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Question about drilling for oil in ANWR....

Old 08-11-05, 01:31 AM
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Question about drilling for oil in ANWR....

Can somebody, ANYBODY, explain to me why we should not drill for oil in Alaska?? I'm looking for actual, honest to god reasons/proof....please, DO NOT start a post with "I feel...."!! And if anyone has any links that might aid in the discussion, they'd be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-11-05, 05:52 AM
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National Wildlife Refuge - The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.
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Old 08-11-05, 06:21 AM
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There's no real, factual, honest to god reason why we should not at least do exploratory drilling in ANWR.

Factual reason why we should: It would decrease our dependence on foreign sources for oil.
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Old 08-11-05, 09:02 AM
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Opponents of drilling at ANWR claim that it would kill the caribou.

Of course, they said the exact same thing 30 years ago about drilling at Prudhoe Bay. But the oil companies went ahead and drilled at Prudhoe Bay anyway. Since then, the caribou population at Prudhoe Bay increased from 5,000 to 27,000.

The Audobon Society and the Nature Conservancy have drilled for oil on their own privately owned land, without messing up the environment.

I am against the current proposal for drilling at ANWR, because it would force taxpayers to spend billions of dollars on corporate welfare for the oil companies.

I believe that ANWR should be auctioned off at public auction to the highest bidder. If every person who claimed to be an "environmentalist" would donate as much money as what he spends on gasoline for one year, I'm sure the "environmentalists" would win the auction.
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Old 08-11-05, 09:30 AM
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The opponents of Prudhoe Bay & the Alaskan pipeline said that it would kill the caribou herd.

The caribou herd has grown in numbers.
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Old 08-11-05, 09:33 AM
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Quite frankly, I don't give a rat's ass what happens to the caribou. ANWR should be open to drilling. The government shouldn't be paying companies to do it, though. If it's economically viable, they'll do it on their own.
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Old 08-11-05, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Duran
Quite frankly, I don't give a rat's ass what happens to the caribou. ANWR should be open to drilling. The government shouldn't be paying companies to do it, though. If it's economically viable, they'll do it on their own.
I don't know what the subsidies consist of, but there are at least two considerations that would keep companies from doing this.

1) It's still easier to explore in other countries having an existing oil infrastructure than in frozen tundra. But drilling in foreign countries doesn't help energy independence.

2) It's risky just from a political standpoint. An act of Congress, a new president, a stoke of a pen could take away any ability for the companies to actually extract oil from ANWR after they sink loads of money into exploration.
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Old 08-11-05, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by X
I don't know what the subsidies consist of, but there are at least two considerations that would keep companies from doing this.

1) It's still easier to explore in other countries having an existing oil infrastructure than in frozen tundra. But drilling in foreign countries doesn't help energy independence.

2) It's risky just from a political standpoint. An act of Congress, a new president, a stoke of a pen could take away any ability for the companies to actually extract oil from ANWR after they sink loads of money into exploration.
1) What exactly is the point of "energy independence?" To mitigate the risk of being cut off? I suppose it would, but that seems an unlikely scenario.

2) Agreed.
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Old 08-11-05, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2

Factual reason why we should: It would decrease our dependence on foreign sources for oil.
Where do you think oil from Alaska ends up? (Hint: It's not the USA. Look at where the tankers go.)
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Old 08-11-05, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Duran
1) What exactly is the point of "energy independence?" To mitigate the risk of being cut off? I suppose it would, but that seems an unlikely scenario.
To lessen our demand on foreign oil so that A) prices don't rise as much and B) in the case that we are cut off that our economy doesn't collapse. ANWR will most likely have little effect on either.

Really what we need to do is hope that fuel cells come along quickly and then we can just get the hell out of the middle east altogether. And they can go back to fighting amongst themselves.
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Old 08-11-05, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by E70f
Where do you think oil from Alaska ends up? (Hint: It's not the USA. Look at where the tankers go.)
I believe some Alaskan oil does end up on the West Coast. It sure looks like it from the names of the ships I see going through SF Bay to Chevron's Richmond refinery.

