The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Bruce Allen Says Offshore Production Is Good for the Environment

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted February 26, 2010


Bruce Allen, a physicist from Santa Barbara, California, is a man on a mission. As co-founder of SOS California (Stop Oil Seeps California), he came to Washington this week to deliver a message that he believes could change the debate over offshore energy development.

Bruce says offshore oil production is good for the environment.

During the past few years, Bruce has combed through numerous papers and studies, including some from the National Academy of Sciences. His research shows that naturally-occurring oil seeps in the ocean floor are leaking 70,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil into California's coastal waters every year along an 80-mile stretch of the state's shoreline.

How do you lessen the environmental impact of the oil? Bruce says you drill for it and refine it into useful products for Californians.

Bruce says it has been proven that offshore oil production lessens the flow of the natural seeps by relieving oil-field pressure. Less seeping oil means cleaner beaches, cleaner water, and fewer impacts on wildlife.

Furthermore, he says expanded offshore oil production in the Santa Barbara area could help to reduce the amount of methane gas that naturally bubbles to the surface. Methane is a greenhouse gas and can contribute to poor air quality.

On Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation, Bruce unveiled a new documentary, "A Crude Reality," about the benefits of offshore oil production in Santa Barbara. Watch the trailer for his film on SOS California's website.

(image: SOS California)


Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.