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May 10, 2006



ANWR should be tapped but not drained. We should treat it as a secondary SPR. If there were ever a true worldwide disruption in oil supply, wouldn't it be nice to have this supply on deck?


ANWR does not likely contain enough oil to make a significant difference to either the supply of oil or the world price per barrel, when supply would actually begin many years from now. On the other hand, drilling and associated activity can be managed so that it is not the environmental disaster that the greener amongst us have predicted.

Conservation measures would have a more immediate impact, would reduce oil prices (or at least moderate the increases) and would help our balance of trade and our weakening dollar. All that is needed is political leadership.


As far as refinery capacity, TM, a lot of crude from Alaska is exported to the far East. Previously there was a regulation to prevent it, but if I remember correctly it was changed because it makes sense given the geography and so forth to allow it to be exported.
If you look at a map, Valdez may be closer to Japan than to Los Angeles. There are big refineries in Wash. state, but some of their output is shipped to LA, so at the margin it is the distance to LA that matters. LA is closer to the Gulf Coast.


Hate to use a wikipedia cite(actually, I don't mind-but won't admit it)

"The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is just east of Prudhoe Bay in Alaska's "North Slope," which is North America's largest oil field. Currently, the Prudhoe bay area accounts for 17% of U.S. domestic oil production.[1] Over the years, studies performed by the US Geological Survey have shown that large deposits of crude oil reside within the land designated as the "1002 area" of ANWR, as well. [2] [3]"


The number that jumped out at me was 17% of domestic oil is from there, and there is more there.

We could suspend all small aircraft flights, which would only effect the wealthy and Laurie David. That's a movement I would get behind.


I have long been in favor of drilling for oil in Anwar. Like Mr Hastert I agree that had Bill Clinton not vetoed the bill on his desk-Clinton was always so shortsighted- we would have that extra crude right now. It's good to have a back-up store of oil and it would send a message to Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia that we are stopping our dependence on them to a degree.

Cecil Turner

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the original National Energy Policy had the right answers: encourage new nuclear reactors, hydrogen, clean coal, study fusion, drill in ANWR. (They had CAFE standards in there as well, but were kinda milktoasty about it.)

I don't see any change in the practical issues, nor any serious argument over what the best courses of action should be. All we lack is the political will.


Mackenzie, I always find that argument--that it doesn't contain enough oil to bother--as risible. I believe Prudhoe Bay reserves far exceeded intitial estimates, and in any event the companies are taking the risk and certainly believe it's worth it.

Wherever the oil goes, it goes into that big bathtub of world oil and brings down prices. And it is prices, not security of supply that really is the key. We get most of our oil from Calgary and frankly I do not see the likelihood of major disruptions there.

ANWR is a winner. Just as people are beginning to be disabused of the notion that Kyoto was important , they are understanding the importance of upping production. It has been a long hard slog, but we are getting there.
They also are beginning to understand the fight against nuclear power was stupid and that the biggest enviro wackos are idiots,hypocrites and NIMBY's.


Clarice is absolutely correct - nuclear power needs to be reconsidered. Even the more realistic of environmentalists acknowledge that is the lesser evil as compared with oil and coal.

Re oil from Canada, that is the largest single import source, but it currently represents only about 17% of our total oil imports.


Yes, we need more nuclear power and refineries, but those things take time. Just like ANWR, the benefits will not be immediate, but they will come.

There is also oil in the west in shale that can be exploited if the environmentalists let it happen.


Not the answer, it's just a drop in the bucket - but a big political game for people who want to profit now. Save it for when things really get desperate, year 2100 say.

Jimmy's Attack Rabbit

I know Alaska/Alaskans will receive a royalty. Anyone know what royalty the Fed. Gov't. will receive on hypothetical oil/gas production from ANWR?


IIRC, we get about 12-15% of our foreign oil from the Middle East. Opening ANWR should hack away at that segment giving us some more "wiggle room" to operate.

Now, what do we do about Mr. Chavez?