Oil going anywhere else is due to logistics. If we were squeezed that would change.
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Old 08-11-05, 11:57 AM
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From the Save the Arctic website (and I don't vouch for the accuracy of any of this; I don't know whether it's true or not):
PRUDHOE BAY

Oil and Wildlife Don't Mix: Lessons From the Prudhoe Bay Oilfields

While Big Oil and its pro-drilling advocates in Congress claim that the affects of drilling in the Arctic Refuge would be minimal, one need look just 60 miles west of the Refuge to the Prudhoe Bay oilfields for abundant evidence of the negative impacts of drilling on wildlife and wilderness.

Size and Scope

The scope of the Prudhoe Bay oilfields turned what was a pristine wilderness area into one of the world's largest industrial complexes. The massive network now sprawls out over 640,000 acres and can be seen clearly by astronauts from space. The insatiable growth of the field has burgeoned far beyond the scope of the initial Environmental Impact Survey: gravel mines have extracted 400% more gravel, oil companies have drilled 5 times as many wells, roads have extended twice as far, and gravel pads for the facilities have buried three times the area initially predicted. The complex includes 3,898 exploratory wells, 170 drilling pads, 596 miles of road, 1,100 miles of pipeline, 5 docks, housing for 5,000 employees, and 25 production, processing, sea water treatment and power plants. The enormity of this colossal industrial web clearly undermine drilling proponents' claim that industrial development could be limited

Toxic Spills

Toxic chemical spills are commonplace at the Prudhoe Bay oilfield. There were thousands of spills during pipeline construction, and an average of just under 400 spills annually have been reported on the North Slope since 1996 (Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation spill database 1996-2002). In terms of quantity, 1.3 million gallons of toxic substances were spilled between 1996 and 2000 alone. Roughly 40 different substances, from acid to waste oil to diesel and crude, are commonly spilled during routine operations. Diesel is particularly devastating to plant life; a study of diesel spills in Alaska's arctic found that there were was little vegetation recovery 28 years after a spill.

Waste and Pollution

Accidental spills are only half the story. The industrial complex of Prudhoe Bay annually emits more air pollutants than Washington, D.C., and has permitted total emissions that exceed those of at least six states - this in an area once considered America's last great wilderness. Plumes of Prudhoe Bay pollution can be detected 200 miles away and visibility in the once pristine air has been significantly reduced by a permanent haze. The oil industry saps the arid region of an astounding 27 billion gallons of water a year and releases vast quantities of waste materials in Prudhoe Bay. Much of this is solid industrial waste like used drums and constructions materials, but most is liquid wastes as a result of drilling. Daily, 3,000 cubic yards of drilling waste, 40 million gallons of "produced water" or "toxic brine," 40,000 gallons of liquid oily waste and 300 cubic yards of oil contaminated solid wastes and sludges are generated through drilling operations that are disposed of in open waste pits, are frozen into the permafrost, or injected back under ground with unknown effects.
http://www.savearcticrefuge.org/sections/prudhoe.html
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Old 08-11-05, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Duran
1) What exactly is the point of "energy independence?" To mitigate the risk of being cut off? I suppose it would, but that seems an unlikely scenario.
And balance of trade.
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Old 08-11-05, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by E70f
Where do you think oil from Alaska ends up? (Hint: It's not the USA. Look at where the tankers go.)
You're way behind the times. As of 2-3 years ago, all of Alaskan oil goes to 4 states - Alaska, Washington, Oregon & California.

The change came when then Senator Murkowski was Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.
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Old 08-11-05, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Duran
1) What exactly is the point of "energy independence?" To mitigate the risk of being cut off? I suppose it would, but that seems an unlikely scenario.

2) Agreed.

If we had 1) we wouldn't have our balls in a vice right now... A vice owned by some sheiks or dictators in countries where all the citizens hate us.

As for not giving a shit about the Caribou, I guess we could plunder the whole country, cut down the forests for wood, make farmland out of it, mine this place into nothing. But damn it sure would be a more boring place afterward. Personally I wouldn't want every state to look like Iowa, would you? My point is you have to draw the line somewhere. Just because you don't give a shit about an area that doesn't affect you, doesn't mean we shouldn't watch out for it.

Finally, If you don't give a shit about energy independence, why open ANWR at all? That's the only incentive I can see in doing it is for energy independence. However, if the Chinese are ever successful in buying our Oil Companies, the whole thing goes down the shitter anyway. I doubt their latest attempt will be the last for Oil Starved "50 Billion Dollar Surplus in 1 Month" China.

