I missed something important in yesterday’s story about the Senate GOP’s proposal to give each of us a $100 check to ease the pain at the pump. That money is tied to opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. This seems to be some kind of obsession with the Republicans, but how much would it really help? According to one source, demand for oil has reached 85 million barrels per day. The US Geological Survey estimates the total technically recoverable output from ANWR would be around 10 billion barrels of oil. Technically recoverable resources are defined as those that may be recoverable using current recovery technology without regard to cost, so the actual output would likely be lower.
So we’re going to destroy a wildlife refuge for less than 118 days worth of oil? That doesn’t look like a good trade-off to me. I’ve heard a theory that drilling in ANWR is a prelude to opening up California and other parts of the country that have some oil reserves. Personally, I’d prefer to see the development of renewable energy sources — and the preservation of our environment.