Thursday, December 22, 2005

ANWR: Bah! Humbug!


If I could send a lump of coal to each U.S. Senator for Christmas, I would. Some of them might find a lump of lignite handy in light of their vote Wednesday night to deny development of energy resources in Alaska. For people who are smart enough to keep getting re-elected to office, they sure seem like a dense bunch.

The proposal to allow drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve was dropped from legislation that also included funding for defense spending projects. If it weren’t so tragic it would be amusing to see this amazing disconnect between the two issues.

Why are we so interested in what happens in the Middle East?
Oil.
Why are we helping foster democratic reforms in Iraq?
Okay—it is the right thing to do, but there’s also that Oil thing.

America needs secure sources of energy, and the Middle East has it in abundance. So we’re willing to spend money to send U.S. troops to that corner of the world to bleed and die for democracy, freedom...and the pursuit of oil.

Meanwhile back home, America is being overrun by a philosophy of “not in my back yard.” Everyone wants cheap gasoline, but no one is willing to allow more drilling on the West Coast, East Coast, or in Alaska.

(Actually—the people of Alaska have no problem with ANWR drilling—it’s the environmentalist elite in Washington that’s blowing enough hot air to melt the Polar Ice Cap)

(Hmm…interesting corollary to global warming theory.)

So we’re left with most of America’s petroleum production clustered along our Gulf Coast, where it can be (and has been) ravaged by Summer Hurricanes, and the price we pay is not just in higher costs for motor fuels, but also in the level of dependence we still have on foreign oil sources.

I really don’t want to hear some Democrat Senator honking in the next campaign about how the Bush Administration has no energy policy, when Congress guts legislation to turn us back towards more domestic production. So long as we’re beholden to imported petroleum products, we’re going to be in double-jeopardy, dealing with the problem of national security and energy dependency on people for whom U.S. interests are not a priority.

Too bad politics took precedence over prescience this week in Washington.

1 comment:

Just Ray said...

Hi Brent:
Geologists from Conocco,Dutch Shell, British Petroleum,and Texaco (Before all the mega mergers) were allowed (at various times) since the Nixon administration to conduct "test" drilling to estimate how much oil was there.The overall opinion was there was NOT enough to off set the cost of drilling and suppling the American consumer. In short,not enough to help ease the demand from midddle eastern oil. Thier other opinion. It would be less costly and more beneficial to extract oil from "shale" found in the mountains of Wyoming then it would be from ANWAR. The other problem is one that doesn't get mentioned much,why are a good portion of the oil wells in West Texas capped? It's not because of the environmental regulations,or broken down equipment. They are capped so the cost will stay high,and thanks to deregulation nothing can be done.