Drilling in ANWAR - a good thing?

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by Mother Margaret, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. Mother Margaret

    Mother Margaret Former Guest

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    Why or why not?

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    March 16, 2005, 10:17AM

    Drilling in refuge expected
    Senate to vote today on ending moratorium in section of wildlife area
    By DAVID IVANOVICH
    Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON - The Senate is poised to vote today to sweep aside a 25-year-old moratorium and allow oil companies to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


    In what could prove the pivotal vote in a debate that has spanned a generation, the Republican-led Senate is expected to narrowly defeat an effort to yank language that would authorize drilling in a portion of this wildlife refuge in northeast Alaska.

    "We believe we have the votes," said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who has been trying for decades to open the refuge to oil and gas exploration.

    Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., who quoted from Genesis and 1 Corinthians to argue against drilling in the refuge, conceded he was worried about the vote.

    The centerpiece of President Bush's energy strategy, the measure would grant energy companies access to the largest untapped oil deposit left onshore in the United States, an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

    The vote comes as oil prices are near record highs and the nation's average price of gasoline has topped $2 a gallon.

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    But opponents argue drilling will spoil what they call "America's Serengeti."

    Proponents of drilling in the wildlife refuge attached the provision to a budget resolution, a tactic designed to avoid an otherwise certain filibuster, which would allow opponents to block consideration of the measure with only 40 votes. Under Senate rules, drilling opponents would need 51 votes to strike the language from the budget bill, but they are expected to fall short.

    The House is scheduled to pass its own budget resolution later this week. That measure isn't expected to include comparable language on drilling in the refuge, so the differences would have to be worked out in a conference committee.

    The House has repeatedly passed bills authorizing opening up the refuge to exploration, but budget resolutions can get hung up over any number of arcane issues. Indeed, last year lawmakers could never come to terms.

    The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1960. In 1980, it was expanded to its current size, roughly comparable to South Carolina.

    But with the nation experiencing a painful oil price shock at that time, lawmakers earmarked a 1.5-million-acre slice along Alaska's coastal plain for possible oil and natural gas exploration.

    To date, the government has never authorized drilling in this area, known in federal parlance as Section 1002.

    A GOP-controlled Congress approved just such a proposal in 1995, but then-President Clinton vetoed the measure.

    The current proposal would allow companies to drill in Section 1002, but the surface area covered by production or support facilities would be limited to 2,000 acres.

    Oil could begin flowing within seven to 10 years, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said Tuesday. The government could hold a lease sale in 2007.

    The Energy Information Agency estimated last year that if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were opened up for exploration, Alaska's northern coastal plan could be producing anywhere from 600,000 to 1.6 million barrels a day by 2025.

    That would include production from the Section 1002 area, as well as tribal lands and offshore areas controlled by Alaska, which won't be developed unless the federal lands are opened up.

    On Capitol Hill, virtually any energy policy debate can spark a brawl. But few issues generate the kind of passions roused when lawmakers debate opening this pristine corner of northeast Alaska. On Tuesday, the wildlife refuge debate was cast as a choice between national security and the nation's sacred values.

    Proponents like Stevens argued that drilling in Alaska will help reduce the nation's dependence on unreliable, even rogue states abroad to meet our energy needs. He pointed to today's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Isfahan, Iran.

    "Think about that: OPEC is meeting in Iran to decide the future of oil prices for the world," Stevens said.

    Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., last year's Democratic presidential nominee, argued that once oil companies move into the area, "It's no longer what it is today ... a wilderness."

    Democrats also accused Republicans of bending the Senate rules to attach the measure to a budget resolution.

    Representatives from Alaska's native peoples joined the fray.

    Desiree Kaveolook, a student from the Inupiat Eskimo village of Kaktovik, the only permanent human settlement within the refuge, argued that the economic benefits of drilling in the refuge will help local schools and provide scholarships for students from the area.

    Luci Beach is a member of the Gwich'in people who migrate in an out of the refuge following a large caribou herd — the tribe's name means People of the Caribou.

    Beach worries drilling activity will disturb an area where the caribou come to calve, endangering a key food supply for her people.
  2. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

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    I think it is a great idea. It is about time that our national security takes priority over the enviromental wackos. We should be drilling in a lot more places in this country. We should also be building more refineries and power plants.
  3. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    The environmental wackos keep propagating this myth that opening it up to drilling means that it will become some sort of wasteland, or that the entire place will become polluted and wildlife will die out. It's a crock. Opening it up to drilling will have very minimal impact. They'll have to cut in a few roads to provide access to the sites, and they may need to run a pipeline or two. For an area the size of South Carolina, I don't think it's going to make much difference. These people who oppose it need to get a life.

    On the other hand, I do wish we'd wean ourselves off of oil. We're just propagating a losing endeavour.
  4. LIKTOSHOOT

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

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    ANWAR, 19 million acre`s give or take, drilling area 7,000 acre`s.
    You do the math.....impact what???


    LTS
  5. IShootBack

    IShootBack Well-Known Member

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    Impact the amount of $$$ we send to the middle east...

    Impact our dependance on foriegn dictators and other forms of tyranical government.

    Impact our world view of fighting for oil.

    Impact our economy...in a good way.

    Impact wildlife by creating alternate healthy habitat thereby improving their lives...ie.spotted owls living in KMart signs...

    Impact local economy in the developing region by infusing capital.

    Impact technolgy for the new developments we'll make during this new venture.

    I'm with you LTS - No bad impact here - only good.
  6. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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  7. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

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    They're not even really going to cut permanent roads, even.

    The plan is to use ice roads, not permanent roads. The roads will disappear every thaw and the area will be inaccessible by vehicle during that time.

    I love the environment. I believe in preserving our natural resources as much as possible. I fail to see, however, why we must halt all progress, all human endeavour, simply because some anti-this and anti-that nutcases *claim* that a particular human activity will be harmful.

    Environmentalism should *NOT* mean "halt all human progress and activity." It should mean "take proper care of the environment and minimize the impact as much as practical."
  8. Carl S

    Carl S New Member

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    When the Anwar was created, a specific area was set aside for oil exploration. Congress is finally following through with the original intent. The same doom and gloom scenarios were painted by the Green crowd regarding North Slope drilling and the Alaskan pipe line. None of their doom and gloom predicitons came to pass except for the Valdez incident.
  9. dge479

    dge479 New Member

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    I am all for it, should have been done sooner. and as Satellite66 said, we should be drilling in alot of other places.
    Every drop of oil we get out of it is 1 we dont have to buy oversees. Less $$$ going to them ,is less $$ that gets into terrorist hands.
  10. Kasatka

    Kasatka New Member

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    My dad lived all over the arctic, Alaska, Canada, etc when he was younger and into his late 30's, so he knows all about that area. The eco-terrorists (aka greenpeace fanatics) are oblivious to the fact that those pipelines not only don't disturb any part of any ecosystem up there, but the animals love them. They privide cover from snow and rain, and the grass grows well under them, giving them food for hundreds of miles.

    The fact is, we win and the animals win, at no expense to the ecological system. :)
  11. 155gunner

    155gunner New Member

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    It's a great idea and should have been done sooner. The best part is that it ticks off the liberals and enviro-nazis, so I support it even more.
  12. danurve

    danurve New Member

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    You got it. I say friggin drill already. I'm sick of oil from the middle east. It is the a-hole of the world.
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