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How Close is Too Close For Offshore Drilling?
WOKV ^ | June 11th | Jared Halpern

Posted on 06/18/2009 3:46:57 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing

Congress is debating a bill that would open up oil and natural gas platforms just ten miles from portions of Florida's Gulf and Atlantic coasts. It's putting pressure on state lawmakers to decide how close is too close to search for new energy sources.

As it stands, oil and natural gas exploration is limited to dozens of miles away from Florida's beaches and some in the state worry that allowing access just ten miles away, in Federal waters, puts Florida at risk environmentally without any of the financial windfalls.

(Excerpt) Read more at wokv.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: drillheredrillnow; drilling; energy; gasprices; offshoredrilling; oil; seeatsea; vision
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This bothers me. WOKV is a talk radio affiliate, but they refuse to answer their own question as if the answer doesn't exist.

How Far Can You See at Sea?

The equation is this: Visible distance (nautical miles) = 1.17 × Square root of the height (feet)

What that means is that an oil derrick 100 feet tall would be entirely below the horizon at 11.7 nautical miles (13.5 statute miles) from shore. (Multiply nautical miles by 1.15 to get statute miles.) If painted sea green/blue, they’d be invisible even closer.

1 posted on 06/18/2009 3:46:57 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing
I am entirely with you on this one, there is an urgent national need for oil and a reasonable accommodation must be made by those onshore to provide it. Only Ted Kennedy should be accorded a flawless prospect.

Nevertheless, how does the elevation of the Observer affect your formula?


2 posted on 06/18/2009 3:54:59 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

I say put the rigs on the beaches if we have to-—DRILL, BABY DRILL!


3 posted on 06/18/2009 3:58:59 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left!)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

Once they nationalize the greedy oil industry the socialists will drill for oil everywhere, look for a platform on your lawn at that point.


4 posted on 06/18/2009 4:01:18 AM PDT by stockpirate (The 2nd amendment protects all other rights as outlined in our constitution. Without it we fall.)
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To: nathanbedford

Depending on the elevation and again assuming an 11 mile distance with a 100 foot tall oil rig, it would surely make a small portion of the rig visible.

But keep in mind the limitations of human vision vs distance.(perspective)

What you’d see would be merely a black speck on the horizon that at first you wouldn’t know if it was a boat or anything else unless you sat there for hours and just stared at it and realized that it wasn’t moving anywhere.

Also keep in mind how rigs are built. The highest points of these rigs are often times not the bulk of the platform.


5 posted on 06/18/2009 4:01:46 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing (Obama's war on prosperity : Liberal newspapers hardest hit)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

For some places that would be fine, but for areas which rely on tourism dollars the NIMBY argument does carry weight.

Especially considering technologies such as slant drilling. There’s absolutely no need to put tourism dollars at risk when you don’t have to.


6 posted on 06/18/2009 4:03:05 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing (Obama's war on prosperity : Liberal newspapers hardest hit)
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To: stockpirate

Heh heh it’s for the good of the collective you know. :-)


7 posted on 06/18/2009 4:03:40 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing (Obama's war on prosperity : Liberal newspapers hardest hit)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

500’ should be ample!


8 posted on 06/18/2009 4:06:05 AM PDT by dalereed
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

“There’s absolutely no need to put tourism dollars at risk when you don’t have to.”

How in the hell does an oil platform put tourism dollars at risk!

Does a ship passing by drive everyone inland?

Shove your it isn’t natural up your backside!


9 posted on 06/18/2009 4:09:15 AM PDT by dalereed
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing
I somehow missed the major networks reporting all the environmental disasters from hurricanes Katrina and Ike.

There may have been small incidents, but no 'Valdez' type disasters from the thousands of wells and miles of pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico.

10 posted on 06/18/2009 4:10:36 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

No one is touring ... there is no tourism as it once was .... no one can afford it.


11 posted on 06/18/2009 4:14:04 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: stockpirate
look for a platform on your lawn at that point.

