Energy Production: A Moral Dilemma?

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The current situation regarding oil-retrieving and energy production in the United States is the same as the 1930’s. From oil drilling to fracking, similar problems in communities still arise. The essay, “Drilling in the City” by SDSU professor Sarah Elkind provides a historical context that helps us better understand the conflicts between energy production, opportunist industries, and environmental concerns in California. Secondly, in the article “American Power and Fracking boom,” Abeshouse digs into many current perspectives regarding energy production and analyzes the political interests of American politicians, in order to inform readers about the complex situation.

Lastly, in the article, “A Colossal Fracking Mess” by Christopher Bateman explores the negative aspects fracking has on the environment, especially human beings, to persuade his readers to oppose fracking. The essay by Elkind imparts a needed understanding of the historical issue regarding energy production in California, whereas Bateman’s article extends Elkind’s argument by providing additional emerging evidence of a similar problem, it adds tremendous support.

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However, Abeshouse complicates Elkinds argument by looking at a different perspective, the political side. One significant claim by Sarah Elkind in her essay was that, “Oil development pitted individuals and concepts of property rights against each other: it pitted landowners’ right to develop their oil and to exploit the mineral rights underlying their land against their neighbor’s right to enjoy their property without an industrial nightmare next door” (2).

To effectively support her claim she decides to present Venice, and Los Angeles conflicts in the 20s and 30s with the discovery of oil in that area.

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She explains how Angeleno’s contradicted and confronted each other with the same argument of property rights. Those homeowners who had potential oil profits looked at property rights as the “rights to exploit minerals and lease out property to drilling firms” and those who did not, fought for the right enjoy property free of problems and noise. Unfortunately, the ones with oil profits predominated.

To further support her evidence, she uses images as a rhetorical strategy to convey not only a better understanding of the issue but to regard the problem more serious. A second significant claim made by Sarah Elkind was that oil drilling was more favored during wartime especially World War 2 due to patriotism ideals. She supports her claim by presenting and explaining how television ads were used to inform and persuade citizens that oil was ammunition, so it was a needed resource for the war. She also points out the significant way that authority figures started to approve of oil drilling in the city, as a result, more citizens favored it considering themselves as patriots to their nation by “helping” with the war.

The third claim in Sarah Elkind’s essay was that oil production poses a threat to residential communities. She supports her claim by explaining that oil drilling caused spills, explosions, and noise disturbances to nearby citizens. She also presents that the environmental health around oil drilling in not at all good, so people who lived close by were endangered from catching a sickness. To make her evidence believable, she uses imagery and historical context, not only for her audience to know the reality of the problem but to get a glimpse of how it really was by relating images that disconcerted the readers. In all, Sarah Elkind presents important historical facts about the impacts oil findings had in Los Angeles and California as well. She uses a good amount of visually startling images that makes us better understand the situation but most importantly makes us think of oil development as horrible to society.

My secondary source, “A Colossal Fracking Mess” by Christopher Bateman impacts the analysis of my main text by making me understand even more of the negative consequences energy production has in the environment and society. It also makes me better understand the overall topic of energy production focusing more on the perspective of homeowner’s negative impacts of oil fracking nearby. It makes me better understand why many people opt to oppose the fracking technique to be used nearby them. The provided secondary source by Abeshouse impacts the analysis of my main text and gives me a broader perspective on energy production and its benefits. It reveals the political and economic benefits and how “higher” people see fracking. One significant benefit, for example, is that we can stop depending on other countries oil imports to us, and instead we can import out oil.

My chosen secondary text extends and proves Sarah Elkind’s essay by revealing a current conflict that is similar to that in Los Angeles in 1930. It provides evidence that supports Elkind’s main argument and demonstrates the negative impact energy production has. However, now it is not oil drilling, it is a new concept called Fracking. Therefore, supports Elkinds essay, but also extends the problem, and identifies what the problem is now. Fracking. Abeshouse however, complicates the position of Elkind by showing and explaining another significant perspective. It reveals the interest of the United States government, and it also presents its needed benefits. Like diminishing oil imports, and increasing exports, therefore, creating a better economic sustainability for the United States. Abeshouse’s article makes an even better understanding of the full complex problem occurring by providing with the other side of the story.

These three texts develop a full understanding of the conflicts between the different interests, benefits, and disadvantages, therefore piling diverse viewpoints to create a context in which we can distinguish the complex aspects of energy production in the United States. In conclusion, energy production in America is a very controversial issue, it could bring economic sustainability for America, but it could sacrifice America’s environmental state. Fracking can be damaging to the United States environmentally, and to the citizens internally. We have to see if advantages overcome disadvantages or vice-versa. There will be no point for America to be economically at its best, but health and environmentally at its worst. As I see things, we will have to find a way to avoid community health concerns, and avoid as much environmental waste in fracking in order for it to work.

Works Cited

  1. Bateman, Christopher. “A colossal fracking mess.” Vanity Fair 21 (2010): 1-5. Abeshouse, Bob. “American Power and the Fracking Boom.” 1 Oct. 2014. Web. 30 March 2015.
  2. Elkind, Sarah S. “Drilling in the City.” South California: University of California Press Journals, 2015. pp.267-282. Web.

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Energy Production: A Moral Dilemma?. (2021, Sep 14). Retrieved from

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