And Flint Still Doesn’t Have Water Right?

But seriously.. I grew up in a small town that thrived on oil. I saw both sides of the need for safe drilling. I was raised to love the wilderness, not only for hunting, but also for the kinship it offers to all. Yet, that sense of community seemed lacking in our small town. Oil –Walmart — Taco Bell– these are the things that create action. But how in the heck can we figure out how to ensure our water stays safe? I wrote this to try to get into college… I’m still worked up about it 8 years later.

 

Common App Essay (250 Word Minimum)

Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.

*grabs microphone at TEDx event*

Growing usage levels of oil worldwide is a direct cause of increased oil drilling; but with the risks and shortcuts in mass drilling, major accidents and catastrophes can and will occur. For example, in recent months, BP Oil Company had a tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, damaging and destroying approximately 650 miles of shoreline with nearly 172 million gallons of oil. BP did have permission to drill in the Gulf, but shortcuts in the strict procedure allowed the spill. Environmentalists are fighting and working with BP to fix the situation. The environment is not a resource to be used and destroyed without consequence.

The situation in the Gulf of Mexico parallels a situation in my local community. A group of residents in the wooded Bradford Township in northwestern Pennsylvania had serious complaints of tainted water supplies in their homes. Governmental agencies, the DEP and EPA, have specific duties to provide people with clean air and drinking water. These citizens did not have clean drinking water, especially if the water is able to catch fire. A private drilling company had recently purchased rights to use the nearby land for oil drilling. Complaints began, after the drilling and oil processing began. Previously, the residents had a supreme quality of water from their wells. The water supply was tainted from improperly drilling and spilling the oil. This occurred over two years ago. Those residents must buy and use water from bottles or friends with city water. No fix is in site for these unfortunate residents. The company responsible for the problem provided bottled water for some residents, but that supply has since ended. The DEP claims that the water quality cannot be blamed on the company. The water was never tested prior to the drilling; therefore no change in quality can be determined. The environmentalists should be fighting this to the extreme, just as in the situation in the Gulf of Mexico. The small situation in Bradford does not have the magnitude to grab attention like the BP spill. The desperate need for oil causes drilling in more extreme places, whether the middle of the ocean or in our own backyards.

I worked specifically with the local water issue from its beginnings. A group of interested students, including myself, attempted to shine media attention to the situation. We evaluated the circumstances of the spill to see how disruptive the drilling and processing was to everyday life. Residents could not drink water, and showering in the water caused skin irritation. Being outside was uncomfortable due to the pungent odor of the spilled oil. A normal life was unattainable under these conditions. In the Gulf of Mexico, animals are losing their habits and valuable ocean resources are being polluted. These problems cannot be fixed without the funding from environmental sources and the attention of media sources. Eager oil companies use haphazard procedures leading to catastrophic spills harming, innocent people, animals, and ecosystems without reason. Neither the citizens, nor the environment should be punished for the desperate actions of the worldwide oil shortage.

A private drilling company had recently purchased the mineral rights to use the nearby land and once oil drilling and processing began, complaints began to surface. 

*drops mic*

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