Oil in Our Parks

Thomas - Georgetown, Kentucky
Entered on September 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: environment

A few summers ago, my family and I visited Utah’s Arches National Park. The most famous sandstone sculpture is the Delicate Arch, which graces Utah’s license plates. The trail to the delicate arch is about a mile and a half, and the trail is not easy or hard. When you reach the end, you turn a corner, and then you feel the wind and see the arch. The day we were there, the sky was almost cloudless, so the entire scene looked surreal.

Now imagine if my family and I, had turned the corner, and instead of the arch, we saw oil well, pumping the earth. The sight might be impressive, but not for the same reason that the arch was impressive. Therefore, I believe that oil drilling in our National Parks should not be an option.

The purpose of these parks is to preserve the land, plants and animals, so our children and their children can see nature that might not exist in other places. How would our future generations view us if all they saw were old oil wells? The message they would receive would be that we were so dependent on crude oil; we had to destroy more of the environment just to satisfy our addiction.

Not only would the drilling have a negative effect in the future, but also in the present. The large machinery required for drilling would destroy trees, kill animals, and forever mar the land. Another danger would be the risk of fires. In the movie Hellfighters John Wayne plays Chance Buckman, a man who fights oil rig fires. The reason I bring this up is because the fires shown are so immense and powerful, they can only be put out with dynamite. Now imagine if something like that occurred in one of our national park forests. Forest fires are bad enough and difficult to control, but if they were so large and powerful, that they could only be extinguished with fires, no trees would be left.

Event though moving away from foreign oil is an excellent idea; oil should not be scouted out in our National Parks. Instead, we should be using our energies and funds for research on other sources of fuel, so that we can give up our need for fossil fuels.