The fate of the ANWR
March 16, 2005 1:53 PM   Subscribe

The die is cast. The United States Senate votes for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil drilling.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket (162 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: double post



 
!
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:02 PM on March 16, 2005


.
posted by danOstuporStar at 2:03 PM on March 16, 2005


Fuck.

.
posted by sninky-chan at 2:06 PM on March 16, 2005


.
posted by c13 at 2:07 PM on March 16, 2005


Balls.
posted by crazy finger at 2:07 PM on March 16, 2005


Good. Now people can determine if it is worth the effort, and if not, we can get on to strip-mining Alberta for their tar sands.
posted by dwivian at 2:07 PM on March 16, 2005


Shame. We are losing our natural heritage. Look at a map; there's not much left. Certainly nothing of this significance. It is the crown-jewel of our last remaining wilderness. Been to Yellowstone lately? Have fun finding a parking spot.
posted by Georgie Orgy at 2:09 PM on March 16, 2005


.
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:10 PM on March 16, 2005


Holy crap.
posted by loquacious at 2:10 PM on March 16, 2005


Now wait, aren't we overreacting? The president could veto it!
posted by kenko at 2:10 PM on March 16, 2005


We didn't need that durn wilderness anyways. It ain't making nobody no money sittin' there being all lazy. Let's get that oil all out, strip mine what's left, and turn it into a giant parking lot.
posted by evilangela at 2:11 PM on March 16, 2005


I wish I could find my lack of surprise surprising.
posted by Cyrano at 2:11 PM on March 16, 2005


We R Winning teh War on teh Nviroment!11!!

Your next Leblebanon 'n' Osama!!11!!1
posted by orthogonality at 2:13 PM on March 16, 2005


Georgie Orgy writes "Been to Yellowstone lately? Have fun finding a parking spot."

That's irony, right?
posted by orthogonality at 2:13 PM on March 16, 2005


turn it into a giant parking lot.

For what, TundraDisney?

Stripmining it will leave a barren wasteland, so there's not going to be much of a change there. Paving it, however, requires lots of concrete or asphault that could be put to better use extending our interstate highway system so we can put more cars on the road.
posted by dwivian at 2:13 PM on March 16, 2005


They are so hammering us while we natter on about Social Security . . . nice feint, Rove.
posted by hackly_fracture at 2:14 PM on March 16, 2005


MetafilterAmerica: Your next Leblebanon 'n' Osama!!11!!1

: <
posted by amberglow at 2:14 PM on March 16, 2005


'bout damn time....now we can finally get on with the business of getting some oill out of ANWR...this is a Good Thing, people -- why all the long faces?
posted by davidmsc at 2:14 PM on March 16, 2005


How small a footprint can meaningful drilling have, and what precautions are anybody talking about to minimize the potential impact?
posted by alumshubby at 2:15 PM on March 16, 2005


Precautions? The Shrub Club only deal in postcautions, as far as I can tell.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:18 PM on March 16, 2005


why all the long faces?

Exactly! Because we have lots of earths to use up!
posted by goethean at 2:20 PM on March 16, 2005


'bout time.
posted by iwearredsocks at 2:21 PM on March 16, 2005


Oh, that's just wonderful. Fucking hell.
posted by jokeefe at 2:21 PM on March 16, 2005


Anyone care to explain why this is so doomsday hellfire bad without resorting to ridiculous hyperbole and garment rending?
posted by xmutex at 2:23 PM on March 16, 2005


.

Unbelievable. Does no senator (well, 51 of them) actually think for themselves? I'm embarrassed to be an American.
posted by Dantien at 2:23 PM on March 16, 2005


this is a Good Thing, people

Right, because we'll never need oil reserves like we do now!
posted by goethean at 2:25 PM on March 16, 2005


Does no senator (well, 51 of them) actually think for themselves?

Because if they don't agree with you then they clearly don't think for themselves.

There are costs and benefits on both sides of the proposal. I don't think that it's a brilliant idea, but there's a pretty rational basis for it. Criticize the decision on those grounds all you want, but this is not the same as paving Yellowstone or strip-mining Yosemite.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 2:25 PM on March 16, 2005


Anyone care to explain why this is so doomsday hellfire bad without resorting to ridiculous hyperbole and garment rending?

