion barrels of petroleum that rest beneath America's coastal waters. After rescinding previous executive-
branch objections, President Bush said July 14, "the only thing standing between the American people and
these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress." Capitol Hill Democrats claim offshore drilling
poses unacceptable ecological risks. This is yet another overblown worry. Democrats and other
environmental naysayers cite the 80,000 barrels that spilled six miles off of Santa Barbara, Calif.,
inundating beaches and aquatic life. This hydrocarbon Hindenburg haunts the memories of those who
witnessed it. But this genuine catastrophe occurred in January 1969 -- nearly 40 years ago. That era's
drilling technology has gone the way of Flower Power and black-and-white TV. Innovation has boosted
the safety and environmental reliability of offshore drilling. The Santa Barbara spill accelerated oil
companies' efforts to prevent such disasters. Beyond compliance with 17 major permits and 90 different
federal regulations, offshore operators frequently conduct accident training and safety exercises.
Sensors and other instruments now help platform personnel monitor and handle temperatures and
pressures of subsea oil, even as drill bits whirl. Hurricanes are manageable, since oil lines are capped
not at the surface, but at or beneath the ocean floor. Even if oil platforms snapped loose and blew away,
industrial seals restrain potentially destructive petroleum hundreds or even thousands of feet below the
waves. Thus, 3,050 offshore structures endured Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August and September
2005 without environmentally damaging petroleum spills. While 168 platforms and 55 rigs were
destroyed or seriously damaged, the oil they pumped remained safely entombed, thanks to heavy underwater
machinery. As the U.S. Minerals Management Service concluded, "due to the prompt evacuation and shut-in
preparations made by operating and service personnel, there was no loss of life and no major oil spills
attributed to either storm." "The technology of the drilling industry may have improved, but offshore drilling
is a dirty business, and it still leads to oil spills due to failed equipment, aberrant weather, or human error on
a frequent basis," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in July 19's Houston Chronicle. Feinstein is correct.
U.S. offshore oil drilling is not perfectly tidy. It's only 99.999 percent clean. Indeed, since 1980 -- as
MMS figures indicate -- 101,997 barrels spilled from among the 11.855 billion barrels of American oil
extracted offshore. This is a 0.001 percent pollution rate. While offshore drilling is not 100 percent
spotless, this record should satisfy all but the terminally fastidious. Ironically, in terms of oil
contamination, Mother Nature is 95 times dirtier than Man. Some 620,500 barrels of oil ooze
organically from North America's ocean floors each year. Compare this to the average 6,555 barrels that
oil companies have spilled annually since 1998, according to MMS. Thanks to Earth's curvature, these
operations can stay out of sight. Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., proposes new drilling, but at least 50 miles
offshore, well past the 12-miles beyond which the horizon hides oil equipment from the eyes of surfers and
beachcombers. Critics also dismiss offshore development since its benefits supposedly would take ages. "You
wouldn't see any full production out of any oil drilling off the coasts until 2030," presumptive Democratic
nominee Barack Obama claimed June 20 in Jacksonville, Fla. The Illinois senator added: "It will take a
generation to reach full production." Currently mired in red tape, Chevron's Destin Dome field off Florida
could produce within four years. Southern California deposits could yield within five to 10 years.
Besides, as Confucius said: "The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago. The second best time is now."
America is like a vagrant who shakes a tin cup, pleads for change, and yet refuses to touch his $1 million
trust fund. Before President Bush flies back to Saudi Arabia to beg sheiks to open their spigots, the United
States should rely on our own offshore oil and gas. The fact we can do so more safely than ever leaves
the Democratic Congress no excuse not to stand aside -- now!
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 48
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – A2: Spills

Drilling poses little to no risk to the environment

NYT 8 (8-2, John Tierney,

Why risk populated or ecologically fragile coasts, they say, when oil is available elsewhere? There surely is
some risk of damage. But the technology of containing spills and vigor of regulation have come a long
way since Santa Barbara. No serious spill has marred the harvesting of four billion barrels from 12,000
drilling rigs in American waters since 1970. Statistically, tankers bearing imported oil now pose a
much greater environmental danger. Since then the risks have shrunk further. A 2003 report from the
National Research Council noted that only 1 percent of oil that entered U.S. waters during the 1990s
came from extraction operations (like the offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico). Even if you
combined that amount with the oil spilled by tankers, it amounted to only 3 percent of the total — and
only 1/20th as much oil as entered the water through natural seepage from the ocean floor. Of course, an oil
spill concentrated in one spot can harm the local environment, but banning offshore drilling doesn’t
lessen the risk of big oil spills — it simply makes it more likely there’ll be a spill from a foreign tanker.
In 1989, when Congress moved to ban drilling off the New Jersey coast, this ban was criticized by Lawrence
Schmidt of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection:

Offshore Drilling Has Minor Effects on Ecosystems

Australian Institute of Petroleum 2007 (“Offshore Oil Drilling”, EARTH SCIENCE AUSTRALIA,, February 12, 2007)
The fluid is recycled through a circulation system where equipment mounted on the drilling rig separates out
the drill cuttings and allows the clean fluid to be pumped back down the hole. With few exceptions,
Australian wells since 1985 have been drilled using water-based drilling fluids, not oil-based. The ISRC
concluded that "drilling waste discharges have generally been shown to have only minor effects on
water quality and pelagic ecosystems". Evidence collected by the ISRC suggests that acute toxic effects of
drilling fluids on marine organisms are only found at very high concentrations. "Toxic effects on the
biota in the water column from such concentrations would only be present within a few tens of metres
from the point of discharge and only for short times after discharge". As the plume of drilling fluid and
cuttings falls to the seabed, it disperses, with 90 percent of it settling within 100 metres of the platform.
Soluble waste concentrations will have fallen by a factor of 10,000 within 100 metres and suspended
sediment concentrations by a factor of at least 50,000.

