ANWR Drilling Again?

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.

6 Responses to “ANWR Drilling Again?”

  1. Bottom Line says:

    One thing you may have missed is that the 10.4 billion barrels is based on the economic recovery price of $30 per barrel. The report stated that the output would increase as the price per barrel increased. Given that current prices are double of their estimate, it is safe to assume the economically feasible production would drastically increase. Also, I doubt its environmental impacts would be that terrible. Heck the pipeline has actually helped the environment in Alaska. Also we haven’t even talked about the oil in Colorado and Wyoming that is also in federally protected lands. Plus we haven’t even touched much of the oil in the Gulf that Mexico is already tapping into.

  2. Bottom Line says:

    Check this one out. These guys are for drilling in ANWR and make some pretty sound arguments. http://www.anwr.org/case.htm
    Bottom Line is that our oil consumption is not decreasing and until we find alternatives we have to either buy it or produce it. Buying it puts us at a disadvantage politically and also puts more tankers cruising in the ocean which poses a bigger environmental risk than producing our own. Conservation just won’t be feasible enough to make a substantial impact, economics and the American way of life won’t support it.

  3. Del says:

    “the American way of life won’t support it”?

    That’s exactly the problem, from where I’m standing. We’ve had since the Carter administration to reduce our dependence on oil and all we’ve done is ramp it up even more. A guy I know recently had a quintuple bypass and couldn’t wait to feel well enough to start smoking again. Seems like a similar mindset.

    When I saw a headline in 2000 that said something like, “Gore accuses Bush of supporting drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge” my first reaction was: Okay Al, you’ve gone too far now, making these wild, hyperbolic accusations. But of course it turned out to be nothing more than the truth.
    I have since come to believe that opening ANWR to drilling probably wouldn’t be the environmental nightmare its opponents describe (unless there’s an accident, of course). Preserving its “purity” seems to have more iconic significance than anything else.

    But for God’s sake, how many more turnips are we planning to squeeze before we face the fact that we are talking about a NON-RENEWABLE resource? They could drill in every state in the union, turn Dick Cheney’s ranch into an eyesore and every caribou in Alaska into hamburger, and the oil would still run out. There aren’t any more dinosaurs dying, folks. Those of you who think God planted fake fossils to test our faith really ought to be with me on this one. Someday, apparently in our lifetime or our children or grandchildren’s lifetime, there isn’t going to be enough oil to go around.

    And I honestly believe that until that happens, until we’re standing there like the Lorax looking at the last Truffula Tree, we are not going to lift a finger to develop serious alternatives. We’re too lazy, too childishly lazy.

  4. I’m with ya, Del. Unfortunately most people are only considering their own day-to-day lives, with a dash of lip-service to their childrens’ children’s. ANWR drilling is simply a goldmine for those in position to cash in, especially in the near-term.

  5. Bottom Line says:

    Del- I think we are once again in agreement. Sort of takes us back to our ethanol discussion.

  6. Don says:

    I’m observing the 73d anniversary of my birth today and I can remember when in grammar school reading in the Scholastic Reader, or some such publication, that there was not enough oil to last more than a few more years, and that we should develop nuclear energy, which we since have. In it’s earlier days there were some tragic accidents resulting from it. Today, technology has advanced to such a degree that with proper care, repeating those accidents is highly unlikely (as in France which relies on it for electricity which lessens the demand on fossil fuel for other applications), so I favor putting in more nuclear power plants, solar energy, wind energy and any other innovative sources available, while still tapping the ANWAR and offshore oil that is there waiting for us.

    On the state of Alabama level of confronting this problem, does anyone know which gubernatorial candidate has the following in their platform?

    “BIO-DIESEL

    If I told you that there was a way we could Decrease Our Dependency on Foreign Oil, Boost the Agriculture Industry in Alabama, preserve our pristine hunting and fishing areas, which bring 2 BILLION tourism dollars into Alabama every year and Keep More Alabama Money in Alabama instead of sending it to the federal government would you believe me?

    Bio-diesel. It’s fuel from the fields. And we can do it here.

    Farmers in South Alabama are already doing that very thing by producing bio-diesel from their soybean crops and using a ten percent solution to run their combines. This same soy bio-diesel can be used in automobiles at a ten percent per tank of gas without any engine modifications.

    It could end the outrageousness of paying up to three dollars a gallon for gasoline and enable you to keep more of what you earn.

    Bio-diesel could revitalize the impoverished Black Belt of Alabama and put hundreds if not thousands of people to work.

    As Governor of Alabama I will encourage research, growth and development in this area. It is another step along the road to keeping Alabama proud, independent, self-sufficient and free.”

    And just today I read in The Decatur Darily @ http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/060429/fat.shtml that Don Siegelman has not only jumped on the Bio-diesel bandwagon, but he is campaigning around the state on a bus powered by it.

    The only problem with that is that he was late getting on the bus.

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