Translation: let's get in a pissing contest in which I can call you a tree-hugger.
posted by goethean at 2:27 PM on March 16, 2005


And this in the same week that Kilimanjaro lost its snow cap for the first time in 11000 years. We're all gonna die, I tell ya.
posted by scruss at 2:28 PM on March 16, 2005


And the price of oil on world markets reacts by...


wait for it...







Going Up!

Go figure.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:28 PM on March 16, 2005


Starting in 2013, peaking in 2025 after what we'll pick up the tab for cleanup.

I want the gallon of gas to reach $4 this summer. I want them gaz guzzler owners raped in the ass everytime they go to the pump.
posted by NewBornHippy at 2:29 PM on March 16, 2005


why all the long faces?

Because we are all moose?

posted by dwivian at 2:29 PM on March 16, 2005


Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, argued that more oil would be saved if Congress enacted an energy policy focusing on conservation, more efficient cars and trucks and increased reliance on renewable fuels and expanded oil development in the deep-water Gulf where there are significant reserves.

What a bore. I'm glad we didn't elect that damn Frenchified hippy.
posted by goethean at 2:30 PM on March 16, 2005



posted by goethean at 2:30 PM on March 16, 2005


It's kind of disturbing to read some of the right-wing blogs that are celebrating this in a "hah! Take THAT, liberals!" vein. Kinda pathetic that a bunch of conservatives are happy to fuck the earth because it pisses off someone they don't like for voting for Kerry.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:31 PM on March 16, 2005


Anyone care to explain why this is so doomsday hellfire bad without resorting to ridiculous hyperbole and garment rending?

No, they can't.

Because if they don't agree with you then they clearly don't think for themselves.

Welcome to MetaFilter!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:31 PM on March 16, 2005


goethean: I'm serious. Why is this so horrible? I don't particularly like it, I wish it had been voted down, but I don't see it as a harbinger of end times as most in this thread seem to, and I really want to know why people are reacting this way.

So please do respond, and I promise to be civil. I won't even respond, I just want to see well articulated reasons why this is so awful.
posted by xmutex at 2:32 PM on March 16, 2005


I want them gaz guzzler owners raped in the ass everytime they go to the pump.

Literally.

That would make up for this.
posted by goethean at 2:32 PM on March 16, 2005


This is, of course, retarded. Not only was the decision to do this short-sighted and stupid, but the decision was a rider on a budget bill if I understand correctly. It shames me that they use this kind of underhanded, deceitful tactics and not enough people in our country care to oust them from office.

I swear to god, a dollar a gallon tax on gasoline would solve SO MANY PROBLEMS. We probably wouldn't even be at war now if we did it earlier! For christ's sake!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:34 PM on March 16, 2005


As noted in yesterday's thread on the subject.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:36 PM on March 16, 2005


It's bad because it's totally unecessary, likely financially unfeasble and appears to have been done primarily to pay back special interests who will make the majority of their profit off investment and public monies used for exploration and infrastructure rather than through an actual viable business plan of producing oil. I'm pretty familiar with the Alaskan oil drilling scene and that's my informed opinion.

Also they just opened NPRA, the other reserve area, how much oil do we need anyway.
posted by fshgrl at 2:36 PM on March 16, 2005


> I just want to see well articulated reasons why this is so awful.

It's as awful as stealing your sick mom's money so that you can go buy crack.
posted by NewBornHippy at 2:37 PM on March 16, 2005


I thought the phrase was: "The die are cast". The phrase referring to dice. For whatever reason people seem to think of cast molding iron when it comes to this phrase.
posted by paleocon at 2:38 PM on March 16, 2005


Since this legislation was as good as passed, I really wish the democrats would've put in a few provisions such as increased funding for renewables or research into hydrogen fuel cells so that there could've been a silver-lining to this legislation. This is pretty much what I wrote yesterday.

What else is there to talk about?
posted by Arch Stanton at 2:38 PM on March 16, 2005


No, they can't.

