Oil Drilling Off the Coast of Massachusetts?

Let's hope history Repeats itself

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Oil Drilling Off the Coast of Massachusetts?

Jack Kelly, Contributor

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Recently, the Trump Administration lifted a ban on oil drilling that prevented drilling off the coast of a major portion of the United States. One of the areas that is now available for drilling is George’s Bank, which lies about 150 miles southwest of Cape Ann. The Trump Administration has done this in a move to benefit the United States financially and economically. Should oil drilling begin to grow, tens of thousands of jobs would be produced, and billions of dollars would be added to the United States economy-but at what cost?

In 2010, the world watched in horror as images of baby ducklings, sea turtles, and various other marine wildlife covered in crude oil flashed across newsfeeds. After a violent explosion and consequential sinking of the BP Deepwater Horizon drill rig, nearly 3.5 million gallons of oil leaked into the ocean 45 miles off the coast of Louisiana. This spill is recognized as the worst in the United States history resulting in the deaths of over 1000 sea turtles, 1,000,000 birds (32% of the northern gulf population), and a 2,000% increase in marine mammal strandings.  This spill was nothing short of atrocious. Should drilling begin off the coast of Massachusetts, a spill similar to the Deepwater Horizon’s is a risk we run. If a spill were to occur, not only would our marine animals suffer beyond belief, our economy would take a hit as well. Fishing, although not as strong an industry as it used to be, still contributes greatly to our state economy. Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time the state has had discussions about offshore oil drilling. In the 1980’s, there were groups that proposed that we drill oil from Georges Bank. Opponents rallied and had the notion shut down, with one of the leaders in the movement to prevent drilling being the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association. The Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association is a non-profit organization promoting the New England fishing industry, helping to preserve the Atlantic Ocean as a food supply for the world, and assisting active and retired fishermen and their families to live better lives. Once again, the Fishermen’s Wives association is at the forefront of protecting our sacred waters.

A pelican covered in crude oil as a result from the BP oil spill, 2010.


At a recent event held in Boston to promote awareness of this issue, Angela Sanfilippo (President of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives association) said, “Fishermen have made great sacrifices to protect fish stocks and here we go with something that will harm the marine habitat and the marine environment.” Ms. Sanfilippo makes a remarkable point. Fishing is the second most regulated industry in the world next to nuclear science. Fishermen have followed laws disallowing them hundreds of thousands of dollars of catch-and now, the same government that issued those laws is allowing groups the opportunity to engage in activities potentially detrimental  to fishing stocks.


Angela Sanfilippo, President of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association


It’s not often said, but let’s hope history repeats itself. If Massachusetts were to ever face a spill the proportion of the Horizon spill, it would be detrimental. If we want to solve an issue we must unite. We must come together with the best interest of future generations in mind. I hope we can be clear enough in our standards of living to come together to solve this problem.We cannot allow our most valuable resource- the environment in which we live- to be put at such a risk.