Drilling Offshore and in the ANWR, What's Wrong With This Picture?

Submitted by Jonathan on Fri, 01/30/2009 - 12:22am.

Why do President Bush and his buddies want to drill, drill, drill? Hot, Flat Friedman wonders, “what planet are they on?” Vote for the best explanation or post your own in comments. ~ Robert Singer

President Bush is concerned about American families
The President cites tough times for families in urging lawmakers to allow a vote on the bill to open ocean drilling: "American drivers are counting on Congress to lift the ban and so are American workers." Bush said that high gas prices are cutting into consumers' food and housing budgets. "The time for action is now, this is a difficult period for millions of American families," July 30, 2008 [Gasoline $4.32, Oil $122.46]

Psychological affect on speculators
Even though the drilling would not produce results, “It Would Help America Now!” Oil prices are high now because of the speculators. From a psychological point of view, if news came out that we were going to open up offshore drilling or even ANWR, prices would start to drop because the speculators would have to start selling off their position because they would know the prices wouldn’t be able to go much higher. I think we would start to see a decrease within weeks of an announcement.

Psychological affect on Bush’s buddies
So, the thinking goes if we relax federal prohibitions against drilling offshore and in the ANWR, knowledge of this fact will cause Bush’s Oil buddies to change their pumping decisions today. Though the additional barrels from ANWR wouldn't physically hit the market for years, it will lead to immediate relief at the pump. Beyond that, the ideal solution would be to completely privatize federal lands.

The members of a club were getting bored and thought it would be interesting to see how high the price of gasoline would have to go to get Americans to give up their last Arctic wilderness, a 1.5 million-acre habitat for seabirds, caribou, and polar bears. The winning ticket had $4.79 a gallon. In 1973 (the Oil Embargo) the same members of the club had a bet to see if long gas lines would get the public to agree to the Alaskan Pipeline, Within weeks of the Arab oil embargo, President Nixon signed into law the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act, which authorized the completion of 800 miles of pipeline through the frozen passes of the Brooks Range, and through some of the most pristine country in North.

Local control and Jobs in Alaska
Governor Palin stressed the need to enact an energy policy that includes oil and gas production from domestic sources, since failure to enact a sound energy policy is having real-life consequences. Alaskan residents pay higher prices for their gas than residents in other states do, and everything is far away. The state is as big as a third of the continental US, which means Alaskans have to drive further to get their gas than most people do in other states. Finally, because of the rugged terrain up there, everybody has big cars. If ANWR were opened for business, Alaskans might see a decrease in oil and gas prices or, at the very least, receive reimbursements because of the stipends. The people in Alaska overwhelmingly want it. “In my opinion, if they want to look at an oil well outside their back door, that’s their decision, not mine. I find that part of this argument persuasive.”

Reduce our dependence on foreign oil
The oil companies and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent statistical agency within the Department of Energy, estimate that new oil from ANWR could lower the world price of oil by a minimum of .44 cents and as much as a whopping $1.44 per barrel but, that won’t take effect for 20 years. The EIA projection for oil production in the ANWR is 0.4 to 1.2 percent of total world oil consumption in 2030 and that amount would reduce our foreign oil dependence.

Oil companies are greedy and hoarding
Oil companies only have 70 million “offshore acres leases” remaining from a total 90 million; they are concerned they will run out of places to drill for oil in 3030 (yes, I meant 3030). Some Democrats also charge that oil companies are deliberately not drilling on the land to limit supply and drive up oil prices.

Oil companies prefer to drill in cold climates

I don’t have an answer but neither does Hot Flat Friedman
Thomas Friedman author of Hot Flat and Crowded doesn’t know about any wager because when interviewed on NPR about drilling in the North Slope to promote the burning of coal, oil and gas exclaimed loudly:
drill, drill - what am I missing here
drill, drill - what planet are they on?
it's crazy, the Ohio senator actually voted against it (tax credits)

Maybe President Bush wasn’t joking when, after rejecting the global climate change targets of the July 2008 G8 summit, he said, "Goodbye, from the world's biggest polluter." Maybe covets and wants to retain that title?

Robert Singer - December 22, 2008 - Source: OpEdNews

More related content below

"Give Us the ANWAR and Keep Shopping"-They Found They Can't Have Both

Associated Press (AP) reported on September 13th, 2008 that the unprecedented rise in gas prices has brought a change to the American way of life that even a drop in oil prices below $100/barrel won’t erase. As AP put it, "Public transportation is in. Hummers are out. Frugality is in. Wastefulness is out."

Apparently, the worst gas price hike has produced the worst-case scenario for the select group of people who raised the price of gasoline to almost $5.00/gallon smug in their belief they could get Americans to give up their last Arctic wilderness while continuing to buy useless, wasteful consumer goods.

Two significant things happened recently after gas approached $5 a gallon and oil was selling for $142 a barrel.

Retail sales fell in July as shoppers shunned autos and other big-ticket items. In spite of government stimulus payments to U.S. households retail sales dipped 0.1 percent last month when a variety of economic woes including skyrocketing gas prices combined to blunt America's shopping habits—habits which wreak havoc on the environment.

August 14, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) signaled her willingness to consider opening up more coastal areas to oil and gas exploration. Just weeks before Pelosi was resolved to block any votes to allow offshore drilling.

Once the environment's last bastion of defense (Congress) had fallen, and gasoline prices rose so high, it tremendously curbed American buying habits, gasoline prices mysteriously came down almost a dollar and oil is now under $100 a barrel.

Really? Just because a month ago we agreed to consider more drilling? Oil drops by $45 a barrel, is that possible?



Authors Bio: Robert Singer is a retired information technology professional and an environmental activist living in southern California. In 1995 he and his cousin Adam D. Singer founded IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc., where he served as chief technology officer. Today the company manages more than 130 practice groups, providing care in some 300 medical facilities in 18 states. Prior to that he was president of Useful Software, a developer and publisher of business and consumer software for the personal computing Industry.

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Submitted by Jonathan on Fri, 01/30/2009 - 12:22am.