Can you explain why it's a good thing using, I dunno, numbers or statistics or something, rather than broad, vague statements like, "it will reduce our dependance on foreign oil."

Or do you really think that if all our overseas suppliers cut our asses off tomorrow that a potential extra 1,000,000 barrels a day would make that much of a difference? (imports account for over half of the 20,000,000 a day usage, according to the first link.)

But you don't have to explain, I suppose, because your guys won.
posted by Cyrano at 2:42 PM on March 16, 2005


NewBornHippy: I want the gallon of gas to reach $4 this summer. I want them gaz guzzler owners raped in the ass everytime they go to the pump.

Yeah, pretty soon Americans will be paying as much for gas as Europeans!

paleocon, die is singular of dice, as it says in the FAQ you linked.
posted by sninky-chan at 2:43 PM on March 16, 2005


Cyrano: How long your state would run on ANWR oil [pdf]. In fact, this whole site has a lot of seemingly well-grounded information on the benefits of ANWR drilling. I don't know who really is behind the site, but the numbers do seem to speak for themselves.

I would like to see an equally founded site against it. If anyone has such a thing, please share.
posted by xmutex at 2:45 PM on March 16, 2005


Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, argued that more oil would be saved if Congress enacted an energy policy focusing on conservation, more efficient cars and trucks and increased reliance on renewable fuels and expanded oil development in the deep-water Gulf where there are significant reserves.

Take Kerry's talking points to your own fucking blog, hippy scumbag!
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:45 PM on March 16, 2005


So I sold your mother to a pimp. Could you explain why that's a big deal without resorting to hyperbole? I'm sorry; if you're going to yell, I just can't talk to you.
posted by 2sheets at 2:45 PM on March 16, 2005


Why is this so horrible?

You're a big boy and there are libraries full of online shit for you to read about it. Apart from the environmental ramifications (caribou fucked, more CO2, oil spills) its even more clear that this administration has zero inclination to govern, only to demagogue. Kerry hit the nail on the head in the section that I quoted above. There are smart ways to think about lowering demand and increasing supply. This is nowhere on that list. It proves the deep cynicism of this administration yet again. There really is no limit to the amount of long-term damage that they are willing to do to this country for short-term advantage.

On preview, lots more good reasons including the precedent of manipulating a budget bill to fuck with the environment.
posted by goethean at 2:46 PM on March 16, 2005


> I just want to see well articulated reasons why this is so awful.

> Shame. We are losing our natural heritage. Look at a map; there's not much left. Certainly nothing of this significance. It is the crown-jewel of our last remaining wilderness. Been to Yellowstone lately? Have fun finding a parking spot.

And Ford wants to destroy a line of electric cars they've already built for some reason.
posted by destro at 2:48 PM on March 16, 2005


I might be able to support this if it were being handled in a way that would stabilize oil prices (e.g. some sort of special agreement where the strategic oil reserve has an active hand in managing the quantity and price of oil coming out of ANWAR), but as-is it just seems silly.
posted by Ptrin at 2:52 PM on March 16, 2005


This makes perfectly rational sense from an economic standpoint.

Cost: Destroying wilderness for future generations = 0

Benefits: Oil = $Billions$, Repayment to special interests = ?

Costs < Benefits

DRILL!
posted by gagglezoomer at 2:52 PM on March 16, 2005


(still waiting for well articulated reasons)

caribou fucked.
posted by foot at 2:53 PM on March 16, 2005


This isn't a done deal yet. I hope it doesn't happen. But for the Hate Bush dopes here on Metafilter, please, move on to some other issue. We're talking about a small portion of a very large portion of land: 2000 of 19 million acres, according to the current NYT article.

Drilling is stupid because it's not a solution to the problem. But it's not a major environmental harm.

And, oh my God, would John Kerry please shut up. Everything he advocates turns to lead.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:53 PM on March 16, 2005


People in Alaska want this. Ask one of them.

This creates jobs for them, and with the Permanent Fund Dividend they stand to benefit from any oil sold. I don't like it. The idea disturbs me. But, having been there, having talked to the people who live there, they see this as theirs. To them, (and this is a paraphrase) 'it's people trapped in office buildings in big cities who want to imagine that somewhere out there is something still sacred, some pristine wildland where things are still the way they should be,' who keep them from making use of the land they live on.

