More Facts on ANWR

By November 28, 2005Energy

This week we’ll keep pressing Congress to open up domestic supplies of energy so we can begin to bring down the soaring costs of all types of fuels. As we’ve said in this space many times before, the poor and seniors, those on a fixed income, those trying to make ends meet every month will have the enviros to thank for higher energy bills this winter. Why? Because thanks to a handful of radical environmentalists, our energy policy has been held hostage: No nuclear plants built, no oil exploration, no natural gas exploration, no more coal. Guess what happens if you shut off supply, and demand increases? We’d be right about where we are. This ain’t rocket science.

Here’s a great backgrounder on ANWR. It’s a solid effort by our own Keith McCoy. It is really eye-opening, chock-full of — God forbid — facts. Yikes! We thought it might be nice to inject some facts into this debate. Among them are:

— First and foremost a reminder that Alaska is almost twice the size of Texas. The drilling footprint for ANWR is a fifth the size of Dulles Airport.

— If we look at the mean calculations of 10.4 billion barrels of oil, ANWR would supply every drop of petroleum for the entire state of Arkansas for 144 years, Missouri for 71 years or South Dakota for 479 years.

— The caribou herd in the North Slope has increased from 5,000 in 1977, at the beginning of oil development, to 27,000 in 2000. Alaska Fish and Game has published the most recent census showing the population is now more than 31,000. If exploration interferes with migration or calving, the Department of the Interior will shut it down.

— Sen. Walter Mondale said in 1973 — when the Congress approved the building of the Alaska Pipeline — “It has always been my position that we need Alaskan oil and that this oil should flow to the lower 48 as soon as possible, consistent with environmental safeguards and the greatest benefit for the entire country.” That pipeline has carried as much as 2 million barrels a day from Prudhoe Bay. For twenty years it has provided as much as 20 percent of our domestic production.

Write your Member of Congress. Tell them to get on the stick.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Buddy says:

    I think this is so bad that, because there are constant danger of oil spills.

  • michael says:

    I was born in Alaska, but have lived in many places in the U.S. After being in both red and blue states, I think I have a good view of both sides. Both sides have their faults, but I believe that drilling in ANWR would be a huge mistake. Instead of killing wildlife, we should be using that money to research alternative energy sources. Oil will run out regardless of drilling in ANWR or not. We should be concentrating on developing another energy source to get rid of oil dependency.

  • Patrick Kerber says:

    Your “Backgrounder” on ANWR is balderdash! I worked at Prudhoe Bay for 8 years and live in Alaska for 25 years. I have also visited the Arctic National Wildlife and experienced its diversity of wildlife. The statement about the footprint being 2000 acres, or as stated above, 1/5 the size of Dulles Airport, is an absolute lie! That figure is for the drill pads ONLY! It does not include the approximately 200 miles of gravel roads, landing strips, production facilities and more! When completed, the infrastructure would look very much like the spiderweb of roads and pads that is the current Prudhoe Bay/Kuparuk complex!

    As to the Central Arctic Caribou Herd? Yes…..they’ve increased in numbers…..part of a natural cycle. BUT……they have largely left the oilfield complex and moved west into the area known as the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska, which is just now being opened to exploration. I know…….I watched the dramatic decline occur during the years I worked there!

    And what of the spills? In March of this year, over 270,000 gallons of crude spewed, UNCHECKED and UNDETECTED, across the fragile tundra for several days! Personnel cut backs in pipeline monitoring are responsible for that massive spill!

    No……the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is off-limits…….and should and will remain so!

  • Hailey says:

    I think that it’s not right to drill for oil in a reserve. what about the animals? we shouldn’t take them out of their home. also, we would be paying money-grubbing-oil companies about the same amount of money as we pay
    money-grubbing-countrys. what we should do with that (about)15 million dollars an hour is to find a subst ute for oil, and other ozone-destroying gases.

  • matt says:

    I think that the government should leave ANWR alone because it really is the last place in North
    America that is untame. Alask is a great place and it should not be touched unless we absolutely need it.

  • Bob says:

    I certainly agree with Pat Cleary’s comments on ANWR. As an Alaskan myself, we find it quite repulsive that those who argue against ANWR have never visited our great state. The place a modern drill rig in ANWR would create a “footprint” somewhat like a pencil point on a 3’x 4′ US map. The benefits far outweight what the concocted risks being passed around by the “greenies”.

    The democrats are so entrenched with environmentalist that they can’t seem to break free (nor get elected). I am very much in favor of environmental protections, but not to the extreme. There would be no damage to the environment by drilling in ANWR. The next time someone insist otherwise, ask them when the last time they visited ANWR was. They haven’t because as they say around here; “You can’t get there from here”