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  1. #1
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    ANWAR drilling article

    one of my friends who works in the alpine area emailed me this... she has lived in alaska most of her life having only recently moved to arizona... but still flies up there periodically to work. think the bill for arctic drilling will pass? there are more republicans than ever in the house and senate... seems as if they could be on the verge of it... i myself don't like the idea and support the conservation alternative... thoughts?





    Sunday, March 6, 2005

    Sen. Domenici Builds Case for Arctic Drilling

    By Michael Coleman
    Journal Washington Bureau
    ALPINE, Alaska— The future of American oil exploration is taking shape here, on a frozen tundra 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
    The remote area, accessible only by airplanes and desolate dirt roads, is home to a gleaming new ConocoPhillips oil extraction operation that is pumping millions of barrels of oil out of the rich Alaskan ground.
    The state-of-the-art operation— sparkling clean but covering dozens of acres of land— is being touted as a model for the eventual opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, 50 miles to the east.
    On Saturday, Sen. Pete Domenici, a New Mexico Republican who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, came to Alpine with some congressional colleagues on a fact-finding mission.
    The senator said he plans to use this example of modern-day oil exploration to help convince the American public that the time to open ANWR itself to oil production is finally at hand.
    Legislation to open ANWR to oil drilling, which has repeatedly failed in Congress over the past four years, is expected to come to a vote in the Senate again within the next six weeks.
    "ANWR is coming to a conclusion one way or another," Domenici said over a pizza lunch at the ConocoPhillips site Saturday as winds outside plunged temperatures to 48 degrees below zero. "I've heard so much about it, I wanted to see if there was anything I could learn by being here. I thought maybe I'd learn something, and I have."

    Smaller 'footprints'
    Domenici, several Senate colleagues, Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman and a small contingent of media toured the ConocoPhillips facility and then boarded buses to drive 35 miles on icy roads to an actual drilling facility.
    Company officials touted the multimillion-dollar technology that allows them to drill more deeply and broadly into the earth with "footprints" smaller than ever before.
    Today the delegation will tour more sites closer to the Arctic Ocean, and visit an Eskimo community in the heart of ANWR that supports exploration.
    Since President Bush took office in 2000, ANWR has been the most hotly debated environmental issue in America.
    Proponents contend that the region holds billions of barrels of oil that could eventually help reduce the federal budget deficit as well as America's dependence on foreign oil sources.
    Those opposing ANWR drilling— including Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexican who is the top Democrat on the Senate energy panel— argue that opening the refuge could eventually endanger hundreds of species of wildlife, including thousands of porcupine caribou that use it as a calving ground.
    Bingaman, who visited the refuge himself in 2002, contends that America could stretch its oil supplies much further through conservation than through additional drilling.
    Bingaman also has said opening ANWR could make other federally protected lands more vulnerable to oil and gas drilling.

    Eyes on Otero
    The Bush administration also has its sights set on the Otero Wilderness area in southern New Mexico. The wilderness is projected to contain vast quantities of natural gas.
    "It (opening ANWR) would be an additional step toward increased drilling and development," Bingaman said recently in Washington.
    But that's not necessarily a bad thing, according to Norton, the U.S. Interior Secretary who toured the ConocoPhillips facility with Domenici and other members of Congress on Saturday.
    Norton, in an interview, said ANWR is projected to hold by far the largest oil reserves in the United States. A U.S. Geologic Survey completed in 1998 estimated there are about 10 billion barrels of oil in the reserve, enough to supply New Mexico's petroleum needs for more than 200 years.
    "There is clearly more oil in ANWR than in the entire state of New Mexico," Norton said, referring to the state's oil-rich Permian and San Juan basins.
    She said there are major misconceptions about ANWR. One, she said, is that wildlife cannot thrive in and around oil exploration areas.
    Surveys have shown that caribou herds have increased since companies began exploring for oil in Alaska's north slope, she said. She also said people should understand that the area to be opened in ANWR is just 2,000 acres, or less than one-hundredth of the reserve's total acreage.
    With newly increased Republican majorities in the House and Senate, Domenici said he is hoping that this will be the year that Congress finally relents and opens ANWR to oil companies. He said he's convinced that exploration is a fundamental part of the solution to America's energy needs.
    "Every barrel we produce means we don't have to buy it somewhere else," Domenici said.