Like I said, I'm one of those people with that idea, but it's not my backyard, it's theirs, and a lot of them want this. Even the Democrat running for Senate in Alaska had to push for ANWR drilling to have a chance...
posted by airguitar at 2:54 PM on March 16, 2005


Wait, wait, someone's having sex with carribou because of this bill?

That's nasty.
posted by xmutex at 2:54 PM on March 16, 2005


I'm gonna be pissed if gas is the same price tomorrow.

Does it make me a bad liberal to be more upset about that our country isn't doing anything about the future energy concerns than about ANWR?
posted by Arch Stanton at 2:55 PM on March 16, 2005


It's kind of disturbing to read some of the right-wing blogs that are celebrating this in a "hah! Take THAT, liberals!" vein.

From the biggest right-wing blog out there:

The Senate has voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. The portion that will be open to drilling (assuming the Senate approves its budget and the House goes along) is a largely barren coastal section about the size of a regional airport in a refuge the size of the state of South Carolina. Drilling will occur only in the winter, when the place is frozen solid, using sophisticated technology that will scarcely leave a footprint come spring, when the single caribou herd that grazes in the refuge comes calling.

PowerLine's "Take THAT, liberals!" response sure sounds...tame compared to MetaFilter's tolerant, reasoned responses of "Balls!", "Fuck!" and, "I want them gaz guzzler owners raped in the ass everytime they go to the pump. Literally".
posted by dhoyt at 2:58 PM on March 16, 2005


No, they can't.

Just out of curiosity Steve, can you remember the last time you posted a comment with any informational content whatsoever?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:00 PM on March 16, 2005


NewBornHippy
I want them gaz guzzler owners raped in the ass everytime they go to the pump

Hippies were a lot less- well, violent - than when I was young.

(For what it's worth, I drive a Honda Civic, approve of polar bears, and hate SUVs.)
posted by IndigoJones at 3:00 PM on March 16, 2005


I concur with dhoyt. I'm just not sure that the avocation of anal rape is really going to have any draw with the American public, but I don't want to see your zeal and love for environmentalism dampened.
posted by xmutex at 3:02 PM on March 16, 2005


To them, (and this is a paraphrase) 'it's people trapped in office buildings in big cities who want to imagine that somewhere out there is something still sacred, some pristine wildland where things are still the way they should be,' who keep them from making use of the land they live on.

I guess these are the same nimrods who are happy to have their roads get torn up by global warming, since the rest of us city-slickin'-office-folk are footing the tax bill to repair their roadways.

I think this tune is called "Libertarianism on a One-Way Road".
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:02 PM on March 16, 2005


paleocon writes "I thought the phrase was: 'The die are cast'. The phrase referring to dice. For whatever reason people seem to think of cast molding iron when it comes to this phrase."


"Die" is the singular form, "dice" is the plural form. So "the die are cast" is incorrect.

"The die is cast" (as on the FPP) or "the dice are cast" are both grammatically correct, but the traditional usage is "the die is cast", a phrase ("alea iacta est", in Latin) attributed to Julius Caesar in Suetonius's Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Book I (Divus Iulius ("The Divine Julius")), chapter 32, when Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his troops in defiance of tradition and the Roman Senate, and in so doing plunged Rome into civil war.

(Note that "alea" is sometimes incorrectly rendered as "alia", Latin for "other people", as in "et alia", more commonly seen abbreviated "et al.".)
posted by orthogonality at 3:03 PM on March 16, 2005


The portion that will be open to drilling (assuming the Senate approves its budget and the House goes along) is a largely barren coastal section about the size of a regional airport in a refuge the size of the state of South Carolina.