Offshore Drilling Safe Due to Advanced Technology

Environment News Service 2008 (“Bush, McCain Would Lift Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling”,
on-offshore-oil-drilling/, June 19, 2008)
Bush says that Offshore oil drilling can now be done safely. “Advances in technology have made it
possible to conduct oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf, OCS, that is out of sight, protects coral
reefs and habitats, and protects against oil spills,” he said today. “With these advances - and a dramatic
increase in oil prices - congressional restrictions on OCS exploration have become outdated and

Oil Causes Minimal Risks to Most Animals

Nixon 2008 (Robin, Environmental Author at, “Oil Drilling: Risks and Rewards”,
YAHOO NEWS,, June 25,
In the wild, most animals quickly flush PAH, a toxin associated with oil wells, from their bodies - which
is why PAH rarely concentrates in the food web and is of minimal risk to humans. The animal's
justifiably panicked immune response to PAH can cause cancer - especially if the animal is exposed
continually by, say, living near an oil platform, explained Short.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 49
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – A2: Spills

No Impact Because of Safe Drilling Wastes
Snyder 2007 (Robert E., World Oil Analyst, “Environmentally Safe Drill Wastes”, bNET,, January 2007)
A Calgary-based waste handling/disposal company has solved the environmental problems of oil
exploration by creating a complete detoxification system that converts harmful drilling waste into
biodegradable, environmentally friendly matter. The biotreatment process, recently designed and
patented worldwide by Unique Oilfield Technology Services (UNOTEC) is already being used by operators
such as BP Canada and Anderson Exploration, and is promising to "change the face of the energy sector
by making oil exploration as environmentally friendly as possible."

Drilling is safe – new technologies solve

Myers and Hulse, July 15, 2008 (Staff writers, The New York Times, Steven & Carl)

William L. Kovacs, vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs at the United States
Chamber of Commerce, said the ban on drilling on the outer shelf reflected an environmental concern that
was now outdated. “The drilling, plus the technology, is much safer than it was 15 years ago,” he said.

Drilling is safe – environmental groups agree

Cline, July 12, 2008 (Andrew, Editor for the New Hampshire Union Leader, in the Wall Street Journal)

When an environmental group formed for the sole purpose of opposing offshore oil drilling warmly embraces
a plan to drill off its own coast, you know something important has changed in our culture: Americans have
recognized that offshore oil drilling is largely safe. Since 1975, drilling in the Exclusive Economic Zone (within
200 miles of the U.S. coast) has had a 99.999% safety record, according to the Energy Information
Administration, which reports that "only .001 percent of the oil produced has been spilled." Thanks to
technological advances, large spills are rare. Most spills are tiny, only a few feet in diameter. Large tanker
spills, such as the Exxon Valdez in 1989, are so infrequent they account for a very small fraction of the oil that
winds up in the sea.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 50
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – A2: Spills

New drilling technology is sweet – there’s no impact

USA Today July 13, 2008

Government officials and industry specialists say improved technology and government oversight have made
routine drilling safe. State and federal laws regulate how much of each chemical can be discharged into the
water; most are at insignificant levels, according to the Minerals Management Service. The mercury that's
generated cannot be absorbed by fish tissue, officials say, avoiding the food chain. "The best fishing in the Gulf is
where the rigs are," says Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., a leading proponent of offshore drilling. Spills from platforms
have become far less frequent over recent decades, federal data show. A report by the National Research Council
found that offshore oil and gas drilling was responsible for just 2% of the petroleum in North America's
oceans, compared with 63% from natural seepage and 22% from municipal and industrial waste. Coast Guard
reports show that the amount of oil spilled in U.S. waters dropped from 3.6 million barrels in the 1970s to less than
500,000 in the 1990s. During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, 115 oil platforms were toppled, but only
insignificant amounts of oil spilled, says Roland Guidry, Louisiana's oil spill coordinator.
There was significant pollution — 8 million to 10 million gallons of oil spilled, mostly from tanks and pipelines on
land and from tankers striking submerged drilling platforms — but less than 10% of that came from federal offshore
operations. Today's technology, such as automatic shutoff valves on the seabed floor and mechanical devices
that can prevent blowouts caused by uncontrolled buildups of pressure, has greatly reduced the risk of oil
spills. "Offshore drilling is the safest way to go," Guidry says. "Those guys don't spill oil."

No risk of oil leaks from off-shore drilling – oil pollution is inevitable from other sources anyway

Cline, July 12, 2008 (Andrew, Editor for the New Hampshire Union Leader, in the Wall Street Journal)
A joint study by NASA and the Smithsonian Institution, examining several decades' worth of data, found that more
oil seeps into the ocean naturally than from accidents involving tankers and offshore drilling. Natural seepage
from underwater oil deposits leaks an average of 62 million gallons a year; offshore drilling, on the other
hand, accounted for only 15 million gallons, the smallest source of oil leaking into the oceans.
The vast majority of the oil that finds its way into the sea comes from dry land, NASA found. Runoff from cities,
roads, industrial sites and garages deposits 363 million gallons into the sea, making runoff by far the single largest
source of oil pollution in the oceans. "Every year oily road runoff from a city of 5 million could contain as much oil
as one large tanker spill," notes the Smithsonian exhibit, "Ocean Planet."
The second-largest source of ocean oil pollution was routine ship maintenance, accountable for 137 million gallons a
year, NASA found -- more than 2.5 times the amount that comes from tanker spills and offshore drilling combined.
But no one is proposing that we ban cargo and cruise ships. The public may be aware that offshore drilling
accidents are infrequent and pose little threat to the environment; this awareness is probably part of the reason
why growing numbers of Americans support drilling in formerly protected portions of our coastal waters. Last
month, a Zogby poll found 74% of Americans support offshore drilling. That's up from 57% in May, according to a
Gallup poll. Even a majority of Democrats support offshore drilling, according to a Rasmussen poll last month.

