June 17, 2008

ANWR reality

As we hear the bankrupt ideas of Republicans for "solving" our energy mess, it's not surprising that they really don't have a leg to stand on. They've made it part of their religion that thou shalt not do anything serious about energy except continue to provide subsidies to oil giants and demand that they be able to drill anywhere they want.

Of course, this policy is a failure and utterly irresponsible on it's face as in it's devotion to big oil, it pretends there's nothing else we can do but suck every last drop of oil out of the ground in a desperate race to the point where there is no more.

But I guess by then they'll be dead and will have enjoyed their massive profits, so who cares, right?

When you hear the Republicans clammoring to be allowed to drill for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge or ANWR, consider these indisputable facts from the government's own non-partisan Congressional Research Service and the Department of Energy.

They've issued reports that are based on reality, reality that applies the same to both right and left, Dem and Republican. What used to be known as facts before the right nearly made them extinct:

- Under even best-case scenarios, it would take 10 years to start production and the average net drop in price would be about 86 cents per barrel — 0.6 percent.

- The government's most optimistic estimate is that peak ANWR production would be less than 1 percent of total world oil output — about 750,000 barrels per day in a country that consumes 19 million barrels per day.

In fact, the government admits that foreign-oil dependence would decrease only slightly, between the years 2022 and 2026, and would then return to pre-ANWR levels.

- Republican oil junkies argue that drilling would produce a "supply effect" on gasoline prices. In that Economics 101 formulation, as oil supply increases, gasoline prices will drop.

But the government debunks that myth, too, because "OPEC and other producers may cut output to offset the supply effect." In other words, OPEC won't sit still as we force price reductions — they'll match our production increases with production decreases to keep supply steady and prices high.

Under best case scenarios experts say that opening ANWR to drilling would bring down gas prices by a few cents a gallon, if that.

- You'll hear them say that we "know" there's vast amounts of oil under those pristine arctic expanses. Not according to people who know the score. The government admits that "there is much uncertainty" about ANWR and "little direct knowledge" about the location of oil, how easily it can be recovered, the size of the fields and the quality of oil in them. What we "know" is little more than a guess, based upon some hypothetical, exploratory models.

But as we've sadly learned, Republicans don't need no stinking facts and a "guess" qualifies quite nicely as a sound basis for developing national policy. That's because as usual, it's a sham arguement designed to obliterate the truth so that a small group can make enormous profits.

It's their standard operating proceedure; piss on your leg and tell you it's raining.

- They also say that tearing up the tundra, building miles of roads and pipes, etc. won't harm the environment at all. They'll use "limited footprint" technology and everything will be rosy.

But the government admits limited-footprint technology probably won't work and "full development of the 1002 area" would require infrastructure throughout the area.

And the government openly acknowledges the threat to what it calls "the most biologically productive part of the Arctic Refuge for wildlife," "the center of wildlife activity," and the only federal land that "protects, in an undisturbed condition, a complete spectrum of the arctic ecosystem in North America."

In other words, drilling in ANWR is being sold as a short term fix, promising miraculous relief from high gas prices and dependence on foreign oil.

In reality, it's nothing more than oil corporations and their bought and paid for flacks in the Republican party seeing a chance to decieve and stampede the public into letting them exploit ANWR for massive profits.

It's too bad Republicans can't make their arguments honestly and let the public decide. But when your positions invariably come down to representing narrow corporate interests over the public good, it makes it tough.

They know that if they were honest, the public would never go for it, so what we get is an endless stream of B.S. as they pee on our leg and say, "Aren't you glad it's raining! You lucky Duck!"

Just remember these facts next time you hear a Republican trying to sell you a bill of goods about ANWR.

Now McCain has reversed himself in yet another flip-flop (they're so many they're hard to keep track of) and is now proposing that our entire continental shelf be given over to oil corporations for drilling. (and yes, he opposed this less than a year ago.)

Again, experts say that it would be 10 years before we'd see any oil from this measure.

Not only that, but the government has already leased literally MILLIONS of acres of federal land to oil giants which they could exploit at any time. The fact is that they have sat on these leases because it serves to keep prices high and profits at record levels.

Exon-Mobil just posted an all time high profit. But not just that, it's the largest amount of profit posted by a company in the history of the world, which is kind of saying something.

And you know what they'd do if we gave them access to our coastlines? Yep. They'd sit on those leases as well until such time that it would provide them maximum profits. That's what they do. They're not in it for their health.

But the idea that these giant corporations, already fat as ticks with unheard of billions in profits, would run right in there and start pumping oil willy-nilly and that as a result we'd be less dependent on foreign oil, or even more far-fetched, that the price of gas would go down, is dead wrong.

Don't buy it.