That's a promise I hope.
12 posted on 06/18/2009 4:17:13 AM PDT by TheLawyerFormerlyKnownAsAl
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To: knarf

>>No one is touring ... there is no tourism as it once was .... no one can afford it.<<

Exactly.


13 posted on 06/18/2009 4:18:23 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner
I say put the rigs on the beaches if we have to

A friend of mine did volunteer work at her local visitors center  and she tells of once getting a call from  a tourist asking which beach is closest to the ocean

14 posted on 06/18/2009 4:25:35 AM PDT by grjr21
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

Nothing personal, but I think that the “threat to tourism” angle is just dumb. Somebody should ask Santa Barbara if oil rigs at sea bothers tourists.

On the contrary, many tourists go to Santa Barbara just to see the infamous oil rigs.


15 posted on 06/18/2009 4:33:09 AM PDT by jimtorr
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing
You've got your facts on the visibility issue down pat. My father, who was a sea captain imparted your formula to me based on someone on the bridge of a ship and your numbers work almost to a tee.

The other benefit to rigs 10 or 12 miles off the coast is the reef effect that results. Fishing the rigs has been nothing but spectacular off the Louisiana coast.

16 posted on 06/18/2009 4:36:19 AM PDT by Recon Dad (Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - MARSOC DAD)
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To: dalereed; jimtorr

————How in the hell does an oil platform put tourism dollars at risk!-—————

Stigma.

As conservatives we’ve been fighting the drive by media for many, many decades.

It’s taken a long time to get to a place where we can effectively fight back but their propaganda and notions go very deep. They have a huge head start on us.

Simply by being ‘news’ outlets they have a unique ability to spout their drivel from the standpoint of sheer fact.

That’s incredibly damaging and it’s something that can’t be ignored. Sure, we here at FR are largely immune to their efforts but way too many aren’t and act accordingly every single day.


17 posted on 06/18/2009 4:40:51 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing (Obama's war on prosperity : Liberal newspapers hardest hit)
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To: Recon Dad
Thanks.

You may find this particular thread worthy of a few minutes.

Offshore Drilling is good for oceans and beaches

18 posted on 06/18/2009 4:42:41 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing (Obama's war on prosperity : Liberal newspapers hardest hit)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

You have to run that equation from both the oil platform end (as you did) and from the viewer’s end, then add the two distances together to get the true horizon distance for that situation. In this case, the viewer’s position would be 1.17 x the Square root of the height of the highest condo or hotel room balcony facing the Gulf (just wait and see...). Figure that if both ends are 100 feet, the horizon distance just doubled to 23 miles.


19 posted on 06/18/2009 4:46:34 AM PDT by Charles Martel ("Endeavor to persevere...")
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To: TheLawyerFormerlyKnownAsAl
"look for a platform on your lawn at that point.
That's a promise I hope."

"Mornin' ma'am .. I'm from the ABC Oil Company, and we'd like the right of way to your back yard and be allowed to drill there. We'll put in a sturdy, but decorative 'driveway' to support our equipment, and when the drilling is done, we will return your land to as original appearance as possible.

Now, here's a check for $42,000 for this agreement and a contract for you to receive a 2% commission check every month.

(This is not so far fetched ... the gas/oil drillers here in SW Penn. have given my daughter and son-in-law just such a deal and there is no acrual promise it will ever be done ((other feilds are being developed)), but the money became income my s.i.l. had to pay taxes on last year as it is considered income.)

20 posted on 06/18/2009 4:47:22 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: TexasCajun

—————I somehow missed the major networks reporting all the environmental disasters from hurricanes Katrina and Ike.—————

That’s because there were no major spills.

There were indeed minor ones though. Here, take a look:

http://skytruth.mediatools.org/taxonomy/term/432

I actually look forward to using this link for one simple reason:

The ocean eats oil. The corrosive nature of salt water is no secret, even amongst people who aren’t fishermen or even those who have lived years by oceans. It’s just common knowledge.