Impact is exaggerated – even big spills don’t only do limited damage

Cline, July 12, 2008 (Andrew, Editor for the New Hampshire Union Leader, in the Wall Street Journal)

Big oil spills can do long-term ecological damage. But the long-term effects seem to be on the micro rather
than the macro scale. In Alaska and Cape Cod, where long-ago oil spills coated the shoreline, the aftereffects
are visible only if one goes digging for them. Small creatures such as crabs and shellfish still suffer negative
ramifications. But the ecological decimation predicted by environmental groups has not materialized.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 51
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – A2: Spills – Oil Increase Species

Oil feeds species

Button 77 (Don, UAF Institute of Marine Science,

Particularly in coastal areas this oil would persist were it not for the bacteria that eat it. Other
microorganisms metabolize oil too, as do higher organisms. Whereas humans do not gain energy from
ingested hydrocarbons, many species of microorganisms--bacteria, yeasts and fungi--obtain both energy
and tissue-building material from petroleum. These microorganisms require both the existence of
oxygen and certain minerals to metabolize oil. They are able to attack the oil best when it is mixed with
water. Even highway blacktop gets eaten in time, but its dryness, the lack of minerals such as nitrogen and
the large size of the asphaltene molecules in blacktop make it tough chewing for the bugs. Many
hydrocarbons dissolve only slowly in water. Others such as the aromatic compounds like benzene are more
soluble, and these are toxic to living cells. The aromatic hydrocarbons can attack the fat-like membranes
surrounding cells and adversely affect their normal functioning. But, fortunately, bacteria and other
microorganisms composing the marine flora are able to feed upon the wide variety of compounds
found in petroleum. The ocean water itself aids the process by helping to transport oxygen and
minerals to the microorganisms.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 52
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Doesn’t Harm Reefs

Off-shore drilling won’t harm reefs and solves oil dependency

Myers and Hulse, July 14, 2008 (Staff writers, The New York Times, Steven & Carl)

Mr. Bush said some experts believe that drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf could yield a decade’s worth of
oil for the United States, and that exploiting it could be done unobtrusively, without damaging coral reefs or
creating spills. He said Congress was “the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil

Drilling improves marine ecosystems and coral reefs

Hallman 06 [John, director of FreedomWorks, accessed July 16, 2008] November 3

Most Americans understand the need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and provide the extra supply of oil and
natural gas to lower our energy costs. The Mineral Management Services (MMS), an agency of the Department of
Interior, estimates that the OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) contains enough natural gas to heat 100 million homes for
60 years or enough oil to replace current Persian Gulf imports for 59 years. Unfortunately the federal government
has held back 80% of the country's OCS from oil and gas exploration and production. But despite these findings,
there are those from radical environmental groups that oppose critical access to domestic oil and natural gas,
claiming they are protecting the environment.
Actually the facts tell us that offshore rigs and platforms can be beneficial to marine wildlife. Once in place, the
platform's substructure acts as an "artificial reef," providing hard surfaces for encrusting organisms such as
spiny oysters, barnacles, sponges, and corals.
These creatures are the basis of the food chain in what becomes a new marine ecosystem for numerous types of fish,
sharks, sea turtles, spiny lobsters, and sea urchins, so basically speaking,the rigs create critical two factors for
marine life: Shelter and food. The food chain begins with the formation of barnacles on these structures below the
waterline. This sets the stage for small fish seeking shelter and food that the steel legs provide. Many local
Gulf coast scuba divers enjoy underwater visits to Gulf platforms to sight-see tropical fish and organisms
normally associated with natural reef systems located in the Caribbean and far away places. Local divers call
these trips "Rig Diving" because the word rig is commonly used in place of platform.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 53
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Doesn’t Harm Reefs

Coral reef destruction inevitable in the quo b/c of alternative causes

Environmental Defense Fund ’01. [Partner with business to find environmental solutions,, July 16, 2008]

Coral reefs contain one-quarter of all marine species, many of which may have medical benefits. Reefs have
been around for 225 million years, but if the present rate of destruction continues, 70 percent of the world’s
reefs could be dead within 40 years. Sedimentation, eutrophication from sewage and bleaching from global
warming are the main culprits. In the Philippines, reefs are dynamited for their fish. Cuba’s reefs, on the other
hand, are relatively untouched. Our scientist Dr. Ken Lindeman has been helping design marine reserves. Our goal is
to improve habitat protection around coral reefs and reduce overfishing before it is too late.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 54
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – A2: Fisheries

