T Nation

Why are they trying to ruin Alaska?

Now I haven’t been following this ANWR stuff too much, but caught some on the news the other day. Why is the government trying to go up there and drill for oil? Now I know they want to keep the price in check and try to lower our dependence on foreign oil, but to me spending this money on conservation efforts or research into alternative fuels seems like a better idea. Isn’t it going to take some 10 years to even start using this oil, and then isn’t it only going to last for less than a year? Seems digging up Alaska isn’t the smartest choice. Am I the only one? Or have I been missing out on some info?

It’s more NIMBY shit. There is a vast amount of oil in deep water in the Gulf of Mexico. We have the technology to get it. There is oil offshore in several other places but the states it’s closest to have legal moratoriums on oil drilling and recovery. Alaska doesn’t have many people, so it have few votes. It’s far away from the rest of us and out of sight is out of mind. We don’t have to feel bad about screwing up shit we can’t see. The ANWR oil is too little and too hard to get compared to other sources but it’s the most accessible politically.

Look at who funds the government. Automobile and gas companies give politicians huge sums of money to protect their interests. Therefore, creating more efficient, longer running cars is the last thing on the mind of many politicians because angry companies take money away. So, this country will continue to drink natural resources, and to avoid more dependancy on foreign oil we will destroy fragile eco systems to get the small amount that is there.

I also think they should find an alternative fuel but I think the cost of the alternative is the problem. I live in Louisiana where Oil is big and it pretty much destroyed the wetlands and the coastline. It’s not the only factors of the erosion but a big one. They dig miles and miles of canals through the wetlands so they can lay pipes and access oil facilities in the marsh. The only problem is that a lot of Louisiana’s economy is dependant on oil. If they would create an alternative it would also put alot of people out of business. Maybe some day in the future they will solve this problem.

Actually, I could not care less as long as there is enough fuel to run my car and bike. Squirrels dropping dead because of exhaust fumes, globalization and industrialization don’t reach my heart at all.

I guess it’s okay for arabs to destroy their ecosystem? Drill for the friggin oil already. I’m sick of foriegn oil.

I am with AXY on this. Enviromentalism is a lost cause.I fucking hate tree huggers.

Dennis Miller last night on the topic: Caribou can’t hijack planes.

You liberals need to do your homework. The portion of ANWR that needs to be drilled is a complete frozen and lifeless tundra. The beautiful landscape scenes you see in Alaska is not where the drilling needs to take place. The drilling are represents 1/100th of ONE PERCENT of the total acerage of ANWR.

Killian is correct, except I think in the
percentage. It is indeed a trivial percentage, but the area affected as I recall is a larger portion of 1% than just a hundredth though I don’t have the exact figure.

It is completely true that the media deliberately lies, as do liberal politicians, by presenting images of Alaska that are nowhere near the area that might be drilled, and never pointing out that the vast, vast majority of this particular refuge would be completely unaffected.

I’m not a liberal. I’m pragmatic. There is oil closer, cheaper, and under our control. It’s politics not economics that is driving this thing. Artic environments bring along a lot of extra work, equipment, and precautions to extract what really is a meager amount of oil compared to other sources closer to the market and refineries. I’d save the hard to get shit for when it’s really valuable and worth the effort.

If you’re pragmatic, then, why is that when it would be considered profitable to drill for that oil, you are making it sound as if the issue is that the oil is too hard to get and different American oil should be drilled for?

Which specific oil do you mean?

And if, as is the case if you mean Gulf of Mexico oil that liberals won’t allow the drilling of that oil, then how is it relevant to the issue of whether the Alaskan oil should be drilled for?

I think they are pretty much doing what they can in the gulf of Mexico. They already have several deep water drilling rigs and a few more are in construction. Have you been offshore in Louisiana or Texas? They have oil rigs everywhere.

It’s a new deep water find. It’s only recently been technologically and economically feasible to put a rig there. There is nothing stopping the development of this resource. As far as I know it’s moving forward right now. There are places that are closer and old technology would work just fine on. The locals have passed laws against drilling there. We have laws against drilling off the coast of Washington State too. If so much political effort is going to be put into drilling in the ANWR, an expensive and for the most part more ecologically impactful process than offshore drilling, why bother? Votes. More voters live closer to the inexpensively recovered oil than the arctic tundra. Nobody wants an oil rig or a power plant near where they live, but they love to drive big cars and have electric can openers. So they force the ugly part of what they want on places with less political pull. It’s not like the ANWR is the last best place to get oil. For the most part the oil there is probably high in sulfur like the rest of the Alaskan oil and will have to go to Japan anyway. We don’t have any modern refineries that can handle high sulfur oil on the west coast. Same reason, NIMBY. We have a shortage of refinery capacity but you couldn’t build one to save your life. One burned down in California and they couldn’t even rebuild it. Building new, modern refineries and powerplants to replace aging technology is better for the environment but the people that claim to love the environment are obstructionist by nature.

It’s not as if we couldn’t use BOTH sources of domestic oil, ANWR and this deepwater source you mention. And the refinery issue is another perfect example of the obstructionism of liberals when it comes to energy.

Many of them actually WANT energy to be scarce. For example, Gore said specifically that he WANTED gasoline to be $5 per gallon.

Don’t ask me why. But it is this desire to obstruct energy development that is the real story of the obstructionism to drilling in ANWR, and the reason for showing pictures of scenic parts of Alaska and passing them off as being ANWR, the reason for letting people think that it’s a huge area that would be affected rather than a tiny area, that it would be some kind of environmental disaster, etc.

I agree with Bill, but…

  1. Thre is no such thing as lifeless tuna. Having lived in Alaska, this I know. For the rest of you watch the nature channel. Alaska is a beautiful wilderness. However, because of the long cold season anything that grows does slow very slowly and it takes a long time to recover.
    The same is true with the deep water. In the Gulf of Mexico there is suppost to be more oil than all our rag-headed friends have combinded. Yes, we should get it also.
    Now, that a step back. And look at the money against the global dynamics and a different picture start to appear. And that my childern is your homework assignment. :wink: Hint “Follow the Money”

In addition to the small percentage issue, new technology in drilling is making it possible to make the surface impact of drilling in the area they will drill negligible. The new technology allows extraction from one insertion point, with root-like structure under the surface that allows for greater extraction than the old methods. More oil, less impact. Isn’t technology grand?

Now don’t take me the wrong way here, I LOVE my old cars, and I agree with Bill about a bias liberal media lying to us. However, the original post raised a few good points. Why don’t we use alcohol for fuel? Instead of paying farmers a subsidy not to grow, refineries could buy their corn and turn it into fuel. Farmers win, the air is cleaner and we have no need for foreign oil-a situation every American should despise. Also, if we can safely power every aicraft carrier and sub the Navy owns with Nuclear reactors, why not build more of them for electricity. California should get their heads out of their butts and build several. In my area we have 2 Nuclear plants with 3 reactors each. One plant is completely shut down and th eother is only running at 66%. Even at those low levels we have some of the cheapest power in the country.

We need our own oil source so we can tell all the arabs to go fuck themselves. As long as we need their oil we will have to kiss their ass. That’s what is causing most of our dilema in the middle east right now.

We import 46% of our oil from OPEC. Venezuala is part of OPEC and 14% comes from there so the total percentage of Arab oil is about 32%.

We should work to reduce that percentage. It would give us more leverage in dealing with the Mideast for one thing.