The US is the largest consumer of oil in the world, but its domestic production can't meet the country's oil needs. The choice to drill offshore remains controversial, and this balanced title in the Compact Research: Energy and the Environment series offers students a starting place for looking at both sides of the debate. The straightforward text begins with a brief history of America's offshore drilling, from the first oil rigs off the coast of California at the turn of the twentieth century to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. The bulk of the text focuses on four areas of concern: whether the U.S. needs to drill offshore, potential environmental risks, the adequacy of drilling regulations, and the future of offshore drilling. Following each section are primary source quotes, key facts, and connected maps, charts, and graphs. Although the book only includes two photographs, extensive back matter includes a chronology, a bibliography, source notes, related organizations, and key people and advocacy groups. The best feature is providing enough information for students to make their own informed decisions.Hydropower: ISBN 978-1-60152-122-4 / eBook: 978-1-60152-434-8
Gr 5 Up These timely volumes have up-to-date information with frequent references to the Three Gorges Dam in China (Hydropower) and the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (Oil Spills). The strong points of the books are their organization and their usability. Each volume begins with a two-page introduction to the topic, followed by an overview of approximately 10 pages and then 4 chapters, each organized around a question. Hydropower poses questions concerning the possibility of reducing dependency on fossil fuels, the impact of hydropower on the environment, how developing countries can benefit from its use, and if the oceans represent the future of hydropower. Oil Spills asks if the U.S. needs to drill offshore, if it's an environmental risk, if regulations are adequate, and discusses the future of offshore drilling. In both books, each chapter is followed by a section of primary-source quotes espousing pro and con views. Each title concludes with a "Key People and Advocacy Groups" section. These volumes are first-rate ready-reference books and excellent to use in teaching research with primary documents.