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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

GCAGS Transactions


Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions
Vol. 44 (1994), Pages 441-445

Offshore Environmental Risks, Perceptions and "Corrective" Legislation

G. Rogge Marsh


The offshore petroleum industry in the United States has been subject to intense scrutiny ever since the first barge left the dock. Various interest groups have pointed out every possible negative event that could occur in marine petroleum operations, apparently employing the theory that if a circumstance can be imagined, it will likely happen. And, if the event happens, its impact on the environment will probably be devastating.

Congress has responded to these concerns, frequently in inappropriate and punitive ways. Over the past 40 years of Federal legislation, Congress' attitude has moved from facilitating offshore exploration and development to stifling it.

This paper will look at the potential for environmental endangerment in the Outer Continental Shelf, some of the reasons for the public's disproportionate concern, and the progression of legislation to address these concerns.

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