Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center
Offshore drilling relies on onshore pipelines, waste disposal facilities, ports and refineries that endanger public health by polluting the air and water, and threaten wildlife and ecosystems.
Increased offshore drilling may mean new pipelines will be constructed to carry oil and gas onshore from offshore wells, increasing the risk of leaks that endanger sensitive coastal ecosystems. Or, it may result in more oil tankers and barges coming and going from U.S. ports, either delivering crude oil from offshore production sites or picking up oil for export. Increased offshore oil production may lead to construction of new refineries or the expansion of existing ones, adding to the air pollution already burdening nearby communities.
This report describes in more detail how increased offshore oil and gas production may affect people and the environment onshore as new infrastructure is built or as existing facilities are used more intensively.