Go ahead, look at the pics. None of that stuff reached the shores. The gulf took care of it.

Have you ever noticed that you never see modern pics of prince william sound in the media? That’s because all traces of the spill have been eliminated by nature herself.

Wherever there is oil under the seafloor, there are natural seepages. So if you live in an area where the beaches are very nice but is also a state(such as florida) where they talk often about offshore drilling, all it simply means is that the seeps are slow enough for the ocean itself to manage.


21 posted on 06/18/2009 4:50:50 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing (Obama's war on prosperity : Liberal newspapers hardest hit)
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To: knarf

PS .. I should have added they are on a farm of about 73 acres


22 posted on 06/18/2009 4:50:58 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: knarf

For now there isn’t. But the economy will recover eventually.


23 posted on 06/18/2009 4:51:22 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing (Obama's war on prosperity : Liberal newspapers hardest hit)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing
This would be fantastic. Fishermen would only have to go 11.7 miles out to troll for, sailfish, marlin, barracuda, etc. etc. Fish love oil platforms!
24 posted on 06/18/2009 4:52:41 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

Extremely interesting ... thank you.


25 posted on 06/18/2009 4:54:26 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing
"For now there isn’t. But the economy will recover eventually."

And I'll be at the beach gawking at all those nubile, young (l)asses ... or home with MY wife.

Oil rig?

WHAT oil rig .... gimmee 'nother beer.

26 posted on 06/18/2009 4:56:26 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing
How many power transmission lines get put up in areas that are completely visible for all to see. One after the other marching across the horizon.
One rig today can push 50 wells so the rig count can be so minimal that fishermen will complain there are not enough!

Drill baby drill!

27 posted on 06/18/2009 5:01:12 AM PDT by Recon Dad (Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - MARSOC DAD)
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To: Ditter
--------Fish love oil platforms!-----------

They do. If you wish to see videos and pics you can go here.

28 posted on 06/18/2009 5:03:57 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing (Obama's war on prosperity : Liberal newspapers hardest hit)
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To: Recon Dad

-————How many power transmission lines get put up in areas that are completely visible for all to see. One after the other marching across the horizon.—————

The media hasn’t fearmongered about transmission lines spilling copper all over the place for the last 30 years.

Have they?

There’s no stigma attached to that. Yet.

They’re trying. But without their monopoly, I don’t expect much mileage.


29 posted on 06/18/2009 5:05:51 AM PDT by Halfmanhalfamazing (Obama's war on prosperity : Liberal newspapers hardest hit)
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To: knarf

I’d even be willing to allow them to put two rigs on my property, like in Texas, for example.


30 posted on 06/18/2009 5:30:53 AM PDT by TheLawyerFormerlyKnownAsAl
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

re: put tourism dollars at risk when you don’t have to.

I can think of few things that would put tourism dollars at risk more surely than an oil embargo or some other serious interruption to the oil flow. In Florida’s case it would not only disrupt tourism to our beaches, but also to every other tourist attraction in our state. Oil rigs, OTOH, even in full view of the beach goers would affect only that section of beach. A spill, God forbid, would have the same effect, although much more devastating.

Sadly, we could do a lot to ease our energy problems by using more nuclear energy. I suggest a trade, no oil rigs along the coast in return for new nuclear power sources. I’m tired of environmentalists being able to have it both ways. It’s time they give up something!


31 posted on 06/18/2009 5:32:10 AM PDT by jwparkerjr (God Bless America!)
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To: knarf

You must not have tried to visit Disney World or Sea World in Florida lately.


32 posted on 06/18/2009 5:33:27 AM PDT by jwparkerjr (God Bless America!)
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To: knarf
This is not so far fetched ... the gas/oil drillers here in SW Penn. have given my daughter and son-in-law just such a deal and there is no acrual promise it will ever be done...