I guess we need a private state run oil company like what Mexico has.

Anyway, I don't think testing ANWR to see how much oil it has is a bad thing, if it has tons and tons of oil, maybe we should keep it for our own interests instead of letting Haliburton or whoever take it for their own. But I would like to see us try and not disturb the evironment as best we can.

My 2 cents.
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Old 08-11-05, 12:17 PM
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You forgot - the pristine environment.

One of the most desolate places on the planet.

The greenies love to show pictures of the greenery. Of course the pictures they show is in the summer and nowhere near the site for exploration and drilling. BTW: There will be no activity during the summer.
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Old 08-11-05, 12:20 PM
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Yeah. If I had a million dollars for each person who enjoyed that area last winter I'd have enough to buy an average house in California.
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Old 08-11-05, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
You're way behind the times. As of 2-3 years ago, all of Alaskan oil goes to 4 states - Alaska, Washington, Oregon & California.
I didn't know that. Good Thanks for correcting me.

Still, isn't the expected amount from ANWR a tiny drop in our consumption? It will help, but only a tiny bit. It's not a cure and the whole thing just smells of Bush, or rather the US taxpayer, throwing our money at his friends in the oil companies.
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Old 08-11-05, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Gallant Pig
If we had 1) we wouldn't have our balls in a vice right now... A vice owned by some sheiks or dictators in countries where all the citizens hate us.
Oil is a commodity. Its price is governed by supply and demand. If oil is selling for $50/barrel, it's selling for $60/barrel everywhere, whether it's from Alaska or Iran. Oil from ANWR might increase supply, but on the other hand, OPEC could just reduce the amount they're pumping, leaving us in the same spot we were before. If OPEC controls most of the oil, the vice stays on our balls less we stop using oil.

As for not giving a shit about the Caribou, I guess we could plunder the whole country, cut down the forests for wood, make farmland out of it, mine this place into nothing. But damn it sure would be a more boring place afterward. Personally I wouldn't want every state to look like Iowa, would you? My point is you have to draw the line somewhere. Just because you don't give a shit about an area that doesn't affect you, doesn't mean we shouldn't watch out for it.
How many people enjoyed the pristine nature that is ANWR last year?

Finally, If you don't give a shit about energy independence, why open ANWR at all? That's the only incentive I can see in doing it is for energy independence. However, if the Chinese are ever successful in buying our Oil Companies, the whole thing goes down the shitter anyway. I doubt their latest attempt will be the last for Oil Starved "50 Billion Dollar Surplus in 1 Month" China.
I'd only care to do so if it is economically viable. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for profit. X made a good point about the political implications increasing the risk for a private corporation.
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Old 08-11-05, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mordred
Really what we need to do is hope that fuel cells come along quickly and then we can just get the hell out of the middle east altogether. And they can go back to fighting amongst themselves.
"Hope" is the operative word since we have to generate hydrogen for them and that takes energy. Where does all that energy come from?
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Old 08-11-05, 01:13 PM
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Old 08-11-05, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Duran
1) What exactly is the point of "energy independence?" To mitigate the risk of being cut off? I suppose it would, but that seems an unlikely scenario.

2) Agreed.
every time there is fear of something happening somewhere the oil prices shoot up. If we had enough supply than fear of a shortage from somewhere would make prices shoot through the roof. $75 is the next price target for oil.
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Old 08-11-05, 02:18 PM
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When will the bubble pop or is there one?

Oil surges to $66 a barrel

http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/11/mark...ex.htm?cnn=yes

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Crude oil and gasoline prices climbed to all-time highs for the second consecutive day Thursday in the U.S. on supply concerns, refinery slowdowns and rising fears over Iran's nuclear aspirations.

September crude prices hit $66 a barrel Thursday morning before retreating to $65.84, up 94 cents. The previous trading record for crude was set on Wednesday at $65 a barrel.

Gasoline futures for September eased after setting another intraday record of $1.955 per gallon.

Consumers immediately felt the effects at the pump as the travel club AAA reported Thursday that the national retail average for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline reached a record all-time high Thursday of $2.397.

Even the price of heating oil crested at historic levels as futures surged to a record $1.903 per gallon on refinery woes.