The major oil companies have not campaigned hard to drill in ANWR. There are more lucrative sites in the Lower 48, including off-shore. And the current high cost per barrel makes many other non-US sites even more attractive.


We've got oil.

We should utilize it.

I mean, it's a no brainer.

By 2100 nobody will be bothering with oil anymore yet Jerry thinks we should save ANWR for the rainy day that will occur then.

""looking outside**

Well, it's not cats and dogs, but surely at least puppies and kittens.


Anyway, as for the answer to 'Is ANWR the answer?'

Well, the ANsWR certainly implies it is.



Well, the ANsWeR certainly implies it is.

Cecil Turner

The main reason to drill in ANWR is because there's no reason not to. The enviro arguments are mostly silly (the same concerns about migrating caribou were floated back when the big pipeline was built--they made ramps for the herds to cross over, and moved some segments IIRC--then the concern was the caribou tended to hang out around it because it's warm . . . not surprisingly, they seem to adapt). Besides, ANWR might not be the end of the world, but you can see it from there.

It's true nobody is highly motivated about it. Alaskans are far more interested in a natural gas pipeline, which would stimulate some serious construction. But every little bit helps . . .


Mackenzie-I don't think that's true, but open it up and see.


The money we spend on Foreign oil goes directly into funding Latin american dictators.

With France losing its munition buyers in Iraq, and the rise of dictators in South America, we will be basically funding the expansions of two Marxists style govts.

The ultimate irony is when we have to buy oil from Cuba, after they drill it 50 miles of the coast of Florida.

Cuba didn't take much to get started. A llttle Soviet dollars went a long way to helping it stay 3rd world. Now two more countries are embarking on the odyssey of Marxism, which, given the 'success' of Cuba, means 50 years of disintegration. Really glad to know that the money I pay at the pump is helping them destabilize a continent.

No, the dems are right, we don't need to address our supply demands. Look at all the good it is doing for those poor countries.

Don't get me started on the ME.


Look up Jonah Goldberg piece @NRO about his on the ground experiences at ANWR...typical Goldberg...by turns hilarious, sad, and informative. The vision that comes to my mind is caribou getting nookie sheltered from the wind and getting warmth from the heated oil in the Alaska pipeline.

Unfortunately the Senate has once again demonstrated their inability to get it right...IIRC the last time it came to a vote all the oil from ANWR had to come to the lower 48. Makes no sense since oil is a fungible commodity and its cheaper to ship it to China or Japan.



Agree. Also who can plan for a rainy day if you do not drill and have the oil ready to go. No company is going incur the cost to drill, lay a pipeline and install infrastructure on the off chance we will have a rainy day where the politicos will let them sell the oil.



According to a study published from Iowa University, we can convert pig poop to crude oil. I'm serious - heard it on FNC this morning. LOL. We could almost immediately make use of that source.....


I believe that knowledgeable geologists are predicting 15 billion barrels of crude oil from ANWR. That works out to one million barrels a day for about 40 years.

It is also my understanding that a gas pipeline is contemplated to carry thus far unproduced natural gas at Prudhoe Bay. Exploring ANWR just enhances the rationale for the gas pipeline and extends the useful life of the existing oil pipeline.

Seems like a no-brainer to me once you have disabused youself of the notion that ANWR is a pristine wilderness full of happy caribou by reading Jonah's article!


A lot of the anger I hold about ANWR is that the people of the State are in agreement about desiring exploration. Their legislators(sp?) want it.

This is a fundamental states rights issue.


According to a study published from Iowa University, we can convert pig poop to crude oil.

Wait 'til they discover Caribou poop is even better!



What was with Bush's "addicted to oil" nonsense? He is pandering. And pandering has not gotten him a single vote in Congress. He should just say "there is a lot of oil and a lot of nuclear, and I am going to push for developing it." Is there some clever Karl Rove angle I am missing here?


Actually its not a states rights issue since the federal government owns the land. The only reason that Texas has been explored to the extent that it has is that all of the land in Texas is in private hands except that that has been sold to the State or the Feds for airbases, parks, etc.