Drilling allows platforms to be built which solve overfishing

Fontova 2 (4-12, Humberto, M.A. in history from Tulane University, Newsmax,
Greenie-Weenies oppose offshore oil drilling anywhere off the U.S. coast. As usual, here in Louisiana, the
genuine "northernmost banana republic" (I was born in Cuba: I know one when I see one), we see things
differently. Of the 3,739 offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico nowadays, 3,203 lie off our coast. We
love offshore oil drilling, and not just for the loot extorted from oil companies for the privilege. Most oil
spills occur from tankers, not production platforms or pipelines. Tankers are used to transport foreign oil
here. We'd use less foreign oil if restrictions on offshore oil drilling were removed. Never mind that with the
Mideast mess and Chavez in power in Venezuela we'll soon have less to transport here anyway. But forget
cheaper oil and less pollution for a second. All fishermen and scuba divers out there should plead with
their states to open up offshore oil drilling posthaste. I'm talking about the fabulous fishing – the
EXPLOSION of marine life that accompanies the offshore oil platforms. "Environmentalists" wake up
in the middle of the night sweating and whimpering about offshore oil platforms only because they've
never seen what's under them. This proliferation of marine life around the platforms turned on its
head every "expert" opinion of its day. The original plan, mandated by federal environmental "experts"
back in the late '40s, was to remove the big, ugly, polluting, environmentally hazardous contraptions as soon
as they stopped producing. Fine, said the oil companies. About 10 years ago some wells played out off
Louisiana and the oil companies tried to comply. Their ears are still ringing from the clamor fishermen put
up. Turns out those platforms are going nowhere, and by popular demand of those with a bigger stake in the
marine environment than any "environmentalist." Every "environmental" superstition against these structures
was turned on its head. Marine life had EXPLODED around these huge artificial reefs: A study by
LSU's sea grant college shows that 85 percent of Louisiana fishing trips involve fishing around these
structures. The same study shows that there's 50 times more marine life around an oil production
platform than in the surrounding mud bottoms. Louisiana started a "Rigs to Reef" program, which pays
the oil companies to keep the platforms in the Gulf. Neighboring states like Alabama and Florida stand in line
to buy old rigs from the oil companies to dump off their coasts to enhance fisheries. Japanese concerns are
buying them from Shell Oil for aquaculture projects. Commercial fishing vessels from Taiwan and Japan fish
Louisiana's waters. Louisiana produces one-third of America's commercial fisheries (because of, not in
spite of, these platforms). Most of the nation's spearfishing records were winched aboard around these
oil platforms. * And not one major oil spill! Not one! In 1986 Louisiana started the Rigs to Reef program, a
cooperative effort by oil companies, the feds and the state. This program literally pays the oil companies to
keep the platforms in the Gulf. Now they just cut them off at the bottom and topple them over as artificial
reefs; 58 have been toppled thus far. Louisiana wildlife and fisheries officials were recently invited to
Australia to help them with a similar program. Yes, Australia. Yes, the nation with the Great Barrier Reef, the
world's biggest natural reef, the world's top dive destination – they're asking for help from Louisiana about
developing exciting dive sites by using the very structures that epitomize (in greenie eyes) environmental
disaster. In Louisiana we know better. You could cover the Great Barrier Reef with a huge oil spill and
radioactive waste; spear every last one of its fish, including the angel and butterfly fish, during a mega-
spearfishing rodeo featuring 10,000 drunkards blasting the fish with power-heads; purse-seine, trammel-net
and long-line the area until there was nothing left but three half-starved butterfly fish. Do all this, then
drop three oil platforms nearby and in three years you'd have more and bigger fish than the total of
those photographed by the enviro-yuppies around the Great Barrier Reef.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 55
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – A2: Polar Bears

Many alternate causes threaten the polar bear

Norris 2 (May, Stefan, WWF head of conservation,
Polar bears face other limiting factors as well. Hunting, toxic pollution, oil development, and other
human activities all combine to pressure the species and its habitat. In this report we examine the effects
of climate change on polar bear habitat, and put this in the context of other limiting factors, then describe the
management of and conservation opportunities for this top predator.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 56
Scholars Lab File Title


Non-Unique- Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico started in 2006
DeGregorio 8 (6-19, Jen, Journalist for The Times- Picayune,
The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 allowed drilling in previously protected Gulf areas
and authorized a historic profit-sharing arrangement between fuel producers and Gulf states. In
March, a federal auction of nearly 30 million acres of Gulf drilling tracts generated nearly $69 million.
Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas will share share 37.5 percent of that money.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 57
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Seepage Turn

No impact and turn – drilling is safe and will reduce oil pressure decreasing natural oil

Ryden, July 17, 2008 (John, Engineer with a background in Finance and Economics, Seattle

Many claim the risk of oil spills might pollute their beaches and ruin their tourist business. There was a large
oil spill off Santa Barbara in 1969 caused by a blowout of a well. 80,000 barrels of oil were released into the
ocean. This resulted in new regulations requiring safety devices to prevent blowouts and oil spills in
offshore drilling. Since that time, the industry record on oil spills from offshore drilling has been
excellent. California already has naturally occurring oil seepage into the ocean from oil and gas seeps. One
large known seep offshore Coal Oil Point is estimated to release 150 to 170 barrels of oil per day into the
ocean. There are at least 2,000 active oil and gas seeps offshore California. Oil is part of the natural
environmental. Drilling into undersea oil reserves may actually clean up oil seeps in California as
extracting oil from a reservoir will decrease pressure and may stop some of the natural seepage.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 58
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Cuban Drilling Turn

Turn -- Off-shore drilling is inevitable by Cuba – allowing US drilling is key to protect the environment

PR Newswire July 15, 2008

U.S. companies are seeking permission to drill for oil and natural gas on the Outer Continental Shelf, 100
miles off the U.S. coast. The government of Cuba, meanwhile, has already granted leases to foreign
corporations for oil exploration just 60 miles off Florida. If the United States were to develop these resources,
U.S. technology and U.S. environmental regulations will ensure that the environment is protected.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 59
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Tanker Spills Turn

Drilling is safe and protects the environment by decreasing the risk of tanker spills

Medlock, July 12, 2008 (Kenneth, fellow in Energy Studies at Rice University's James A Baker III Institute for
Public Policy and an adjunct assistant professor in the Economics Department at Rice, Houston Chronicle)

A recent study by the National Academy of Sciences reports that in the last 15 years there were zero platform spills
greater than 1,000 barrels. Compared to worldwide tanker spill rates, outer continental shelf operations are
more than five times safer. Imports present an environmental risk of spills about 13 times greater than
domestic production. In fact, annual natural seeps account for 150-175 times more oil in the ocean than OCS oil and
gas operations." (

Interestingly, given the fact that tanker spill rates are higher than platform spill rates, by not allowing more
domestic production and thus encouraging more imports, we are, in fact, utilizing a more environ-mentally
damaging option.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 60
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Resource Wars Turn

No impact and turn – drilling won’t harm the environment and it prevents resource wars which are worse

Petrowski, July 10, 2008 (Joseph, President of Gulf Oil, in the Wall Street Journal)

We can responsibly drill. The technology to find, drill and recover oil has evolved tremendously, and careless
drillers will fear tort lawyers more than government regulators. The claim that the oil companies are sitting on
leases and not drilling defies all logic. With oil at $135 per barrel and drilling rigs renting at $300,000 per day, there
are no idle rigs anywhere. Furthermore, economic decline – and war induced by basic resource struggles – are
greater threats to the environment and American workers than drilling.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 61
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Increases the US Economy

Off-shore drilling is critical to sustaining the US economy

PR Newswire July 15, 2008

Other resource rich areas, however, remain under moratoria, preventing exploration and production off most
of the U.S. coastline. These restrictions deny American consumers access to vast domestic energy supplies.
Expanding access to new areas would ensure adequate domestic energy supplies because areas currently
restricted contain large, untapped resources of oil and natural gas, which are critical to sustaining U.S.
economic growth.