So what happens when/if they find even more oil in the rest of "South Carolina"?
posted by c13 at 3:06 PM on March 16, 2005


Nicholas Kristof, no fan of W, hiked throughout ANWR in September 2003 and put together a Interactive Feature with breathtaking photos. In the feature he says that concerns about the potential harm to animals are "overstated". In his column Casting a Cold Eye on Arctic Oil he states that "[b]oth the oil industry and environmentalists exaggerate their cases" though in the end he is critical of unrestrained exploration/development of ANWR.
posted by mlis at 3:07 PM on March 16, 2005


Armitage Shanks writes "Just out of curiosity Steve, can you remember the last time you posted a comment with any informational content whatsoever?"

Hey, give Steve_at_Linnwood a break!

He's still waiting for the College Republican talking-points memo, so he knows what to think. Any of his posts until then are merely knee-jerk holding actions.
posted by orthogonality at 3:07 PM on March 16, 2005


so this is what a mandate looks like.
The word "conservative" means less everyday.

on the bright side, maybe prices will drop...uh:
"We won't see this oil for 10 years. It will have minimal impact," argued Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Washington

If that's true, imagine where we'd be in 10 years if half this much focu$ went to alternative energy development.
posted by hellbient at 3:12 PM on March 16, 2005


Here's a reason that this is bad: we now know that global warming is not only real but also that human actions are directly contributing to it and that global warming's future effects are not completely known, but the insurance industry is scared of it and the likelihood is that global warming will cause more trouble than the opportunities it creates. Instead of dealing with this issue by showing global leadership and developing plans to cut our consumption of fossil fuels, the path has been set towards greater consumption.

Here's another reason: we know that there will inevitably be a global oil crisis, we may be in the early stages now, and this crisis will be bad for the United States due to our reliance on foreign oil imports. Instead of showing leadership and working to cut our consumption AND/OR working to develop alternatives to oil, the direction of our energy policy is to underfund progress towards alternatives to foreign dependence.

Here's another reason: ANWR is a national natural treasure and we don't have anything else like it. There is no such thing as clean oil extraction, it's just impossible for people to be perfect, and there is always the possibility for big disasters to occur. As our natural areas have been more and more developed, the popularity of existing parks and wilderness areas has risen sharply and will continue to rise in the future. What will our descendents find more valuable - an enormous pristine wilderness area unlike anyplace else in the country OR a minor blip on the nation's energy supply?

Anybody care to add more? I have to go out.
posted by crazy finger at 3:12 PM on March 16, 2005


/MP

Chapman: Caribou... gone!
posted by facapulco at 3:14 PM on March 16, 2005


MLIS, thanks for those links.

Hmm... always thought "the die is cast" had to do with a metalwork analogy...
posted by mania at 3:14 PM on March 16, 2005


I swear to god, a dollar a gallon tax on gasoline would solve SO MANY PROBLEMS.

I've been saying that for a long time now (with a corresponding offset in income tax, to make it revenue-neutral). Even the Big Three have said the best way to improve fuel economy is to raise gas taxes. Encouraging people to want fuel-efficient vehicles works better than forcing automakers to build fuel-efficient vehicles that people don't want.

But it'll never happen, and particularly not with a GOP president from Texas who has been in the oil business.
posted by pmurray63 at 3:14 PM on March 16, 2005


One last thing: before anybody else writes that ANWR is a "barren wasteland," please visit the link posted above by MLIS. I think the description "barren wasteland" is dishonest, at best.
posted by crazy finger at 3:15 PM on March 16, 2005


"Some people say we ought to conserve more. They say we ought to conserve instead of producing this oil. But we need to do everything. We have to conserve and produce where we can." ~ Sen. Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico

Guys, everybody do everything!
posted by punkbitch at 3:15 PM on March 16, 2005


I stand by my "Fuck." (Exclamation point yours, dhoyt.) I admit my ignorance of the airport size and the single caribou herd etc., if that's even true, but that's only half of what this is about... even if this isn't destroying a wildlife preserve, it sets a terrible precedent, and it is indeed a Bush victory, because he wanted to drill in a wildlife preserve, which is simply not OK in my book, and now he probably gets to.

The portion that will be open to drilling (assuming the Senate approves its budget and the House goes along) is a largely barren coastal section about the size of a regional airport in a refuge the size of the state of South Carolina.