Thanks to the Supreme Court's Kelo decision and Obambi's fascism, the oil company will be the government and they will simply take your land for pennies on the dollar (kind of like they did to the Chrysler bondholders). Many will be happy that the "civilian security force" (alias: SS, Panthers, or ACORN) didn't kill them in the process.

33 posted on 06/18/2009 5:36:14 AM PDT by meyer ( "The world is a beautiful place and worth fighting for. But not without Freedom.")
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing
The media hasn’t fearmongered about transmission lines spilling copper all over the place for the last 30 years.

Well, there was the big EMF media-induced panic of the 1980's and 1990's. Anything to support NIMBY-ism, I guess.

It's still a major, major undertaking to site and build a power transmission line. Go to one of the public meetings when a utility proposes building one, and see all the interesting commentary. People want the electricity, but they don't want the infrastructure that provides it.

34 posted on 06/18/2009 5:40:32 AM PDT by meyer ( "The world is a beautiful place and worth fighting for. But not without Freedom.")
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing
The equation is this: Visible distance (nautical miles) = 1.17 × Square root of the height (feet)

That equation only applies to absolutely clear atmosphere. At Panama City, FL. a Navy platform (looked just like a rig) 3 miles offshore was barely visible from shore during normal weather (sea haze & humidity) but could be seen easily in the fall with low humidity. Another, larger, platform 12 miles out became visible on very rare occasions such as in fall or winter following passage of a cold front.

During tourist season, humidities are high and the onshore sea-breeze keeps haze levels high and visibilities down to about 6 or 7 miles.

I have operated sea going vessels in and out of there since the 1960's and coming in from offshore we start seeing the condos at about that distance and they are taller than most rigs. Some hazy summer days it shrinks to just 3 miles or so.

35 posted on 06/18/2009 5:45:31 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: knarf
No one is touring ... there is no tourism as it once was .... no one can afford it.

In many ways, it would be nice if this were true, but it's simply not. Traffic stinks where I like to go, people are touring!

36 posted on 06/18/2009 5:45:54 AM PDT by Travis T. OJustice (I can spell just fine, thanks, it's my typing that sucks.)
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To: Charles Martel
You have to run that equation from both the oil platform end (as you did) and from the viewer’s end, then add the two distances together to get the true horizon distance for that situation. In this case, the viewer’s position would be 1.17 x the Square root of the height of the highest condo or hotel room balcony facing the Gulf (just wait and see...). Figure that if both ends are 100 feet, the horizon distance just doubled to 23 miles.

You didn't factor in visibility effects of the persistent haze along the Florida coast. I have operated sea-going vessels in and out of Florida ports since the 1960's. A handful of times during crystal clear weather when a cold front has brought in clear air with low humidities, we could see condos at twelve miles (verified by radar)....most of the time during tourist season we're lucky to penetrate 5 or 6 miles to see something as large as a condo.

37 posted on 06/18/2009 5:50:54 AM PDT by capt. norm (Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

i live on the atlantic coast of florida...i say drill baby drill....gas in daytona is back to 2.79 a gal and rising daily....i was in california back in early 99 and driving the coast they had platforms visable from the shore...wasn’t anything wrong with it in my opinion and when is the last time we heard of a disaster out there...


38 posted on 06/18/2009 5:53:24 AM PDT by tatsinfla
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To: jwparkerjr

i don’t think they could see the rigs from either of those places...


39 posted on 06/18/2009 5:57:09 AM PDT by tatsinfla
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

10 miles is FINE. Drill HERE, drill NOW!!


40 posted on 06/18/2009 6:06:01 AM PDT by 2harddrive (then)
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To: tatsinfla

LOL!

As you travel along I-4 between Tampa and Orlando you traverse an area where there are several oil wells, dutifully pumping away all day, all night. They are fake, put there by the guy who owns Fantasy of Flight to commemorate his family’s debt to black gold as the source of their wealth.

If you ever have occasion to visit the area spending some time at Fantasy of Flight is a great experience. They have lots and lots of aircraft of all types in all stage of restoration. I would not hesitate to recommend it!