Off-shore drilling is key to boost the US economy

PR Newswire July 15, 2008

The American Trucking Associations today praised the Bush Administration for lifting the executive moratorium on
offshore drilling. ATA also urged Congress to follow suit and lift its ban on offshore drilling as part of a long-
term strategy to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and curb skyrocketing fuel prices.
"We need the ability to explore new, untapped areas for domestic energy supplies," said ATA President and CEO Bill
Graves. "The U.S. has an opportunity to improve our energy situation and continue to support economic
growth, while providing consumers and businesses with the essential energy they need."
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 62
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Decreases Energy Prices

Drilling will solve the energy crisis in the short-term

Petrowski, July 10, 2008 (Joseph, President of Gulf Oil, in the Wall Street Journal)

Your claim that any oil we drill for now will not come on line for five years or longer – and will thus have no
effect on prices today – is incorrect. Unlike past oil crises, where the spot price of oil (that is, today's price) rose
more than forward prices, the oil price for delivery in 2012 is trading at $138 per barrel. The market is sending a
clear price signal that our problem is in the future – because we do not have the will to curb demand or
increase supply. How many houses would someone invest in if there were a future guarantee that the price would
not decline? It is anticipation of ever-increasing prices that fuels the mania. The oil market, however, has more
than anticipation; it has a well-defined forward price signal. This is a key component of the added $25-$40 per
barrel in current oil prices. Congressional hearings and "make it go away" legislation will not stop that.
Demonstrate the national will to address the supply and demand issues now and it will. As forward prices
decline, watch how quickly the spot price comes down.

Drilling will send a key signal to the market decreasing energy price speculation

Myers and Hulse, July 15, 2008 (Staff writers, The New York Times, Steven & Carl)

Mr. Bush’s decision was welcomed by industry representatives. Brian J. Kennedy of the Institute for Energy
Research in Washington, which favors opening the shelf, said lifting the presidential ban would focus attention
on the need for Congress to act, easing the speculative pressure driving up the cost of oil. “This would send a
very strong signal to the global market that the United States is finally getting serious about producing its
own energy resources,” he said.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 63
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Decreases Energy Prices

Allowing drilling will ease the market reducing oil prices and minimizing the current energy crisis

Medlock, July 12, 2008 (Kenneth, fellow in Energy Studies at Rice University's James A Baker III Institute for
Public Policy and an adjunct assistant professor in the Economics Department at Rice, Houston Chronicle)

Of course, opening the OCS will not bring immediate supplies because it would take time to organize the lease sales
and then develop the supply delivery infrastructure. However, as development progressed, the expected growth in
supply would have an effect on market sentiment and eventually prices. Thus, opening the OCS should be
viewed as a relevant part of a larger strategy to help ease prices over time because an increase in activity in
the OCS would generally improve expectations about future oil supplies.

Drilling would have a huge positive affect on oil prices

Washington Post 8 (7-14, Steven Mufson,

McCain told reporters last month that "we have untapped oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the
United States." In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are "undiscovered
conventionally recoverable resources" of 17.8 billion barrels. That's not the same thing as "reserves." In
the oil business, "reserves" refers to oil that has been found and "proven," whereas "resources" refers to
promising geological structures where the presence of oil remains uncertain. In the eastern Gulf of Mexico,
those "resources" are likely to represent actual oil because the geology is an extension of the western
Gulf of Mexico, where oil has been drilled for years. There is less certainty about what may lie off the
Atlantic coast. If, in fact, there are 17.8 billion barrels of oil offshore, that would equal half the reserves
of Nigeria or about 60 percent of proven U.S. reserves. It could substantially reduce U.S. imports for a
decade or two or sustain U.S. production when other fields decline. But developing those resources
would take time. A report last year by the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said that
"access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic
crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. Leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and
production would not be expected to start before 2017." It added, "Because oil prices are determined on
the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be
insignificant." Drilling proponents say that drilling today is much more sophisticated than it was in
1969. Oil companies and their supporters boast about how their platforms and pipelines withstood the
hurricanes of 2005. "I think people are reassured that not a drop of oil was spilled during Katrina or
Rita," McConnell said. "Those rigs in the Gulf, there was not a single incident of spillage that anyone
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 64
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Energy Prices Key to the Economy

