September 19, 2019 | 48° F

NUNDA: Oil drilling plans must continue to be opposed

Opinion Column: Capitalist Culture

In 2019, the population still faces problems involving oil drilling. While one part of the country strives towards a greener, more efficient future, the other half continues to push back with their environmentally harmful ways. Just recently President Donald J. Trump attempted to open up the Arctic in an attempt to further the hunt for what seems to be the earth’s gold mine: oil. We are almost into the second decade of the 21st century and fossil fuels are still being sought after, even with the knowledge of its detrimental impact on the environment as well as its lack of renewability. 

While the Trump administration has made an attempt to open up Arctic waters for oil drilling, Judge Sharon L. Gleason continues to draw back on its efforts, taking into consideration the impacts of climate change. Not many individuals with political power have taken into account the world challenges we are currently facing. But, Gleason stated that the Trump administration’s efforts were “unlawful” and have “exceeded the president's authority.” 

Since he has been in office, Trump has gone through a pattern of undoing and redoing policies that were set by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama. It seems as though the current president has a hidden agenda to simply provoke Obama by undermining his past decisions. Trump lacks even the slightest bit of what can be defined as good judgement. He makes irrational decisions without taking into account the after effects of his thinking on future generations. 

The attempt to open up Arctic waters to oil drilling is almost like a hard slap in the face to the previous administration that held office. Trump’s order completely violates Obama’s 2015 and 2016 decision to withdraw from drilling that included “120 million acres of Arctic Ocean and about 3.8 million acres in the Atlantic.” The two decisions are a complete contrast from each other’s way of thinking. One takes into consideration the well-being of the planet and the further impacts oil drilling will have on current and future generations, while the other acts ignorant toward these factors. 

In Washington, D.C., Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled to direct the Bureau of Land Management to further look into Obama’s previous environmental decisions. The order obstructs Trump’s oil drilling attempts and prevents his administration from further venturing into the fossil fuel industry. 

Gleason and Contreras are just two supporters in the judicial system aiming to promote the greener lifestyle we are striving toward. Taking a shift from fossil fuels to more eco-friendly sources is just the kind of push we need. Energy sources such as wind energy is one of the rising alternatives in the market. 

For one very obvious reason, wind does not emit the harmful contaminants to the air that power plants often do because of the combustion of coal and natural gas. Wind energy also opens up an array of jobs for unemployed people. The environmental sector can be a tricky and high-demand business as not so many individuals are immediately jumping at the thought of eradicating climate change and reversing global warming. 

But, the Department of Energy has stated that, “wind has the potential to support more than 600,000 jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance and supporting services by 2050.” Not only is the use of wind power contributing to further bettering the environment and working toward a more sustainable future, but the renewable energy source would help to increase the nation’s clean energy economy at the global level as well. 

We are a society moving toward more sustainable ways. The recent oil drilling attempt is just one way of trying to push us back from reaching this goal. We cannot allow individuals in political power to make decisions that negatively impact the future and well-being of generations to come. The time to make a switch toward a greener society is now.

Stacey Nunda is a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences sophomore majoring in environmental planning and design. Her column, “Capitalist Culture,” runs on alternate Thursdays.


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Stacey Nunda

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