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Oil In The Delaware River Essay

1495 words - 6 pages

In this project we explored the oil industry along the Delaware River, and considered its social, economic, environmental implications in local, regional, global contexts. Clearly the oil industry along the Delaware River has prospered the local, regional, and in some sense global economy. It has also, however, brought about social, environmental issues, positive or negative, directly or indirectly. We are trying to view the oil industry along the Delaware River in a dialectical way, to give the pros and cons, because it is really difficult to make a definite conclusion.
We chose to focus on Trainer Refinery, which is located along the Delaware River. Trainer Refinery is owned by Monroe ...view middle of the document...

In this sense, TNCs have positive effects on the local communities in providing jobs.
It was a bit surprising to see that this January, Trainer Refinery spilled 1,000 gallons of oil into the Delaware River due to the rupture of a gas line. Initially we thought that this would be a compelling figure, that this amount of oil spill could do significant damage to the Delaware River. After consulting the chemistry members and their professor, however, we found that this amount was actually relatively insignificant to this large river, since rivers have self-cleaning abilities. Although Trainer Refinery was listed as the second largest polluter along the Delaware River, the main pollutants are nitrate compounds, which cause the eutrophication of the water body, rather than our focus – oil. These results motivated us to turn to the origin of the crude oil.
We discovered that BP Company (British Petroleum) extracts shale gas in Mid-west United States, which is transported to Trainer Refinery by rail. We see that the industry of shale gas extraction more than tripled from 2010 to 2014. The prosperity of the shale oil industry has brought about various regional impacts (in those shale oil production areas), including economic, social, environmental issues. First, the development of shale gas industry promotes the job opportunities regionally, including transportation, warehousing, gas extraction, etc. Some of the local communities have high proportion of people that are employed in gas industry. We could say that the gas industry has significant effects on the development of regional economies. Second, we discovered that despite the economic prosperity, shale gas extraction has had important social impacts on these mid-west local communities. In these communities, there have been growing levels of stress, inequality, and increasing issues with housing and social services, reportedly. Meanwhile, the industry has increased the price of commodities and rents. To some extent, these originally quite, peaceful mid-west towns have been disturbed by the oil industry. Third, we learned that the shale gas extraction industry has negative effects on environments regionally. Tons of toxic wastes pollute the ground water, which then affects the local ecosystem. Additionally, during the process of shale gas extraction, huge amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted to the air, which is dangerous to human body, and also does harm to the environment. We should note that these emissions could also potentially have global impacts. In summary, while the gas industry prospered regional economies, it also has brought about various social and environmental issues that need to be dealt with.
After exploring the origin of crude oil, we turned to investigate the relation between the oil industry along the Delaware River and the globe. The end product that we are focusing on – jet fuel, clearly has its global social, economic, and environmental impacts. First,...

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