High Oil Prices Will Lead to Another Great Depression Within Three Months

Leatherdale 8 (Linda, Finances Columnist for the Toronto Sun, “Next Great Depression?”,,, June 22, 2008)
But while our competition watchdog, finally, laid charges of price fixing in Quebec, and you and I struggle
with pump prices on their way to $1.50 a litre, NOCs subsidize fuel prices for their civilians. That's why
Venezuela enjoys the cheapest gas in the world at 12 cents US a gallon, followed by Nigeria at 38 cents,
Kuwait 78 cents and Saudi Arabia at 91 cents. Energy-guzzling China, the world's new superpower as the
United States self-destructs, also subsidizes prices. Which is why our big North American automakers,
devastated by slumping sales and high gas prices, are showcasing their luxurious gas guzzlers in China,
where an emerging middle class can afford them, and the gas. But even China realizes the damages of out-
of-control oil prices, and this past week hiked its subsidized fuel prices in hopes of softening demand and
bringing oil back down to earth. Which leads to this: While we debate nationalized energy vs free capital
forces, and whether I'm a Marxist or not -- dire warnings are hinting that if we don't stop this madness,
we're heading to the biggest meltdown since the Great Market Crash of 1929 and the next Great
Depression. "A very nasty period is soon to be upon us -- be prepared," Bob Janjuah, a credit strategist for
the Royal Bank of Scotland, wrote in a report that sent shockwaves through the global financial community.
Janjuah is warning that these skyrocketing energy prices are inflicting big damage by fuelling inflation
and paralysing major central banks, who may be forced to hike interest rates at a time economies are
slowing and the U.S. subprime crisis is sending a tidal wave around the world, sparking a global credit
crunch. Janjuah says the crash will hit within three months, with Wall Street's S&P 500 crashing by more
than 300 points as "all the chickens come home to roost" from the excesses of the global boom. Such a slide,
Janjuah warns, would amount to one of the worst bear markets of the past century. "Cash is the key safe
haven. This is about not losing your money and not losing your job," said Janjuah, who last year correctly
called the credit crisis. He added that "globalization was always going to risk putting G7 bankers into a
dangerous corner at some point. We have gotten to that point," thanks to this energy-price shocker. DIRE
WARNING Another dire warning comes from the Bank of International Settlements, which warns
we're headed for the next Great Depression, thanks to a lax monetary policy that gave birth to complex
credit instruments, a strong appetite for risk, record household debt levels and imbalances in the
world's currency system. I'm not alone in warning it may be our own capitalist greed that's killing the
golden goose. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary to the U.S. Treasury during the Reagan
administration and now associate editor at The Wall Street Journal, writes that "something is wrong here"
when GDP grows while household incomes fall, or "Karl Marx was right that capitalism works to concentrate
income in the hands of a few capitalists." Roberts points out that while people lose jobs and homes, life
savings go up in smoke and energy prices nail the coffin shut -- the top 20 earners among private equity and
hedge fund managers earned an average of $657 million US last year, with four earning more than $1 billion,
while the top 20 CEOs of publicly held companies took home an average $36.4 million. Energy brass are
among this high-paid elite, with a blatant example of greed when former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond, who
was paid $52 million a year, walked out the door with a retirement package worth $400 million. And if you
check out insider trading info, you'll find energy CEOs and executives are cashing out big time. In my
capitalist world, wealth is not hoarded by a greedy few, while hard-working, middle-class citizens get
slaughtered. End of conversation.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 65
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Energy Prices Key to the Economy

Failure to combat high energy prices in the US will collapse the global economy

Irwin and Faiola July 16, 2008 (Neil and Anthony, Staff writers, Washington Post, Lexis)

But others have argued that soaring energy prices, rising inflation and a weakening dollar are already zapping the
strength out of the world economy, with a full blown U.S. recession likely to take the wind out of the sails of global

"The rest of the world has accumulated U.S. assets, and if these prices go down, the rest of the world suffers," said
Alex Patelis, head of international economics for Merrill Lynch in London.

The US economy is on the brink of collapse – reducing energy prices is critical to

safeguarding the economy

With no decline in gross domestic product, economists aren't ready to declare a recession, but Mark Vitner, senior
economist at Wachovia, won't rule it out.
"If oil prices don't go below $130 by the end of the summer, it'll be hard for the economy to avoid a recession in the
fourth quarter," he said.
seemed most concerned about inflation, suggesting that rising energy prices soon would be felt throughout the
But Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist at Global Insight, said the economic upheaval should trump all
other financial concerns for policymakers, even inflation.
"There's no question that this is the cusp of a major financial crisis and the Fed needs to get ahead of the curve,"
Bethune said.
The stock market's performance has added to investors' concerns about rising gasoline and food prices, mounting
home foreclosures and upcoming earnings reports from financial institutions. Vitner said nervous investors might be
suffering from information overload.
"There's just so much going on in so many parts of the economy that investors have been torn between whether
things are finding a bottom or whether we've got more pain ahead of us," Vitner said.

America is headed toward an economic crisis due to energy problems

Leeb 06 [Stephen, PhD, <>

7/17/08- date accessed]

An economic crisis is near at hand in America today, the kind of dramatic, earth-shattering crisis that
periodically threatens the very survival of civilization. More specifically, it is an energy crisis brought about
by the conflict between rising global demand for energy and our growing inability to increase energy
production." Such doom and gloom is the tone for 13 of the book's 15 chapters. At times Dr. Leeb, a PhD in
Psychology, assures us that skyrocketing oil prices can be avoided by bold action by our leaders with a momentous
investment in alternative energy. Despite the stirring language of the book title, if you are searching for an
investment book with definitive suggestions on where to put your money, or if you are well versed in oil peak
production, you will be disappointed in the lack of diligence by Dr. Leeb. If on the other hand you are a general
investment reader looking for a light book with ideas about a possible future investment landscape and a few ideas
to maximize returns in an inflationary environment, this is a great book to read.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 66
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Energy Prices Key to the Economy

High energy prices will crush the US economy

Investors Business Daily, July 11, 2008 (Lexis)

U.S. recession risks rise

The Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey found that 55% of economists polled say the U.S. will enter into a
recession this year or already has due to higher energy prices, a weakening labor market and falling stock prices.
That's up from 47% in the prior month. Respondents raised their Q2 GDP growth estimates to 1.2% from 0.4% due
to tax rebate checks. But the outlook has worsened. Rising inflation risks will spur the Fed to hike rates, perhaps this
fall, the survey found.

