Oil/Gas Extraction Overview

What is oil/gas extraction?

Two processes used to extract oil and gas from the earth are offshore drilling and fracking. Read the Offshore Drilling and Fracking overviews through the NOVA online library database, Opposing Viewpoints, to gain understanding of the processes and issues surrounding these extraction methods.

Why is it controversial?

Politicians and pundits have fiercely debated the extent to which the U.S. should become involved in different forms of oil/gas extraction, such as offshore drilling and fracking.
Environmentalists are concerned that these types of extractions pose threats to the environment while others support the United States’ need for energy independence.

What are the two sides of the issue?

Opponents of U.S. oil/gas extraction claim that there are too many environmental risks. They also argue that an increase in American oil/gas extraction will negatively impact political and economic relationships due to changes in importing and exporting needs.
Yet another concern relates to health issues caused by the processes of oil/gas extraction.

Supporters of oil/gas extraction, meanwhile, argue that because of volatile political and economic relationships with oil producing countries, such as the Middle East, the U. S. needs to become energy independent.
They also argue that the process of oil/gas extraction creates jobs for Americans, which will help stabilize the U. S. economy and increase the quality of life for U. S. citizens.

Key questions to consider in this unit.

How does oil/gas extraction impact the environment? What political and economic ramifications might U.S. oil/gas extraction have on international relationships? Why might oil/gas extraction be considered a health concern for people?