For this assessment you must conduct two interviews for your project. Each interview needs to consist of at least 10 open questions (as opposed to “yes” or “no” questions). Some of your questions may be the same between interviews, but at least three should refer specifically to the person you are interviewing at the time.
Submit your interview questions and their answers to your instructor, along with a one-paragraph reflection about how you feel each interview went. Identify areas where you did well and areas where you could have improved.
Interview with Mr. Scott Sanders of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
- What is your opinion on Offshore Drilling?
“I don’t have an opinion if you will as far as good or bad. I would say that projects of that nature need to assess what kind of impact they’re gonna have on the environment so that they can plan their project in a way that avoids as many of those impacts as possible, and where they can’t avoid of minimize they need to have a plan to mitigate or to offset any unavoidable impacts associated with the project.”
- Do you think offshore drilling in the Gulf affects our beaches here in Florida, either on the gulf side or on the eastern coast side even?
“Well I would say that there is potential for there to be impacts. Um again its gonna depend on how they are planned and what kind of contingency plans they have in place, should something happen.”
- What do you the worst thing that could happen with offshore drilling, what do you would have the biggest impact on Florida?
“Well I think something along the line of the Deepwater Horizon spill where some of the safety features that they had felt like they had in place did not end up working the way they hoped they would. And as a result there was a lot of oil that went directly into the water column, into the ocean for a quite a time, and we found it very difficult, if not very impossible to clean up immediately, and it dispersed and it caused some damage. So in my mind that represents a kind of worst case scenario, something that we kinda should avoid in the future.”
- Did you know that there is actually tons of waste that oil rigs release into the water constantly, so it’s not just and oil spill that could affect our environment, but constant rig waste in our oceans?
“You know I would have to say that I am not aware of that in any detail, I’ve never actually personally be out on an oil well.”
- What do you think is a good solution to our offshore drilling problems, what do you think we could do to make it safer?
“Well I think one we need to have good advance planning. We need to learn from the mistakes and problem and issues that we’ve had in the past, and they certainly don’t need to be cutting any corners on having plans and backup plans to avoid worst case scenarios. ”
Interview with Mr. Justin Williams of the National Ocean Industries Association
- What is your view on offshore drilling?
“Okay, I think it holds a tremendous potential for the US as far jobs, energy.Um I mean the numbers for developing energy offshore is generating 1.3 trillion dollars for economy, and 1.2 million jobs. I just is a tremendous asset that we are under utilizing.”
- What do we do in the case of a spill because oil spills are extremely harmful for our marine environment and they definitely do not help the environment, so what do we do in that case?
“Well there is legitimate environmental concerning the Deepwater Horizon, but the attitude I have gaged especially in the last few years, is that companies are putting such more of a focus on safety. I mean if you look at the BP settlement that settlement alone all penalties paid in the state and locally, 18- 20 billion dollars, and then an additional several billion dollars, even though the figure is not know because it’s still ongoing, but they will pay out for private damages. So you if there is actually a safety thing, it’s cost prohibitive for any sort of company to kind of throw safety to the wind, and I think the attitude now is we have to be safe, we have to protect our coast.”
- So what do you say to people who are skeptical or very much against offshore drilling, that you hope would change their view of offshore drilling?
“Well a lot of the criticism has been from two very visible issues. But I would just say look at the safety measures in the last five years. I mean look at when hurricanes Katrina and Rita came through, the preparation that were used, there were nineteen oil rigs that were cut in the gulf, a very minimal amount of oil spill. I mean the bottom line is energy consumption throughout the world, not only in the US but throughout the world, is growing, and we have to get, the energy has to come from somewhere, do we want it to come from the US, do we want it to come from other countries, or the government, or other companies. We have safer standards in the US, nobody can really skirt the rules. I mean estimates put that in 2040 um about 80 percent of energy will still be fossil fuels, so the demand will be there, and if we do here in the US then it will be safer and better, more reliable, cleaner than if we out sources it to other parts of the world.”
- would happen if we stopped offshore drilling here in the US, other than the loss of all those jobs it does create, and um the potential for all that extra money coming in, what other impacts do you think it would have if we just stopped it all together?
“Well um, okay so I mean the jobs and economic thing is huge, and then you would kind of have the trickle effect from that, the ratio of federal revenue that is coming in, because government makes billions of dollars in oil sales and of oil that’s extracted. Also there is more of a push for foreign policy aspects, I think that prices in general would increase, because even though US oil refineries are constructed in a way that they can’t really process the type of crude oil that is in the US, they can process oil from other countries, so there will be sort of global increase, so consumers will feel a pinch on their pockets from everything from heating to filling up the gas tank, to airplane flights which is already something that is highly taxed, I just think that the general standard of living will get much more expensive.”
- Okay, so I recently read a study from the US Dept. Of Energy and they stated that because oil prices are determined by the international market, any impact on average wellhead prices through offshore oil drilling would not be significant enough, do you agree with that, and if so, why?
“Well I think that in the short-term the offshore time window is about 10 to 15 years from the time you drill, to when you process and refine it, so that window is very large, I mean I haven’t actually read the study, and looked at the methodology, but there obviously is a lot of uncertainty, I’m not sure what particular time frame is in the study. Now if you look in the basic sense 10 to 15 years out, how much energy will the world consume? Now the averages prices, I think it would have an impact on energy prices, by the time it hit the market. Yea so without actually looking at the study, I can’t really respond to it specifically but that there has to be a lot of uncertainty built it to the models for that study.”
- Okay one last question. Are you aware that offshore oil rigs actually not only produce the obviously inevitable oil spill, but they additionally dump thousands of gallons of chemical slug waste into the from the oil rig itself in to the ocean, are you aware of that, and what should we do to stop that?
“I think that it goes back to the emphasis that we’ve seen of companies understating the liability. If you look prior to about 5 years ago, there was a lot of finger-pointing from the oil major pointing down to the companies that they are contracting out, I mean you have to understand that these are extremely complex processes with several companies of various sizes involved, on the outside a lot of people oh this is BP, this is Shell, or Exxon, but surely this is really so complicated so my point is that there is a lot of finger-pointing. Now in the last few years, there really has been a strong development in setting up contract between service providers and the actually companies, producers themselves, and establishing clear lines of liability throughout the supply chain, so I think through these developments the whole process has gotten a cleaner, and a lot safer. And then also there is, I mean the federal government has been a very strong backer of uh, you know um decommissioning the rigs, so it’s not as challenging as in the past to clean them up, and they are sinking them to the bottom of the ocean, becoming some sort of marine estuaries. I mean if you look at sort of economy of the western gulf of Mexico, which that is the main area of the US aside from part of Alaska, and offshore um, Louisiana produces I think a couple of times more energy from their own sources than the other states California, Alabama, Texas, combined, but they also have some most rich, I think are like somewhere between number 4 or number 5 in recreational fishing and some of the richest commercial fisheries on this continent, in fact they might be like number 1 in that area. But I think that you any industry, no matter what it is, does have an environmental impact but I think, you we look at the western gulf of Mexico, they have a very, multi decade experience in the oil industry, and they are for the most part doing a good job out there, as far as protecting wildlife because you still have a large portion of those states economies that are dependant on tourism, are dependent on fishing, so yea it’s in their best interest to prevent it.”
Thank you to both the Men I interviewed. I greatly appreciate the time y’all took out of your extremely busy day to let a High School student interview you for a some little article. Thank you so much.