Continued dependence on foreign oil will collapse the US and global economy

Okata & Sato 08 [shigeru & Yuji reporters

7/17/08- date accessed]

The global economy would collapse if oil hit $200 a barrel, said the top energy analyst at Germany's largest bank.
Two-hundred dollar oil would break the back of the global economy,'' Deutsche Bank AG's Chief Energy Economist
Adam Sieminski said in an interview today in Tokyo. ``Next step after $200 would be global recession and bad
news for everybody.'' Sieminski's comments come after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecast oil may rise to
between $150 and $200 within two years as supply growth, especially from producers outside the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries, fails to keep pace with demand. Deutsche Bank is due to release its oil-price
forecast on June 27. Oil doubled in the past year, touching a record $139.89 a barrel on June 16. Crude oil for
August delivery was at $136.84 a barrel, down 16 cents, at 7:08 p.m. Tokyo time in after-hours trading on the New
York Mercantile Exchange. Russia, a non-OPEC producer and the world's biggest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia,
faces its first annual decline in production in a decade. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged to reduce taxation on
the industry to stimulate investment in aging fields and new regions. Output fell 0.9 percent to 9.76 million barrels a
day in the first five months of the year. Growth last quarter fell on a year-on-year basis, and this has to do with the
policies implemented over the prior year to raise taxes on oil industries,'' Sieminski said. ``This made it difficult for
foreign capital to come in. If Russia could reverse some of these policies and get their own oil industry back on, this
will help very much.''
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 67
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Prices Up

Oil prices reach record levels due to speculation
Xinhua June 29, 2008
Oil prices broke the 140 U.S. dollars level for the first time this week, with August crude surging near 143
dollars a barrel on both New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and ICE Futures Exchange in London. While oil has gained more
than 40 percent this year, more and more people now shift their focus onto the role of speculators in the price
hike. But is it all because of speculation? Many believe so. A report the U.S. Congress released Monday showed that, in January 2000, 37
percent of the NYMEX crude futures contracts were held by speculative traders; but in April 2008, the
number has soared to 71 percent. Meanwhile, the proportion of contracts held by commercial traders greatly declined. The U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Committee (CFTC) revealed in May that it began investigating potential price manipulations in the oil trading
market in December 2007. The early findings show that since the sub-prime mortgage crisis large amount of speculation fund has turned to buy
commodities like crude as a hedge against inflation.

Oil prices , commodity investment prooves

AME June 28, 2008
A plunge in the global equities markets has sent more investors into commodities, bringing oil prices to a
record above $142 a barrel on Friday, according to reports from agencies. August delivery of US light crude went up 70
cents at $140.34 a barrel by 1514 GMT, while London Brent rose to 33 cents at $140.16, off a record high of $142.13.

Oil prices , supply and demand proove

Associated Press June 25, 206
Billionaire Warren Buffett says he believes supply and demand, not market speculation, is what's driving oil prices to
new heights. Oil futures fell Wednesday after the Energy Department said the nation's supplies of fuel and oil were larger than expected last
week, but prices remain above $130 a barrel. Buffett told CNBC in a live interview that today's prices reflect a lack of oil
in the world. Some people have suggested that curbing speculation in oil contracts could dramatically lower the price of oil. And at least nine
bills proposing limits on that oil speculation have been introduced in Congress in recent weeks.

Oil prices , supply and demand proove

The New York Times June 25, 2006
Mr. Yergin is the chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a consulting firm, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Prize,” an
authoritative history of the oil business. He will speak on Wednesday before the Joint Economic Committee, headed by Senator Charles E.
Schumer, Democrat of New York. Mr. Yergin said the market is relentlessly bidding up oil prices in response to deep-
seated fears that the growth in demand will keep outpacing the growth in oil supplies in coming years. “There is a
shortage psychology in the financial markets and that is reflected in the price of oil,” Mr. Yergin said in the interview.
“You are seeing a lot of people who have never invested in commodities who are now piling into the market. But calling it speculation is way too
simplistic.” What role financial institutions — pension funds, mutual funds, and hedge funds, among others — are playing in driving up the price
of oil to nearly $140 a barrel remains a key question. Regulators in Washington have acknowledged that they do not have enough information on
speculative trading in commodity markets. Even though the evidence is incomplete, speculators have nonetheless become prime targets for
legislative action. Gasoline prices now average $4.07 a gallon, up more than $1 a gallon in the past year, according to AAA, the automobile
group. The price of oil — the main reason behind the run-up in gasoline prices — has doubled in the past year, settling Tuesday at
$137 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 26 cents.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 68
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Increases Trucking

Off-shore drilling is key to US trucking

PR Newswire July 15, 2008

The U.S. trucking industry depends upon sufficient and affordable diesel fuel supplies to haul 11 billion tons of
freight every year. Given current fuel prices, the industry is on pace to spend an unprecedented $170 billion on
fuel this year. Environmentally sound expansion of the Outer Continental Shelf leasing program will help
ensure that the U.S. trucking industry has enough diesel fuel at affordable prices so that it can continue to
deliver the American economy. Restricted areas of the Outer Continental Shelf contain at least 18 billion barrels
of oil and 76 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that can be recovered using environmentally safe technology. This is
enough oil to power 40 million cars and to heat 2 million households for 15 years and enough natural gas to heat 60
million households for almost 20 years.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 69
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Trucking Key to Economy

Robust trucking key to prevent current economic slowdown from destroying the US

ATA 2006 (American Truck Associations, Reports, “When Trucks Stop, America Stops”,
154A5A7A2F3C/0/WhenTrucksStopAmericaStops.pdf) 7/16/08 by Au-Yeung
Commercial truck traffic is vital to our nation’s economic prosperity and plays a significant role in
mitigating adverse economic effects during a national or regional emergency. Our economy depends on
trucks to deliver ten billion tons of virtually every commodity consumed—or nearly 70 percent of all
freight transported annually in the U.S. In the U.S. alone, this accounts for $671 billion worth of goods
transported by truck. Add $295 billion in truck trade with Canada and $195.6 billion in truck trade with
Mexico and it becomes apparent that any disruption in truck traffic will lead to rapid economic
instability. The unimpeded flow of trucks is critical to the safety and well-being of all Americans. However,
it is entirely possible that well-intended public officials may instinctively halt or severely restrict truck traffic
in response to an incident of national or regional significance. Recent history has shown us the consequences
that result from a major disruption in truck travel. Immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks,
significant truck delays at the Canadian border crossings shut down several auto manufacturing plants in
Michigan because just-in-time parts were not delivered. The economic cost to these companies was
enormous. Following Hurricane Katrina, trucks loaded with emergency goods were rerouted, creating
lengthy delays in delivering urgently needed supplies to the stricken areas. Although in the face of an
elevated threat level, a terrorist attack, or a pandemic, halting truck traffic may appear to be the best defense,
it actually puts citizens at risk. Officials at every level of government must recognize that a decision to halt or
severely curb truck traffic following a national or regional emergency will produce unintended health and
economic consequences not only for the community they seek to protect, but for the entire nation. The
American Trucking Associations researched seven key consumer industries to quantify the potential
consequences of restricting or halting truck traffic in response to a national or regional emergency.