41 posted on 06/18/2009 6:12:14 AM PDT by jwparkerjr (God Bless America!)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing
Yesterday the U.S.Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved an energy bill by a 15-8 vote. Oil and gas companies would be able to drill in U.S. coastal waters that remain off-limits — an issue the House did not address.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson promised to filibuster the bill unless the offshore drilling provisions are removed.

Posted on FR yesterday:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2273682/posts#4

Count on Nutty Nelson to queer a good deal.

42 posted on 06/18/2009 6:17:41 AM PDT by shove_it (and have a nice day)
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To: capt. norm

I’m well aware of the coastal haze, having lived most of my life within a few miles of the Gulf. The real question is whether the Florida legislature is aware of such things.


43 posted on 06/18/2009 6:33:34 AM PDT by Charles Martel ("Endeavor to persevere...")
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To: jwparkerjr
"You must not have tried to visit Disney World or Sea World in Florida lately."

Certainly there are exceptions, but just as there is an emergence of tea partyers ... there is also (I think) a growing consciousness regarding thrift, value, worth .. etc. ... and "the vacation" is something to go and do nothing, or just plain relax (as opposed to being a taxi driver ... I've had a few vacations that needed a vacation to recover from the vacation).

"Wasn't that fun, kids? ... Now leave daddy alone, I want to sleep"

44 posted on 06/18/2009 7:13:32 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: knarf
A lot of the Central Florida visitors are foreign. They fly into Orlando and have a week's worth of things to do within 20 miles.

Busch Gardens here in Tampa is another good indicator of how well things are going for tourism in Florida. It's staying pretty busy, especially now with Summer here.

But you are certainly correct about tourism in Florida as a whole. I wonder how Silver Springs is doing these days. I know Weeki Wachi Springs recently cut their admission price in half and Cypress Gardens is open only on weekends.

45 posted on 06/18/2009 7:18:51 AM PDT by jwparkerjr (God Bless America!)
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To: shove_it

Sen. Nelson is going to use blackmail to keep from drilling in the Gulf off NW Florida. He will use the threat of closing our military bases if we don’t go along.

If he was honest, he would support nuclear energy if he was really afraid of losing tourism dollars. But he isn’t, as are none of them. It is all about party and getting re-elected.


46 posted on 06/18/2009 8:52:56 AM PDT by jch10
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing

This thing by the Democratic Congress is a TRAP!!! They are only allowing a small portion of offshore Florida to be drilled if they can get Republicans on board for cap-and-trade!


47 posted on 06/18/2009 9:23:58 AM PDT by avacado
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

amen...particularly in Ted Kennedy’s back yard?

Has he died yet?

Interesting that his sil Jackie also died of brain tumor


48 posted on 06/18/2009 9:45:44 AM PDT by Chickensoup ("Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.")
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To: jimtorr

“Nothing personal, but I think that the “threat to tourism” angle is just dumb. Somebody should ask Santa Barbara if oil rigs at sea bothers tourists.

On the contrary, many tourists go to Santa Barbara just to see the infamous oil rigs.”

I was down there just last week, driving for my sis and her husband, who were visiting from Alaska. His comment was “why aren’t there more drill rigs?”


49 posted on 06/18/2009 9:55:13 AM PDT by Mr Inviso (ACORN=Arrogant Condescending Obama Ruining Nation)
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To: Halfmanhalfamazing
Practicality would put a rig drilling a horizontal well within 2 to 4 miles of where the well is to end.

Beyond that, things get darned expensive.

The total height of an offshore drilling rig (from the water to the crown of the derrick) would be about 200 ft. That would be visible from the beach for roughly 20 miles.

If tourists can get used to fast food places and hotels near the 'pristine beaches', the sight of something offshore should not offend them.

As for environmental damage, no one from oil companies or drilling companies wants that, either, and every reasonable precaution is taken (and then some) to prevent problems.

50 posted on 06/18/2009 11:11:21 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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