Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Drill for ANWR oil? Sure, we’ll get natural gas, too.

Here’s some of a June 9 USA Today editorial. I comment below the star line.

Surging gasoline prices have prompted renewed calls for drilling in environmentally sensitive areas, particularly Alaska's potentially oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

We supported drilling in ANWR long before gas topped $4 a gallon and continue to do so. But let's be clear about what it would and wouldn't do.

It wouldn't bring relief from today's high prices, as President Bush implied Monday. And it wouldn't make the United States energy independent.

So does that mean, as critics suggest, that it's not worth doing? Not at all.

Drilling in ANWR and offshore is an important piece of any long-term strategy to make the nation less vulnerable to oil-producing nations and supply disruptions. It is one of many imperfect steps needed to both increase the supply of oil and curb the demand for it, while seeking energy alternatives.

It's true that any serious oil production from ANWR would take about 10 years. But dealing with the energy situation requires an ability to look beyond quick fixes. The fact is, ANWR oil would be flowing now if President Clinton hadn't vetoed a drilling bill in 1995.

Environmentalists charge that drilling would despoil a pristine area in northern Alaska that is about the size of South Carolina and is a critical habitat for caribou, musk oxen, bears and birds. In fact, exploration in the 19 million-acre refuge would be confined to 1.5 million acres, and drilling to just 2,000 acres, an area less than half that of Atlanta's airport. …

The entire editorial is here.



I’m mostly in agreement with USA Today’s editorial.

However, I wish the editors, as well as saying,

” [ANWR drilling] is one of many imperfect steps needed to both increase the supply of oil and curb the demand for it, while seeking energy alternatives[;]”
had gone on to say something like this:
”ANWR drilling will surely make available a great amount of energy in the form of natural gas, which is environmentally safer to extract, easier and environmentally safer to transport, and a ‘clear burn’ when consumed.

“in fact, it’s very likely ANWR drilling will produce as much or more energy in the form of natural gas than as oil.”

“That leaves us wondering why the Bush administration has failed to stress that fact when advocating drilling.”

“We’re also left to wonder why environmental organizations continue to oppose drilling in ANWR when they know the alternative is more environmentally costly hauling of a greater amount of oil over a greater distance, with that hauling producing greater energy consumption than need be if the energy was produced closer to the continental U. S. market.”


Anonymous said...

John -

I agree with you wholeheartedly on drilling for oil in Alaska (and off Florida, California, and wherever else it may be available). Right now, though, natural gas from the Artic faces a major hurdle: the absence of a pipeline to bring it south to Valdez for transportation to the lower 48. (And even then, don't forget how many port have banned liquid natural gas from entry because there are those who think it will blow-up, even though that has never happened.)

As I have indicated in an earlier comment, none of this will happen anytime soon because, I believe, the environmentalists hate the poor and loathe humanity, and they have bamboozled the public and its representatives into adopting their policies. The environmentalists are too engaged in their pagan theology of Gaia-worship to care very much about humanity.

Jack in Silver Spring