You're right Noah, the legal case has been made, but I dream of framer's intent in this matter.

Each state should be free to chose its destiny. Some will be right and some will be wrong, but we would all learn from each other. I wish the federal government to be one tenth its size and influence.

We would be better stewards of our own States and more readily address needed changes.

Never going to happen.


Which of us really believes George Walker Bush was pounding the table for anything in Washington?

His is the most passive of PRESIDENCIES, he is the plaything of great events, the master of none.

And he's probably going to go down in history as America's equivalent to Chamberlain.

Can someone, anyone, explain the purpose of these endless and worthless discussions, meetings, confabs and consultaions, with "our allies," with "the Europeans," the EU3, the United Nations, the Security Council, and of course the Russians and the Chinese. All in the interests of getting these bozos to raise their hands sitting around so worthless table in New York City.

Yea. That's the ticket.

Yea, they'll keep Manhattan from glowing in the dark, they'll preserve Washington from the predations of the muslim.

Yea. That's the ticket.

When the nukes start going off. The media is going to descend upon GW in retirement, clearing some more brush, down in Crawford, Texas. And what will that verbal cripple have to say then, uh, what can he possible say, "I went to the UN." "I tried to refer it to the Security Council..........BUT I WAS BLOCKED."

And American cities will probably disappear, all because GW felt himself "blocked" in the Security Council.

It's the stuff of Monty Python, Benny Hill, it's surely not the stuff of serious statecraft.



"I believe that knowledgeable geologists are predicting 15 billion barrels of crude oil from ANWR. That works out to one million barrels a day for about 40 years.

It is also my understanding that a gas pipeline is contemplated to carry thus far unproduced natural gas at Prudhoe Bay. Exploring ANWR just enhances the rationale for the gas pipeline and extends the useful life of the existing oil pipeline.

Seems like a no-brainer to me once you have disabused youself of the notion that ANWR is a pristine wilderness full of happy caribou by reading Jonah's article!"

It's probably about 1.4 million barrels a day according to the Department of the Interior. http://www.doi.gov/news/030312.htm

IIRC, Our trade deficit in foreign oil is about 18 million barrels a day.


The fight of ANWR is probably, like most other major trophy fights of out time, based on more hype and disinformation than was produced about cyclamates in the 60's.

Does it have oil ? Yes.

Will it help prices ? Yes, but is more physiological than anything really economic, as it will represent < 5% of daily US usage.

Will drilling destroy the place that is shown in that "fairy tale" image that is brought out each and every time this discussion comes up ? No, the part of ANWR where they want to drill looks like, and probably is, the world's largest gravel pit.

Frankly, I have believed since the 70's that support for bans on oil drilling in ANWR and the coastal waters of CA, FL and other gulf coast states is partially based on saving these oil reserves till much of the remainder of the world goes dry. The major factor that proves me wrong, but not entirely wrong, is that new oil reserves continue to be found. Ultimately, my belief could be true, but it wouldn't have been based on anyone planning that way.


"And he's probably going to go down in history as America's equivalent to Chamberlain."

A bit confused there Dan,George isn't wandering round with a piece of paper claiming "Peace in our time".


Wait 'til they discover Caribou poop is even better!

For some months now, Congress has been grappling with the reauthorization of the "Endangered Species Act," but action has been very slow.

It turns out that once you remove "sexy" species, like the now not-endangered "Bald Eagle," about half the remaining endangered species on the list are voles (meadow mice) and their cousins.

There really isn't anything "sexy" about voles, except perhaps to another vole.

Lew Clark

The first thing they need to do is take away the environmentalists' propaganda advantage. By calling the whole 19 million acre area ANWR they are able to imply we will rush into the protected area that does have mountains, streams, and abundant wildlife. Section 10 02 is a frozen, god awful, wasteland almost devoid of wildlife. So step one is to rename section 10 02 the AGLW (Alaska God awful Lifeless Wasteland). Then we get the propaganda advantage. We would never drill in ANWR, but we will drill in AGLW.