    Hundreds protest
    Although a vast majority of Alaskans support ANWR drilling— some polls put the number as high as 75 percent— a vocal minority opposes it.
    More than 300 people showed up at a protest rally in Fairbanks this week to assail the drilling plan as a short-sighted money grab by oil companies and the politicians who represent them.
    Luci Beach, executive director of the Gwich'in Steering Committee, said the Gwich'in people— native Alaskans whose village lies 150 miles south of ANWR— are vehemently opposed to the drilling proposal because they fear it would damage the porcupine caribou's calving ground.
    Thousands of pregnant caribou give birth each year near the area proposed for exploration. The Gwich'in worry that the extraction activity would disrupt this annual phenomenon and diminish the herds.
    "Our relationship with the porcupine caribou herd is similar to that of the Plains Indian and the buffalo," Beach said Friday during an interview in her Fairbanks office. "It's what our culture is based on. We consider (ANWR) the sacred place where life begins."
    "It's power and money that is prevailing and basically greed," Beach said.
    While other Alaskans are among the most vocal supporters of opening ANWR, critics contend that's because they each stand to benefit if oil production is increased. Each Alaska resident— every man, woman and child— receives an annual dividend check from the state's permanent fund. Last year, each check was for $900.
    But that doesn't mean Alaskans want to forsake their land for a check. The state has some of the most stringent environmental regulations in the country, said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican who traveled with Domenici on Saturday.
    "I know that we can do this right in Alaska if given the opportunity," Murkowski said.

    ANWR at a glance


    · ANWR encompasses 19.6 million acres and is roughly the size of South Carolina. The refuge lies on the northernmost edge of Alaska, bordering the Beaufort Sea, and is about 60 miles east of the oil-producing fields of Prudhoe Bay.


    · ANWR was established in 1960 as a home for grizzly bears, polar bears, arctic foxes, 180 species of birds and caribou, which migrate to the area each year to give birth to their young.


    · The refuge is home to Inupiat Eskimos and Athabascan Indians, whose ancestors have lived in the area for generations.


    · Scientists believe the most promising section of ANWR for oil exploration is about 1.5 million acres along the area's coastal plain. About 2,000 of these acres would be made available for drilling under legislative proposals.


    · It's estimated that ANWR's coastal-plain region holds between 4 billion and 11.8 billion barrels of oil, with 7.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil. That compares to about 23 billion barrels of recoverable oil in tens of thousands of small fields in the Lower 48 states, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey.


    · If oil exploration is permitted in ANWR, it could take between seven to 12 years for the necessary lease sales, permitting and environmental reviews to occur before production could begin.

  2. #2
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    As the resident conservative, I'll weigh in on this one. Naturally, I am for drilling in Alaska. I'm getting tired of paying $2 a gallon for gasoline and doing business with people who want us dead. This area is for the most part, uninhabited, and animals can learn to adapt.

    I have yet to hear of an adequate substitute to fuel our nation. Windmills just won't aren't going to cut it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JillLaQ
    As the resident conservative, I'll weigh in on this one. Naturally, I am for drilling in Alaska. I'm getting tired of paying $2 a gallon for gasoline and doing business with people who want us dead. This area is for the most part, uninhabited, and animals can learn to adapt.

    I have yet to hear of an adequate substitute to fuel our nation. Windmills just won't aren't going to cut it.
    I agree with JillLaQ.
    The whole ANWAR issue is political and its pathetic how the main stream media twist the truth. I lived in Alaska for 28 years and would move back if my husband would agree. My husband worked at Prudhoe Bay for 20 years and he says, where they want to drill is not where the media shows you on T.V.. The drilling would be done in an uninhabited, flat section of ANWAR and the only thing there is a hugh mosquito population. It is miles from the mountains and as far as the caribou herd is concerned-at Prudhoe Bay the herd has gotten bigger since they built the pipeline so I can only see a plus for the caribou. You can't compare the oil fields in the lower 48 to the oil fields in Alaska--they have many more regulations there than they do in any other part of the country. My son had a job in Texas for awhile and he could not believe how the oil companies got by without cleaning up their spills here. He said if you spill a tablespoon of oil in Alaska-there is a major cleanup. Our country needs this oil and its a crime not to drill for it in a place that no one will ever want to live, especially with the way the enviroment is regarded in Alaska. People need to know the truth about ANWAR, IMO. Peggy

  4. #4
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    You know what pisses me off? Alaska can't do ANYTHING with it's own space until DC Poli-heads say it's okay. Like we're stupid or something!