"The presence of significant headline risk, most particularly from Iran's international relations, the Atlantic hurricane season and from tightness in refining, is continuing to support prices at higher levels," Barclays Capital told Reuters.

Supply and demand concerns
Earlier Thursday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said non-OPEC output was not meeting supply expectations.

The agency predicted that supply growth among non-OPEC countries would fall this year by 205,000 barrels per day, with the U.S., Mexico, Norway, Britain and Russia responsible for the supply slowdown.

At the same time, the IEA also bumped up its forecast for the global demand for oil in 2005 and 2006.

The news came one day after a government report released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration showing that gasoline inventories within the U.S., the world's largest consumer, fell by 2.1 million barrels the week ending August 5.

Crude inventories, conversely, jumped by 2.8 million barrels, the report said.

Supply concerns have already been running high as several U.S. refineries have halted production, while suppliers such as Venezuela have reported crude delivery problems.

Experts say an active hurricane season in the Atlantic also poses a threat to U.S. supplies. To date, eight named storms have erupted, while U.S. government weather forecasters predict as many as 21 tropical storms and 11 hurricanes before the season is over.

In the report released Wednesday the Energy Information Administration noted that the demand for gasoline has not slowed in the U.S., climbing 1.4 percent over the past year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline demand has averaged nearly 9.5 million barrels per day.

Yet not all experts are convinced that the record-shattering prices are solely due to supply-and-demand concerns.

Michael Darda, the chief economist with research firm MKM Partners, believes fear also figures into the equation.

"I think there's a heavy portion of demand that is being driven by fear and terror risk rather than actual physical demand," he said. "I don't buy into the notion that we are running out of oil -- not in the near term."

Industry experts note that the jump in oil and gas prices is common at this time of year, just before Labor Day, according to Bill O'Grady, the assistant director of market analysis for A.G. Edwards.

"At this time of year it's normal to see refinery outages and it invariably spooks the market when it happens," he said.

Concerns over Iran
Over the past 11 sessions, oil prices have reacted to the potential of supply disruptions from both Iran and Saudi Arabia, the two largest members of OPEC. (Full story.)

Iran has recently drawn the ire of both U.S. and international leaders by removing seals on its nuclear equipment Wednesday. Fearing Iran's nuclear ambitions, the International Atomic Energy Agency approved a resolution calling for Iran to suspend all nuclear activities.

EU officials warned OPEC's second biggest producer that they would push for punitive action with the U.N. security council if it failed to comply.

Earlier this week the U.S. was forced to halt its missions to exporter Saudi Arabia for two days following warnings of militant attacks in the world's biggest oil exporter.

Right now, the oil cartel is pumping at almost flat out levels with Saudi Arabia the only member with significant spare production capacity.

Even with U.S. crude averaging above $53 a barrel for the year to date, in real terms prices are still below the $80 a barrel average of 1980, after the Iranian revolution.
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Old 08-11-05, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by E70f
I didn't know that. Good Thanks for correcting me.

Still, isn't the expected amount from ANWR a tiny drop in our consumption? It will help, but only a tiny bit. It's not a cure and the whole thing just smells of Bush, or rather the US taxpayer, throwing our money at his friends in the oil companies.
Every single oil well, every single oil field is a drop in the bucket compared to our consumption. Should we close them all and have no oil because each is so small?

That argument holds no water (or oil, as the case may be). There are hundreds of thousands of oil wells, each contributing a little. When they each play out, they need to be replaced. Environmentalists using your argument have kept us from replacing depleted wells for 30 years; now we are in a world of hurt.
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Old 08-11-05, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
Every single oil well, every single oil field is a drop in the bucket compared to our consumption. Should we close them all and have no oil because each is so small?
Yes, that's exactly what we should do

ANWR isn't going to have much effect either way. We do need to increase domestic production0. We also need to decrease domestic consumption. If we make more, but need less, the Saudi grip on our balls weakens. Personally, I would like this to happen, but you might like having Arabs holding your balls. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, if that's what floats your boat).

Will domestic demand go down? Hell no. People want to commute in 12mpg SUVs and chill their houses down to 72 all summer 24X7. Doing otherwise would require patriotic personal sacrifice. So, hell no.
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