The next step is to join the Caribou Coalition (which I just invented). They have monitored the caribou population in the Prudhoe bay area since drilling began. Surprise! The population has increased geometrically, because the “improved” landscape has made migration easier. Motto of the Caribou Coalition “Do you love caribou? Do you want more caribou? Drill in AGLW! Do it now!”

richard mcenroe

So The Democrats don't want to drill in ANWR, don't want to off Florida, don't want to drill in California, but dammit, they will end our dependence on foreign oil...!

Lew Clark

Actually, if you think of it, the Democrats CAN end our dependence on foreign oil. We import 60% of the oil we use. 60% of the population are not Democrats. If you let only Democrats use oil and ban not-Democrats from using oil. The need for imported oil goes away.


I can just imagine Katrina 2006.

Ray Nagin's evac plan fails because they couldn't afford the gas for the buses.


richard, their answer to everything is conserve as they fly private planes and drive SUVs to the meetings.My fav was Barbra Streisand posting a suggestion to her fans to line dry their clothes.


I was up in Prudhoe on a case when they were constructing it. It was the most pristine construction I have ever seen. And the most godawful..Cold even in June..Full of man eating mosquitos.

Jim K.

Even if ANWR oil won't be available for a while, any effect it could have on future prices will feed back into prices today--lower future prices encourage getting more supply out today.

You could say about any single source of oil that its effect on price is small. But they all add up. The principle is to drill wherever its profitable, and the more that's done, the more it's clear we are committed to do so, the more prices will come down--immediately.


Jim K. has it right. I heard on the news today that the price of oil took a jump upward because some American oil executive was killed in Nigeria.

Doesn't matter how much oil is under ANWR, although every drop from there is a drop we don't have to import. The minute the first drill hits the soil, the futures prices are going to drop like a rock.

What really ticks me off is people like Hillary Clinton saying that we aren't going to get results from ANWR for ten years anyway, after her husband vetoed the drilling ten years ago.



No support for drilling so we can save it for when everyone else's wells run dry.

Forgive me. All this time I thought that the NIMBY's were just being selfish. I thought the conservationists were being selfish. I thouht the politicians were pandering. I also thought some may have just wanted to harm the USA.

Now I see they were all patriotic Americans just wanting to hold the oil for when it was really needed. Never mind that it will start coming out of the ground ten years after they decide it is time.


Existence of hydrocarbon stores implies a virtually irreversible sequestration of carbon from its cycle. What is the long term consequence of irreversible sequestration of carbon from our vivosphere?

Greg F

ANWR is just one piece of the puzzle. Based on "existing or reasonably foreseeable technology" the Minerals Management Service estimates there is between 66.6 and 115.3 billion barrels of oil. At present day usage that is the equivalent of 8 to 15 years supply.


I've become convinced we have enough hydrocarbons to transition to pebble bed fission and 'cold' ionic fusion. Then we can reserve the hydrocarbon stores for use as raw material for plastic, and regulate the release of carbon back to its natural cycle as wisdon allows. Then, too, we can release the sun, the wind, and the rivers from their mistaken slavery to the energy needs of the human race and the natural forces can return to their legitimate job of powering and regulating the heat engine that is our earth.

Cecil Turner

Heh, just read that Goldberg ANWR piece, and it's hilarious. I worked a summer at Happy Valley (the smallest of the pipeline camps, scene of some of the environmental silliness, affectionately known as "Giggle Gulch") and think he captured the ambience fairly well. I have some fond memories (e.g., the tame and ridiculously fat parka squirrels everyone fed ice cream in gross violation of the wildlife regulations, being chased by Waldo, the camp grizzly bear), but overall concur it's a choice spot for meteor impact.


greg, I'm an old lady and have seen figures that we are running out of oil (and everything else) projections get shitcanned year after year when those pessimistic projections do not come true. At the moment Cuba is planning big projects in the Gulf and more and more discoveries are made.

Straight line projections are a fool's paradise as well. In the 1800's bien pensants projected that NYC would be smothered in horse dung from all the carriage traffic.