    ANWR NEEDS to be opened... when a whole state is basically going under because we're the last on the list to get fed funding and tourism is DOWN and the other oil rigs are drying up.... yeah we don't *need* ANWR


    and screw all of the liberal media-heads who want you to belive ANWR makes up half of Alaska... it's considerably small considering we're the size of 3+Texases

    the carabou herd that would supposedly "die out" (According to Peter "I'm an @$$" Jennings) has benefitted from the pipeline (another one of those "Alaska will be ruined" projects) as it keeps them warm.... part of the job of the oil companies is to take care of the wildlife and wilderness around them...

    asside from a supposed green peacer a few years ago shooting holes in the pipeline and another green peace group driving an oily boat around Juneau we haven't had a lot of problems... (yes we recently had an oil spill but I won't get into those) The North Slope is a producting oil community but it's also done wonders for the wildlife...

    and wonders for our economy


    don't want us to drill? don't have your states argue that we don't need more freaking funding for basic things like education and road matenance!

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    Okay, I'll take up the mantle of the environment and prudent stewardship of natural resources. I don't have the time or inclination to get locked into one of those flame wars, so I'll voluntarily limit myself to just one post on this topic:

    Pipeline volume is set by the oil industry. It's not set to meet the needs of the nation, not to conform to the energy policy, not any "concern" for anything other than the almighty dollar. Designed to handle 2 billion barrels per day, the pipeline runs at 1 billion barrells per day and even so there are reserves sufficient to continue at that rate for 20 years. So why are we even considering privatizing these public lands? (and this is not just Alaskan's land - it's public lands) - and that's exactly what we'd be doing. Greed and expediency:

    ~It's easier to do so than to give any serious thought, (let alone funding), to alternative energy sources and fuels.
    ~It's easier than developing and adequately funding any type of mass transit for high density population centers.
    ~It's easier to reward your politically generous friends in the oil industry who helped put and keep you into office.
    ~It's easier to give tax credits to people driving Hummers and other vehicles that encourages the obscene consumption of natural resources and create pollution at the same time. (But then, this administration believes that global warming is "junk science" so no problem there.)

    Here's another idea, spend a little less on Offense (oops, sorry I meant Defense, of course) and you'd have enough money to support renewable and beneficial resources like the promotion of Alaska tourism, sustainable fish and timber harvests, etc.

    During the peak "shortages" of gasoline in this country I have witnessed dozens of oil tankers moored, fully loaded offshore of a big refinery less than 30 minutes from my home. Not just once. "Part of the job of oil companies is to take care of the wildlife and wilderness around them" - who footed the major portion of the bill for the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez? Not Exxon. This statement was too reminiscent of the fox guarding the henhouse for me....

    The oil industry is playing the American public like a fiddle. Why? Because they can. It's the easy thing to do, they've got friends in high places, and they're fueled by obscene levels of profit.

    Just my humble opinions of course.....

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    At the risk of ticking off both sides at once...

    I try to take the long view on these environmental issues. There is only so much oil. We can burn it fast or we can burn it slow. Then we will have to start looking around for plan B.

    Similarly, global warming. OK, so the world heats up by a few degrees, the polar ice caps melt, the sea level rises and we lose a hundred mile wide strip along all of our seacoasts. All we have to do is abandon our coastal cities and build new ones farther inland. In compensation, places like Canada and Siberia -- maybe even Antarctica -- become habitable. Animal and plant species adapt. Some become extinct, others flourish, new ones come along to fill empty niches.

    The earth abides. We might not, of course. Species, like individuals, have their natural lifetimes. But the earth itself will do just fine whether we drill for oil in Alaska or not, IMHO.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    actually even BEFORE 9-11 our tourism was down... because the US Government (and mostly Clinton) couldn't keep their fingers off of our state. Closing down everything to everyone...

    because the people won't get their butts up here themselves, they rely on crap to tell them what's 'right' and what's 'wrong'

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    Okay, as the resident liberal here....I have read all the arguments. I'm not sure how exactly Clinton stopped tourism to Alaska, though, Toni, could you elaborate more on that?

    I understand that it sucks to pay a lot for gas. I lived in Europe. I paid over $4 a gallon. This is why I drive a small, gas efficient car. I hope to one day own a hybrid, or an electric car. But I have no sympathy for the twits in their oversized cars getting pathetic gas mileage. Made. Bed. Lie.

    Also most of the gas in the US does NOT come from the Middle East, it comes from South America. To the best of my knowledge, they are not trying to "kill" us, nor, for the record, are the vast majority of people in the Middle East.

    Do we need to drill in the ANWAR? No. But as Aloft said, that's a much easier solution than to deal with all the other issues.

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    ^ loz, not the only resident liberal though

    I can so see the argument for this though. Toni's right, the state needs the money something fierece. And yes, the environmental impact aren't as devistating as sometimes painted out to be.