Trucking industry is key to the economic structure of the United States

ATA 2006 (American Truck Associations, Reports, “When Trucks Stop, America Stops”,
154A5A7A2F3C/0/WhenTrucksStopAmericaStops.pdf) 7/16/08 by Au-Yeung
Banking & Finance
Even with today’s high-tech electronic exchange of currency and information, trucks play a critical role in
transporting hard copies of financial documents and currency. Disruption of truck deliveries to banks and
ATMs will paralyze the banking industry, affecting both consumers and businesses. The bottom-line: cash is
still heavily used as legal tender.
• ATM and branch bank cash resources will be exhausted quicky. In today’s fastpaced, high-technology economy,
consumers access cash 24/7 from 370,000 ATMs nationwide. JP Morgan Chase, the nation’s second largest
consumer bank, replenishes its 6,600 ATMs via armored truck delivery every two to three days. Given the increase
in ATM activity that occurs before and after any type of crisis,ATMs would run out of cash much sooner.
• Small and medium-size businesses will lose access to cash. Banks provide daily cash and coin deliveries to
thousands of small and medium-size businesses via armored trucks. According to JP Morgan Chase, without these
daily deliveries and collections, the ability of businesses to carry out normal commercial transactions will
be disrupted and eventually cease.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 70
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Trucking Key to Economy

Trucking slowdown occurring now – its key to the overall economy – we need to drill to
safeguard the economy

Smith 08 [Eric, Memphis Daily News staff writer. “Trucking industry in for ‘lackluster ’08.” January 9, Accessed 7/16/08]
The national trucking industry received mixed reviews as 2007 drew to a close. While it posted solid
numbers in November, the business otherwise finished with a lackluster year, according to the most recent
report by the Arlington, Va.-based American Trucking Associations (ATA). How much that paralleled the
local trucking industry remains unclear.The ATA's local affiliate, Nashville-based Tennessee Trucking
Association (TTA), represents more than 500 trucking companies and industry vendors in the state. TTA
president and CEO Dave Huneryager said the organization doesn't break down trucking figures to the state
level. But, he added, the state's truckload (TL) carrier members seem to be doing better than the less-than-
truckload (LTL) members that he speaks with regularly. "Those less-than-truckload carriers are more reliant
on a bunch of small shippers to give them shipments, which they can then consolidate and take across the
country and then distribute them somewhere else," Huneryager said. "(LTL carriers) are, I think, more
impacted by fuel costs and the impact on manufacturing and retailing than the truckload carriers are."Put a
load on Indeed, the rise of fuel prices - Oil reached a record high of $100.09 per barrel last week before
dropping to $95.21 per barrel Monday - has been a major factor for trucking. Since trucks haul almost 70
percent of manufactured and retail goods in the U.S., fuel costs will continue to serve as a bellwether
for trucking - and vice versa. "Our industry is a really good indicator for economic prosperity, decline
or recovery," Huneryager said. "What the LTLs are feeling right now is an indication of what happened over
the last six to eight months - the economy's slowing down. It's been impacted not only by fuel, but primarily
housing." The residential housing slump has affected trucking negatively. TL carriers haven't felt the slump
quite as badly because they haul goods in bulk, but the LTL carriers that carry a variety of appliances,
furniture or other goods needed for new homes have been struggling. "That's where the LTL guys make their
money, and when there are not a lot of houses moving, not a lot of houses being built, it impacts our industry
big-time," Huneryager said. 'Lackluster freight volumes' Total goods shipped by truck in the U.S. rose 3.3
percent in November compared to November 2006. It was only the second year-over-year increase in eight
months but the biggest increase from year-ago levels since January 2005, according to ATA. However,
through the first 11 months of 2007, the seasonally adjusted index was 1.7 percent below the previous year's
levels. The tonnage index measures the weight of freight hauled by U.S. truckers based on membership
surveys. Furthermore, the trucking industry's trade association projected a gloomy 2008 as volumes are
expected to be soft throughout the year. "Based on the latest economic data and the expected slowdown in
the economy over the next few quarters, we anticipate lackluster freight volumes at least through the first
half of 2008," said ATA economist Tavio Headley in a prepared statement.
Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 71
Scholars Lab File Title

AFF – Drilling Good – Increases Tourism

Drilling increases tourism – encourages rig diving
Hallman 6 [John, director of FreedomWorks, accessed July 16, 2008] November 3

The areas of the Gulf Coast that have access to the platforms have seen increased business due to the popularity of “rig”
diving, that means the platforms are not only beneficial to the environment but also good for local economies, attracting
new tourist to Gulf Coast towns. Also new technologies make platforms safer from oil leaks, automatic well-head cut-off
valves keep oil under the seabed if the rig or platform breaks away. Investigations showed that there was no significant
environmental damage from the offshore platforms despite two Category 5 hurricanes last year in the Gulf. Actually, the
only oil spills after the hurricanes came from beached oil tankers damaged from the storms and not from the platform
pipes themselves. Also, all proposed drilling areas would have platforms very far from the field of vision from coastal
beaches as not to have any impact people enjoying their “day at the beach.”
Allowing greater access to the outer continental shelf for new oil and natural gas exploration is a win-win for Americans;
less dependence on dangerous foreign dictators holding us hostage with oil prices, and creating beneficial artificial reefs
for marine wildlife.