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« Take a Stand - ANY Stand | Main | Journalism 101 »

16 March 2005

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GOPDelegate

What I don't understand is why drilling in ANWR engenders such a reaction when to the west of ANWR drilling is proceeding in the Petroleum Reserve without as much as a whimper. Why the difference? I'm a conservative conservationist who firmly believes this has nothing to do with ANWR, but is really about power. Why does Sen. Kerry release a statement that contains statements against drilling in ANWR and for energy independence? Sen. Kerry and Sen. Kennedy, along with other elected officials from MA have made certain wind power generators off the MA coast are not built. They are just NIMBY's who talk the talk, but don't walk the walk.

KathyF

I agree--it IS about power, but not about energy independence, since there's only a pittance of oil there. It's about oil companies and who has access to Dick Cheney.

When you look at who has the "power" in this country you can hardly argue that it's the conservationists. Oil companies, auto makers, credit card companies, yes. Sierra Club, no.

And I'll take Kennedy and Kerry's votes on environmental issues any day over the average Republican's.

GOPDelegate

If there were only a "pittance" of oil, no company would ever be interested in drilling in either ANWR or the National Petroleum Reserve due to the cost of operating in such an extreme environment during the winter months. The predicted 10.4 billion barrels of economically recoverable oil constitutes more than what I would call a "pittance".

When drilling begins, I'm all for making certain that any contaminant is safely removed and disposed of properly. I know you are hoping that drilling will never occur, but I believe an opportunity is being missed by the Senate Democrats and environmentalists to add language that would require 24/7 monitoring of each drilling pad. Why not require two EPA employees be housed by the companies on each drilling pad? The total area that will be covered by gravel drilling pads in ANWR is only 2,000 acres. Can the Porcupine herd survive without grazing on 2,000 acres of tundra? The number of caribou around Prudhoe Bay has actually increased since oil exploration and extraction began in the 1970's.

The credit card companies don't have any "real" power. People are free to chose whether they hold a credit card, or not. If someone choses to sign up for a credit card, they are freely entering into a contract.

We have wind power generation in Colorado, why won't Senator's Kerry and Kennedy allow it off of the coast of MA? Aren't they for 'renewable' energy?

KathyF

You don't like the word "pittance"? How about "paltry"? We can argue semantics; the truth is drilling ANWR would hardly make a dent in US dependence on foreign oil, which by the time the ANWR oil starts flowing, will have increased more than the 1-2 percent of daily consumption it's expected to produce.

Meanwhile, we will have lost a vital wilderness area.

And credit card company MBNA is the biggest contributor to political campaigns, both Dem and Republican. Which is why so many Dems voted for the bankruptcy bill, which Americans of both stripes oppose. I call that "power". (It was at a Republican blog that I read about the usurious practices of credit card companies, like increasing the late fee by exorbitant amounts if you're a day late, and only sending the bill within a couple of days of its due date.)

As for windmills in Nantucket, I don't have a problem with putting them there, and yes, Kennedy and Kerry ought to rethink that--or maybe they know something I don't, which is entirely possible. However, you're using that as a straw man argument. Forget it. Your guys have a terrible record on the environment. Defend it, if you can, but don't tell me because Kerry opposes a windmill you can't respect him on the environment. And you know damn well they've voted for renewable energy, while Bush has cut funding.

GOPDelegate

I have to laugh when I hear environmentalists cry about dependence on imported oil. I realize you want to eliminate oil all together, however, until that is economically feasible, domestic exploration and production is the only way to reduce dependence.

I can't think of a single example of a geographical location where oil and/or gas exploration and extraction hasn't been proposed domestically, only to be opposed by environmentalists.

Here is a partial list of those locations where exploration and production has been opposed:

1) California Coast - Oh my God, don't even think of it.
2) Florida Gulf Coast - large natural gas fields.
3) ANWR
4) National Petroleum Reserve - Sierra Club filed a lawsuit to block it this month.
5) Eastern Utah - too 'sensitive'
6) Great Divide Basin in Wyoming
7) Eastern Seaboard - where immense amounts of gas are known to exist.
8) Roan Plateau in Colorado - natural gas

And don't even mention nuclear fission.

Would it be preferrable not to need to import or even use petroleum? Certainly. Not only would the air be cleaner, we could tell the Arabs and Chavez to go pound sand, literally if they choose to do so.

The undeniable fact is we are going to continue to depend on petroleum for decades. As much as anyone would like to 'wish' it were not so, there isn't a viable alternative available. If nuclear fusion is eventually developed, then we could have an unlimited amount of power that wouldn't pose any environmental risk.

