Wherever the oil flows, the risk is great:
Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center’s Offshore Drilling, Onshore Damage delves into a series of possible adverse impacts offshore drilling would have on land well beyond state’s beaches.
The report released Wednesday highlights the infrastructure needed on land to support offshore drilling. Construction of pipelines and potential ruptures of those lines, the possibility of spills at marine and port terminals, construction or expansion of oil refineries, and on-land disposal of offshore waste generated from drilling are “less known, but no less real,” according to the report.
The drilling is bad enough, but the transportation of crude oil has also been a major source of pollution and massive spills:
Environment North Carolina’s report calls attention to real-life examples of failed pipelines, oil spills at port terminals and the release of oil from storm-damaged structures into the environment.
One such example is the 2015 release of more than 120,000 gallons of crude oil west of Santa Barbara, California, where an onshore, underground pipeline transporting oil from drilling platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel to inland refineries ruptured.
“Oil flowed into the ocean, coated birds and mammals, and forced the closure of two state beaches,” according to the report.
Pacific Ocean waves lapped oil onto beaches some 80 miles south of the spill site. Nearly 100 mammals and more than 200 birds were killed. Local fisheries closed.
See the picture above, if you need visual proof. That's about the distance between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, if you need another reference.