Headlines: Drilling for Oil

Oil RigFollowing up on Lucy’s post yesterday about the cost of traveling and oil, there was a headline today in the New York Times (paper edition) which read “Bush to Seek an End to Ban on Oil Drilling.” I want to explain this headline and a little about the story behind it.

To seek means that someone is looking for something, but here it means Bush intends to or will try to do something. A ban means something is not allowed, not permitted. In most U.S. restaurants, there is a smoking ban. Ban can also be a verb, as in “We banned smoking in our restaurant.” Drilling comes from the verb to drill, which means to make a hole in the ground in order to find something such as oil or gas.

So, what does the headline mean? Many years ago the government decided that it would not allow oil companies to drill for oil in certain areas in the country because of the possible damage to the environment (water, air, etc.). What President Bush is now planning to do is ask the Congress (our elected national representatives in Washington D.C.) to allow oil companies to do more drilling, to end the ban on drilling in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico and certain protected areas of the state of Alaska. The president wants to allow “enviromentally-friendly” drilling, meaning drilling that will not cause damage to the environment.

Why all this sudden interest in oil drilling? Well, the price of oil is very high, so people are looking for new sources of oil to lower the price. But there are many politicians and others who think that drilling for more oil is not worth the risk (danger, possible damage). Othes are saying that the U.S. should try to use less energy, and look for sources of energy that do not require oil.


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9 Responses to Headlines: Drilling for Oil

  1. Fred says:

    Thank you for your explanation.

  2. emiliano says:

    As much as I know Bush always has wanted to drill in Alaska, and now is his best chance to do it. We say in Spanish (“la ocasión la pintan calva” o tambien: “aprovechando que el rio Pisuerga pasa por Valladolid”, voy a promulgar esta u otra ley, etc.), and I think that’s a big and great mistake to do such a thing like that.
    And if there is a Band to prevent drill into that enviroments is just for something very important, also to prevent such a thing like that…..what is Bush going to do really is to increase incomes of Big Oil Companies with the reason of fuel prices, or looking for public reasons……always looking for a good reason to justify bussines.
    I think politicians try us as silly people, may be that’s true? I don’t know really, but I think is better just to use less energy or look for other sourses of energy less agresive with the nature.

  3. Ari Fernando Ramos says:

    In Brazil, since 1970, when happened the first oil crisis, the fuel price has gone up. Fortunately, since then, the research of national and foreigner Oil Companies has succeed in develloping new oil field offshore. Besides, the production of ethanol from sugar cane has been succesful.We hope the fuel price stop to increase, or even decrease, soon.

  4. Gulls says:

    Our planet and most of its inhabitants are gradually squeezed lemons.

    A : I want not to live on a planet full of holes.
    B : Bore out the holes.

  5. emiliano says:

    I am really very upset with this matter, so I have to insist, is it possible to make big holes in the ground at an enviromentally friendly way? Who is supposed to control these
    friendly holes?. Bush? Oil companies? you? me?.
    I do not believe anything about friendly nature way of making big holes where nature is virgin like in Alaska, and Alaska is not only propierty of USA, it belongs to all people on the earth.
    Some persons have to go home as soon as possible and not making more great mistakes as he or they have done already.

  6. Hamude says:

    i think buch cann’t get the solution through his intent to end the ban of oil drilling. if he stops to lead the malicious wars in the whole word then the price of fuel will be decreased automatically. just allone to finance the war from the increasing the price of fuel is not a good idea. the peaple and the economy will suffer from thus intents.

  7. robert says:

    I can´t help myself, those things reminded me on the storyline of John Grishams´ “The Pelican Brief”
    I had to read it for the Cambridge CAE Exam

    I hope there aren´t two judges who going to be assassinated soon….

  8. Matteo says:

    To me Bush appears not to be a faresighted politician. A wise man in his position should look for alternatives sources of energy or a contingency plan for the sake of his Country.
    A thirsty man who is dying has no choice: he has to drink the last drop of water, but a man who has still chances to live longer is suppose to use his brain and do the best to prepare is future. Is Bush leading his country in the right direction ?

  9. Jose Antonio says:

    I find very interesting the explanation on such headlines. Very often I found to much difficult to understand the news and papers language. So, thank you for the lightening!
    In the meantime, and talking about President Bush… the Iraq war wasn’t supposed to reduce oil prices ? Oh no, I’ve forgotten the “true” reason, the massive destructive arms.

    Please, stop treating us like idiots.

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