The key part of this for me is "drilling[...] in a refuge". That is bad. End of my argument.
posted by sninky-chan at 3:17 PM on March 16, 2005


And Ford wants to destroy a line of electric cars they've already built for some reason.
posted by destro at 2:48 PM PST on March 16 [!]

Funny you should mention this. Someone I carpool with works in Product Development for them, and basically it boils down to two things: demand and replacement parts. Demand because the line really hasn't sold enough to continue it's sale, especially since they are in the midst of rolling out hybrids on most models in the coming years. And replacement parts because the parts that are used on that vehicle are unique to the vehicle and barely anyone produces them, which in their eye produces a safety hazard for people driving the cars.
posted by shawnj at 3:19 PM on March 16, 2005


Surely no one truly believes it's better for America to remain chained to Saudi oil.
posted by gsh at 3:22 PM on March 16, 2005



Surely no one truly believes it's better for America to remain chained to Saudi oil.


a priori, we should drill wildlife refuges for oil

?
posted by gagglezoomer at 3:24 PM on March 16, 2005


Surely no one truly believes it's better for America to remain chained to Saudi oil.

Oh yes. In ten years it will supply 1/20 of (current) daily demand. Break those chains! Go America!
posted by c13 at 3:29 PM on March 16, 2005


And Ford wants to destroy a line of electric cars they've already built for some reason.

GM too.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:29 PM on March 16, 2005


This isn't a surprise and that makes it suck all the more.

gsh, maybe instead of drilling pristine wilderness lands for small puddles of oil (comparitively), why not dedicate those resources towards creating a renewable and non-polluting means of transport?

Nah, that'd be too much like that liberal thinkerating.
posted by fenriq at 3:32 PM on March 16, 2005


> I'm just not sure that the avocation of anal rape

Stop framing what I said xmutex.

Anybody with a gaz guzzler that has to pay over $3 a gallon will feel anal raped -- that's what I want for starters.
posted by NewBornHippy at 3:32 PM on March 16, 2005


gsh, no one is saying that dependence on saudi oil is a Good Thing. The problem here is that some of us realize that the underlying problem is dependence on any kind of oil, and this is a problem that will not solve itself, not without funding, research, and aggressive policies. Draining the last seven drops of oil out of our planet before we do jack shit to solve the original problem is irresponsible.

On preview... what everyone else said.
posted by salad spork at 3:39 PM on March 16, 2005


I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.
posted by keswick at 3:40 PM on March 16, 2005


This sucks.
posted by letitrain at 3:43 PM on March 16, 2005


Lets review today's news :26 deaths to detainees, Halliburton stealing millions, Drilling in the Arctic approved....I just say The Fucking Mission is nearly accomplished !!
posted by lobstah at 3:43 PM on March 16, 2005


Good fallacy-spotting, gagglezoomer. Funny, because the aforementioned Nicholas Kristof uses the same argument. At the end of his piece he comes out pretty clearly against drilling up there, but the three counter-arguments that make drilling a bit more palatable to him are a) current human presence doesn't seem to affect the wildlife very much [but he's no expert, he just saw a caribou grazing behind one of the buildings], b) it's not that big an area [so?], and c) he says he knows the price of looking elsewhere for oil. I generally appreciated his take on the whole thing, but despite his Ira Glass-esque "c'mon, you like me and you know it" tone, argument c) makes me want to strangle him. Stuff like what Kerry proposed would save more oil, I think, than this drilling project could possibly produce.

Also, speaking of Cheney's pet company, here's a screenshot from Kristof's piece.
posted by sninky-chan at 3:47 PM on March 16, 2005


Drilling will occur only in the winter, when the place is frozen solid, using sophisticated technology that will scarcely leave a footprint come spring, when the single caribou herd that grazes in the refuge comes calling.

Bullshit. This isn't one derrick in the middle of the North Atlantic. It will be multiple locations and airstrips and small towns to provide the workers.


basically it boils down to two things: demand and replacement parts. Demand because the line really hasn't sold enough to continue it's sale, especially since they are in the midst of rolling out hybrids on most models in the coming years. And replacement parts because the parts that are used on that vehicle are unique to the vehicle and barely anyone produces them, which in their eye produces a safety hazard for people driving the cars.

