Oil and natural gas companies continue to do their part in locating new domestic reserves in order to lighten America's ever-deepening dependence upon foreign produced petroleum. Companies like Some companies use all the tools at their disposal as they continually fine-tune their efforts. It seems, however, that at every turn, environmental lobbyists, petrified by accidents that have occurred in the past, take enormous pains to block each new site offered up for exploration by these companies. New oil and gas reserves are being discovered by private firms in much the same way that "wildcatters" and explorers found the deposits in the early years of exploring. The main differences should be shown to help better protect the environment, never to harm or destroy it. One such hotbed for lobbyists concerns the large deposits of oil and natural gas that many geologists believe lie in wait beneath the lake beds of America's Great Lakes.
The murky waters of Lake Michigan lie at the center of this debate because beneath its floor lies buried a 430 million year old coral reef. Oil and natural gas form in these areas of decayed and compressed matter, and the older and deeper buried, the more rewarding the deposit could quite possibly be. The invisible line that separates the United States and Canada runs through Lake Michigan's broad waters. On the Canadian side, oil and natural gas exploration has continued, unimpeded and unfettered by legislation, providing Canadians with over 414 billion cubic feet of natural gas and over 85 million barrels of oil.
Canadians benefit greatly from these domestic reserves and employ many newly improved and safer methods for their oil and gas extraction. The main method that has made gains in the last couple of decades in fine-tuning and success is directional drilling. This technique allows land based oil or natural gas rigs to drill through tons of rock and soil out into the lake bed without actually being constructed upon platforms on the lake proper. This allows drilling to take place miles offshore while also reducing the risk of spills into the precious body of water. Any spills would most likely take place on land, ensuring less environmental damage because of quicker and easier cleanup. This relatively low risk of spillage is reflected in the low cost of control-of-well insurance outfits must purchase in order to drill. Because more than 3800 well bores have been implemented without incident in Michigan alone, the cost of insuring each new well is a very affordable $33 a year.
Lobbyists for exploration companies continue to grapple in Washington with environmental lobbyists, weighing the pros and cons of further development; these deposits will continue to richen, as the debates continue