Exploring Realities Of Offshore Oil Drilling

Offshore drilling

A rare and endangered blue whale, one of at least four feeding 11 miles off Long Beach Harbor in the Catalina Channel, spouts near offshore oil rigs near Long Beach, California. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David McNew/Getty Images

In a time of ever-increasing energy prices, this week President Bush overturned a long-standing executive order banning offshore oil exploration in certain parts of the country. The move is largely symbolic at this point, as additional congressional action would be needed to fully open up offshore oil drilling.

Offshore drilling has also turned into an election-year issue, with presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain supporting ending the drilling ban, while the campaign of presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama says opening up offshore drilling "would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for 30 years."

Robert Kaufmann, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Boston University, talks about the realities of offshore oil drilling, including how much oil there might be, when it would be available and what the consequences could be.

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