    Still. The oil would last for what, like 50-75 years? Then what? We're back in the same situation all over again. I say if you're worried about funding okay, open ANWAR, but while you're at it eleminate the freaking PFD (which is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard of in my life--I couldn't believe it when I moved up here) and start a state sales tax. Then start saving the money you're making so we'll have something to fall back on when the oil runs out. Because this state's economy is 80% based on oil, and unless we have some smort of backup plan (which now we don't) when it goes, we're royally screwed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JillLaQ
    As the resident conservative, I'll weigh in on this one. Naturally, I am for drilling in Alaska. I'm getting tired of paying $2 a gallon for gasoline and doing business with people who want us dead. This area is for the most part, uninhabited, and animals can learn to adapt.

    I have yet to hear of an adequate substitute to fuel our nation. Windmills just won't aren't going to cut it.
    Interestingly, I gave a speech last week on this very topic. There are benefits to drilling in ANWR. The people of Alaska deserve the economic benefits and their wishes need to be taken into account. Alternative energy is still in its infancy. In the meantime we have spent $150billion on foreign-mainly middle eastern- oil, and ignored the rich resources in our own country. We are importing 57% of our oil, while a rich supply of it lies unexplored in our own land. The technology has improved to make the foot print smaller. Imaging techniques can be used to minimize the extent of drilling. The oil will not last forever (large wells last for 25-30 years; small ones about 10-15 years) but it will serve us while other alternatives are being worked on. With proper planning it is possible for the wild life and industry to co-exist. Saying that ANWR should never be explored for oil is going to extremes. To me, it is like buying a beautiful and expensive car but locking it up in the garage instead of using it, because it will get dirty.

    My speech took almost 30 minutes, including Q&A at the end. This is just a short post to summarize it.

    Vash
    Last edited by Vash01; 03-08-2005 at 01:11 AM.

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    Quote from Princess Leppard:
    "I understand that it sucks to pay a lot for gas. I lived in Europe. I paid over $4 a gallon. This is why I drive a small, gas efficient car. I hope to one day own a hybrid, or an electric car. But I have no sympathy for the twits in their oversized cars getting pathetic gas mileage. Made. Bed. Lie."

    I don't know where you live now, but here in Pennsylvania where I live, my little Chevy S10 4 wheel drive pickup has never gotten stuck in the snow, and that's one of the reasons why I drive it. Also, I'm not as likely to get killed if someone rams into me. As far as twits like me getting pathetic gas mileage, maybe so, but not compared to the Euro-Weenies who think nothing of paying twice as much!

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    I'm not particularly fond of any proposal that involves drilling for oil in a wildlife refuge, but it certainly doesn't seem fair that we would have these resources in our own backyard and not use them. Instead, we exploit third world nations to fulfill our endless thirst for fuel! The situation in Nigeria is a prime example. Nigeria is currently the fifth largest supplier of oil to America. U.S./British oil companies have taken full advantage of the shaky political/civil situation there. In many ways, their presence has only increased the tension between certain Nigerian groups. But, the country is poor and the government is hungry for money that the people never see.....so we allow Nigeria to prostitute itself. Sorry, that is completely wrong. I may not want to see us drill in Alaska, but if we have it in our own nation we need to throw off the elitest "as long as it isn't in my backyard" mantle and quit relying on less fortunate countries to deal with all of the negative effects. I would love it if we could actually expect our government to seriously consider/research alternative energy sources, but with this administration that is about as likely as legal gay marriage in central Mississippi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JillLaQ
    Quote from Princess Leppard:
    "I understand that it sucks to pay a lot for gas. I lived in Europe. I paid over $4 a gallon. This is why I drive a small, gas efficient car. I hope to one day own a hybrid, or an electric car. But I have no sympathy for the twits in their oversized cars getting pathetic gas mileage. Made. Bed. Lie."

    I don't know where you live now, but here in Pennsylvania where I live, my little Chevy S10 4 wheel drive pickup has never gotten stuck in the snow, and that's one of the reasons why I drive it. Also, I'm not as likely to get killed if someone rams into me. As far as twits like me getting pathetic gas mileage, maybe so, but not compared to the Euro-Weenies who think nothing of paying twice as much!
    Wow, do you seriously hate all non-americans? You've slandered people from the Middle East and now Europe. Nice.

    I actually have no problem with people who drive four wheel drives IN THE WINTER when they need it. It's absurd to drive it around in the summer. As for safety, my car does fine, thank you very much.

    And Toni still hasn't told me how Clinton single handedly destroyed tourism in Alaska....


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    Turn on Hannity and Combs--they are going to show where they want to drill for oil. This show is onthe Fox News channel.

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    Sorry-its Colmes not Combs.

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