Complete bullshit.

Lots of people want to buy these cars. There are waiting lists to buy Prius's out in California. They are heavily in demand with the price of gas going up.

And being able to provide parts is not an issue. If people buy the cars, then there will be a demand for parts and more reason to make them.
posted by destro at 3:49 PM on March 16, 2005


...But we need to do everything. We have to conserve and produce where we can." ~ Sen. Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico
And the drilling off Florida's coasts starts when? and California's? and the East Coast's?

This also sets a horrible precedent for the rape and pillaging of all nationally protected land--timber will be next, if it's not being taken already.
posted by amberglow at 3:51 PM on March 16, 2005


So I looked at that link that xmutex posted. And it's one of the best examples of "lying through statistics" that I've ever seen.

Look at it -- amazing, you could run DC for almost two thousand years on this oil! Look at all those large numbers!

Well, remember that you only need a FEW small numbers there to make the final total small.

So, *from that page only*, how many years of US oil supply are being opened for exploitation? What would you guess, from that page?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:56 PM on March 16, 2005


it really is a crock--34 years for New York State? bullshit.

those numbers came out of someone's ass. no one with a brain is saying there's that much there.
posted by amberglow at 3:58 PM on March 16, 2005


It's easy to call something bullshit, but it's a little harder to say why. Guy said that his PDF estimates were based on USGS estimations and petroleum consumption numbers for the state, and your retort is "these numbers came out of someone's ass!" and "bullshit!"

Clearly you've got something a little better up your sleeve than that?
posted by xmutex at 4:02 PM on March 16, 2005


Anybody interested in the inevitable global oil crisis should pick up a copy of Thom Hartmann's The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight.
posted by muckster at 4:04 PM on March 16, 2005


To somewhat emotionally answer why this decision to drill for a measly amount of oil in Alaska is such a bad thing, I refer any interested parties to this old-favourite photo link.
posted by paperpete at 4:11 PM on March 16, 2005


I say we open up a betting pool for how long the comments on this page will be by tomorrow at 15:00 GST
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:12 PM on March 16, 2005


I'm not calling that page's numbers into doubt at all. They're actually quite believable. It's the way that they are presented that is a crock.

Tell me, xmutex -- from this page only, how many years of total US oil supply are we talking about? Look, there are numbers here like 1710 years! It's gotta be a long time, right?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:13 PM on March 16, 2005


Even if those numbers are accurate, which they could be completely wrong, there could be nothing down there - we've given up on conservation as an option. We'd rather drill and drive shitbox Hummers and kill the environment to get that same amount of gasoline.
posted by destro at 4:16 PM on March 16, 2005


Guy said that his PDF estimates were based on USGS estimations and petroleum consumption numbers for the state, and your retort is "these numbers came out of someone's ass!" and "bullshit!"

Clearly you've got something a little better up your sleeve than that?


Here is an overview of an event in March 2001 that suggests the USGS has a political motivation for doing bad science regarding ANWR. Its numbers for anything are suspect until proven innocent.
posted by AlexReynolds at 4:17 PM on March 16, 2005


Damn. Maybe this summer will be the last one to go see the caribou migration trail in Alaska.

What a weird, sad day for news all around. This just takes the cake.
posted by myopicman at 4:20 PM on March 16, 2005


I'm sorry to intrude, but how much oil is up there? Is it 6 months supply or 6 years?

Wasn't the issue, beyond preserving environments, about the actual cost effectiveness of this venture?

Pardon my laziness but how much oil is there?

Also, in the early years of this debate i seem to recall that there were hugh natural gas deposits and that was the real prize.
posted by Max Power at 4:20 PM on March 16, 2005


via Sourcewatch, the Alaska Miner's Association Alaska Forest Association (www.anwr.org) is a member of the Energy Stewardship Alliance (ESA).
[It] claims to be a non-profit coalition of "professional organizations" and "individuals" who believe opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling is worth the human and environmental risk. To give itself a superficial veneer of environmental sensitivity, ESA's logo shows the outline of a caribou and some trees. Shortly after its creation, ESA ran TV ads depicting long gas lines during the energy crisis of the 1970s, and warned that failure to drill in the ANWR could bring on a similar crisis.
posted by destro at 4:22 PM on March 16, 2005


I refer any interested parties to this old-favourite photo link.