At 6/17/2008 11:56 AM, Anonymous Robbie said...

personally, i am in favor of controlled drilling both off shore and up in alaska.

while it wont solve any problems, it can certainly help. we need all the help we can get in the next 20+ years until many of these alternative energies really can work on the large scale.

and even if opec were to lower output to offset our new sources, at least we would be putting a little less money into the hands of those we hate so very much.

p.s. your blogs still ugly :-P

At 6/18/2008 3:55 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And you're still a shallow, uninformed lightweight.

Knock the Cheeto dust off your monitor. That might help.

I'm surprised you're still laboring under the impression that I care what you think of the appearance of this blog. (or anything else for that matter.) I thought I made it quite clear to you.

Some people never learn.

At 6/19/2008 9:50 PM, Blogger Wes said...

This is all just a big red herring from the oil companies and their GOP servants. There are thousands of oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico that are not being drilled. If every drop of oil projected in the Gulf of Mexico were extracted it would last the US ten months. What a solution.

The latest information I have read is that even if we had begun drilling in ANWR ten years the maximum effect that this oil would have is to lower gasoline by 1.8 cents per gallon. That makes me feel better.

Oil is a worldwide market. Whatever we produce here has a negligible impact on worldwide prices. The only way that more oil drilling in the United States is if the oil fields were owned and nationalized by an entity that did not need to turn a profit.

I don’t have any interest in nationalizing oil production. More drilling is in America is only slightly less stupid than the gas tax holiday. Any new oil development would not be available for ten years so let’s invest instead in new technologies that can move us further towards energy independence in a sustainable way.

Generally I don’t get involved in such spats, but shouldn’t Robbie go back to being the Colmes to QCE’s Hannity? That’s about his depth.

At 6/20/2008 11:08 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I've heard more since I posted this about the literally millions of acres of public and private land either owned or leased by big oil which they're just sitting on and not doing anything to explore or produce oil from.

This of course is to manipulate supply and keep prices high.

There is actually legislation introduced by Dems called the "Use it or lose it" bill which seeks to have these oil giants either start drilling on the land they already control or give it back to the government.

Makes sense to me. And yes, all of this hub-bub is clearly a phoney argument to further expand oil company profits with little to no effect on America's energy future.

The costs far outweigh the benefits by any analysis of the actual facts.

But of course, right wing argument actively dismisses reality and stuff like fact. Otherwise, they'd have no argument at all.

At 6/24/2008 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's the left that sits and waits for problems to become catastrophies, not republicans. you say it would take 10 years to get the oil out of the ground, well we'd be getting it now if the dems didn't stop us. it's the dems that want the high oil prices, even your Obamessiah thinks $5 a gallon is okay - he just wants it to raise more slowly. and alternative energy - it's the republicans who have been pushing to expand nuclear energy production. President Bush has spent more money on the development of alternative energies during his terms than the previous history of this country combined. it is the republicans who see a problem and try to fix it, while the democrats sit on their hands and call dissenters idiots - Don't believe me then look at Social Security. everyone knows it'll be bankrupt by 2040. we all agree that something needs to be done. in 2000 and again in 2004 the republicans tried to do something about it, to give us the ability to use our own SS money towards our own retirement goals. But no, the dems stopped it citing that while they know there's a problem, they don't know of any solution, but they do know that the republicans ideas are wrong. this is the same CRAP we're hearing from the dems about gasoline, and every single other Republican introduced legislation. the fact is the Dems want prices high. the dems want poverty. they want for us all to be so in need of their social services that we'll have to keep voting for them, because our livelihoods will be at stake. The dems are trying to turn the Republic of the United States of America into the United Socialist States of America. Every bill they introduce, and every policy they propose is for more Federal Government. More laws = less freedoms. the dems belive we all need the government to look out for us, take care of us, feed us, cloth us etc. the dems believe the citizens are children, and the government mommy and daddy. THE CITIZENS ARE NOT CHILDREN OF THE GOVERNMENT BUT VICE VERSA. The Government is not responsible for you. i am not responsible for you. only you are responsible for you.
there is a simple parabol that defines the difference between democraps and Republicans - if you give a man a fish he'll eat for a day... teach him to fish and he'll eat for the rest of his life.
The democraps believe that it's better to give that man a fish, because he's hungry now. they think that we should do the fishing and give some of our catch to those that either don't know how to fish or are too lazy to do it themselves. whereas the Republicans believe it's better to teach that man to fish so that he can support himself instead of relying on everyone else to do for him. the Republicans do this by giving tax breaks to big business, so they can expand and create more jobs.
True drilling alone won't solve the problem but it will help. it will create more jobs for americans because american companies will be drilling on american land and in american seas. maybe the help we get will be minimal but how much help does sitting on your hands calling others idiots do. don't give me any more demoCrap like it doesn't go far enough. Every journey begins with a first step!

At 6/27/2008 3:57 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Your facts are so wrong they make my head hurt, but... um.. whatever you say.

At 7/02/2008 11:04 AM, Blogger Robbie C. said...

it was a joke retard...

god, lighten up.

At 7/02/2008 12:45 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well Robbiekins,

You oughta know, being one yourself.


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