Get my drift?


We're a hell of a lot more likely to adapt successfully if we have real facts. This hockey stick is hysteria, and the true effect of releasing CO2 is not yet known.

Greg F


Sorry, I don't get your drift. I suspect you are reading more into what I posted then was there.


You're both drifting in the same warm stream of skepticism.


I'm saying there are many sources not yet tapped and we have no clear idea of when we are going to "run out" of gas and oil.


I'm presuming, but I'd bet Greg F. would agree with that.

Greg F


You are generally correct. As supply dwindles prices will rise and a replacement will likely be found (history has shown that time and again). Technically we will never run out of oil, it will just become more expensive then the unknown alternative.


I am no spring chicken and remember hearing, while still in high school, that oil would run out sometime last week. Chicken little stories seem to be a constant in human history. I have seen that plot more then a few time and know how the story ends.


As a race we've long blamed human misbehaviour for the acts of the Gods, in this case, the weather. To the Anthropogenic Global Warming hysteriacs I say: Don't sacrifice my virgins to your superstitions.

Barney Frank

Apparently the Republicans actually did something right and placed a royalty sharing item with the states for outer continental shelf drilling in the otherwise useless energy bill. There is huge potential there but the states haven't wanted any drilling cause they get little or no money but take the risk of a spill. Maybe some moola will grease the skids.

Something else little noticed has been Chavez's grasp for power in OPEC. He has demanded that Venezuela's reserves be upped past Saudia Arabia's as the current prices make Venezuelas trillion bbls of oil sands theoretically exploitable. This would give Venezuela a larger quota within OPEC to sell on the open market now. Could be a nasty fight brewing if he pushes it.

Gary Maxwell

In the 1800's bien pensants projected that NYC would be smothered in horse dung

Actually just prior to Guilliani becoming mayor, this projection was very close to being clairvoyant. David Dinkins almost rotted the Big Apple.


BF, it would be amusing if SA increased capacity to lower the price, so Chavez's chunk would become uneconomic again. The Persian Gulf stuff is cheaper to exploit.

Barney Frank

It would be amusing but I think they're pretty close to current capacity already. Besides the premium we're paying now is not from lack of supply but a glut of lunatics.


Yes, I understand the terror/supply interdiction premium. My point, small though it was, is that it is cheaper for Saudi Arabia to increase capacity than for Venezuela to do so.

I'll concede you know more about it than I do.


I mean, yes, I think current production is near capacity. Last I checked they only had a couple of million barrels a day excess capacity, and that was like so 2005.

Barney Frank

"My point, small though it was, is that it is cheaper for Saudi Arabia to increase capacity than for Venezuela to do so."

Very true, especially with Hugo nationalizing the oil industry in Ven.

"I'll concede you know more about it than I do."

Its pretty sad when somebody can say that. ;)

Robert Park Morris.

I've never met someone who didn't know more than I did about something.


Hey, Bobbie, didn't we bury you a century ago?


Bla Bla Bla, you an idoit by starting to drill it will take millions of dollars and damege wild life pumanatly. I think we shouldedn't try to drill in the ANWR so Bush (what an idiot) will put more funding for things like Education and Conservation.


Hey, Robert, are you the author of the 1988 Internet Worm?

cathy :-)


I asked Bob to read the whole thread, but he wanted to go to the movies with my son, so I think he read the first comment, and pumped out the expected 7th grade answer. El habla Espanol, tambien.

The corpse of Robert is done with worms, but the shade is curious.


cathy, that was Robert T. Morris.

But look how Scatha and Glaurung have wormed into the culture.


The solution is to prohibit braking except to counteract the influence of gravity. All other acceleration and momentum is the fault of the driver and must be dealt with without recourse to brakes. Proggrressive. We could even have a market in deceleration credits.

Barney Frank


"I've never met someone who didn't know more than I did about something."

I've met lots of people who have known more than me about just about everything.

But I'm proud to say I have yet to meet anyone with more uninformed opinions than me.

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