The advent of hybrids is great. Over the next couple of decades, they will probably come to make up a majority of automobiles, without government mandates. The railroads have been using diesel-electric 'hybrids' since the 1930's. Technology finally enabled the same principle to be used in cars.

And no, I don't respect Senator's Kerry or Kennedy on their 'environmental record'. What piece of legislation has Senator Kerry ever been the primary sponsor of that you can be proud of?

Al Gore's ideas were ridiculous. Mandating the automobile industry come up with a car? Now there is an idea the Communists could have been proud of. Can anyone say Trabant? Now there was an environmental disaster, if there ever was one on four wheels.

I drive a Volkswagen by the way. It gets 24 mpg.

KathyF

Ever been to Baton Rouge? Refineries everywhere. You want that in your back yard? How bout the cancer rates that go with them?

Sure there's a viable alternative. Spend what we are in Iraq and have a "Manhattan project" on alternative energy. In twenty years we'll have not only viable energy alternatives, but a lot of industrial applications that spin off from the ensuing technology. A real win win situation.

You don't have a clue what Al Gore's (the most misquoted man in history) ideas were. You might want to pick up his book Earth in the Balance to start with.

And the only reason we have hybrid cars now is because Detroit had stiffer regs, which Bush now opposes.

Again, what's with bringing the Trabant into the conversation? No one's suggesting any sort of "government sponsored vehicle" and by suggesting they are, you ignore the real argument: will we or will we not seek a viable energy alternative?

I'm glad you drive a VW. Do you vote for politicians who support public transportation too?

Chris Clarke

BP and ConocoPhillips have walked away from Arctic Power, the lobbying group pushing for ANWR drilling. Other oil companies are less than enthusiastic about ANWR. Huge technical obstacles to get less than a year's supply of oil using even the most wildly optimistic estimates.

Drilling for oil in any of the spots GOPDel mentions would only forestall the inevitable for a couple years at most: learning to live without oil. the news this week is that the price spike results, for probably the first time, from something other than a deliberate restriction in supply. The Saudis and Kuwaitis are pumping the stuff as fast as they can and still can't meet demand. We've passed the world oi production peak. Look for $3.00/gallon prices by June, and people being nostalgic for $3.00 gas soon afterward.

Of course the main reason ANWR is gonna be a huge technical problem - along with all the other drilling up on the north slope - is that the permafrost is melting. They project 7 to 10 years before the first drop of ANWR oil gets to the pump. I'm betting it never does even if they drill. Try building a pipeline across several hundred miles of frost-heaving swamp. Even without climate change the trans-Alaska Pipeline is plagued with leaks.

That VW needs a tune-up, by the way. My Tacoma pickup gets that kind of mileage in the city.

GOPDelegate

I mentioned the Trabant to firstly to make a point, and secondly, make a joke. Sometimes, Government control can end in disaster. I worked for the US Department of State in Budapest, and the Trabant was a something else.

Everytime I pay my bill for natural gas, I think of all of the trillions of cubic feet of gas that has been locked up due to opposition from environmentalists. Gas that could be sold if the energy companies were allowed to go at it offshore, thereby increasing supplies and lowering my bill.

The one proposal Senator Daschle was pushing that I agreed with is the one still on the table. Build a natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Chicago. ConocoPhillips has the overall plan for it on their website.

"We've passed the world oil production peak." I'm not a geologist, however, we have heard that before. When Jimmy Carter was President, all the public ever heard about energy was how we were all going to run out by the end of the 1980's. The sky was always falling. And no, I don't believe we have an infinite supply. We aren't going to run out of coal, natural gas, methane, nor nuclear power for a very long time. Oil we will.

You will like the fact that my Wife wants to replace her Ford Explorer (which I don't like because the damn thing rides like a truck, because it is one) with a New VW Bug. While we certainly aren't going to have the Explorer destroyed, we will save a lot on gas.

Chris Clarke

well, Kenneth Deffeyes is a geologist, and here's his site.

GOPDelegate

So, doesn't he make you want to advocate for more drilling off of our coasts and in Alaska? If we need more, go get more.

In all seriousness, he is just a little too much like those from the Carter years when the sky was always falling. I wouldn't doubt he was one of those fueling the hysteria. Pun intended.

Here are two good stories about improving levels of efficiency that reduces consumption for transportation. The new Boeing Dreamliner is going to be 20% more efficient per passenger mile than any other passenger airliner. That is a stunning improvement. Railroads now use very efficient locomotives. Efficiency has been incrementally improving since the advent of diesel-electrics.

Christie

It's definitely not like me to start a discussion like this and then walk away from it. But I did... I'm sorry. I've picked it back up again here.

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