Old Denali.  New Denali!
posted by Armitage Shanks at 4:23 PM on March 16, 2005


Clearly you've got something a little better up your sleeve than that?

Well, let's see. Abortion causes breast cancer, according to this site, which bases its information on many scientific studies. FBI statistics show that there are very few hate crimes against gays (oh, and they're responsible, statistically, for most child molestation.)

As should be obvious, questioning the motivation of the "statistician" is as important as questioning their statitics.
posted by VulcanMike at 4:26 PM on March 16, 2005


How much of the controversy is because this is called a Wildlife Reserve? Right next to ANWR there is a huge (as in giant) chunk of land known as the Petroleum Reserve managed by the BLM. It's mostly open-space (the vast majority of the drilling can be concentrated) and nobody gets their panties all in a twist when a new well is sunk there. It's the same land that the same Caribou roam (that's why the Trans-Alaska pipeline is 6-10 feet elevated above the land) and to the best of my knowledge there's no difference other than the sign on the (singular) highway.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 4:27 PM on March 16, 2005


It's easy to call something bullshit, but it's a little harder to say why. Guy said that his PDF estimates were based on USGS estimations and petroleum consumption numbers for the state, and your retort is "these numbers came out of someone's ass!" and "bullshit!"

Interestingly I too was curious about these numbers. Why are they listing state-by-state consumption? Surely lovely ANWR oil wouldn't just be funneled to only one state at a time! ;)

So, 10.4 billion barrels from ANWR (USGS estimates) divided by 19.65 million barrels/day consumption (CIA Factbook estimates for 2001) equals 529 days or 1.45 years.

Not quite such a big number - gee, I wonder why they decided to use state rather than national numbers?
posted by lirio at 4:27 PM on March 16, 2005


> Old Denali. New Denali!

Naming gas guzzlers after the places they're helping pollute: Tahoe, Yukon, Denali.

There's no hope...
posted by NewBornHippy at 4:29 PM on March 16, 2005


I get the feeling people are posting without reading all previous comments. thedevildancedlightly, yes, my panties are in a knot because they want to drill specifically in a wildlife reserve, because it's SPECIAL land that preservationists went out of their way to reserve (thus the name). God, don't I wish I could stop all oil drilling, but I think it's more important to stop them drilling in the few places set aside for the, um, preservation of at least PARTS of our environment.
posted by sninky-chan at 4:33 PM on March 16, 2005


> It's the same land that the same Caribou roam (that's why the
> Trans-Alaska pipeline is 6-10 feet elevated above the land)

So beautiful -- this giant corporations doing they're best to help the environment. I'm shedding a tear. *Shrug*
posted by NewBornHippy at 4:34 PM on March 16, 2005


The portion that will be open to drilling (assuming the Senate approves its budget and the House goes along) is a largely barren coastal section about the size of a regional airport in a refuge the size of the state of South Carolina.

And there will be no air traffic and no service roads, and the oil will be gently floated to the Lower 48 by solar-powered balloon. And the magic Arctic oil will make fossil fuels a viable long-term solution to the world's energy needs.

The Grand Canyon is a "largely barren" section of the Colorado River. Glacier National Park is a "largely barren" section of the Rockies. Death Valley is a "largely barren" section of the Mojave Desert. Pave 'em all, build some gated communities, put a Hummer in every driveway. Utopia!

This is a fucking travesty, and it is yet another example of how completely the American government has abdicated its position of global leadership and undermined its own moral authority.

If you're looking for something inspiring to read as a sort of palette cleanser after swallowing this shit, I recommend this recent speech by Adam Werbach. I found the Apollo Alliance's vision for America - described about 2/3 of the way down - especially compelling (and I found the Kerry campaign's repeated refusals to take it seriously especially disheartening).
posted by gompa at 4:35 PM on March 16, 2005


Based on that document's, there are almost exactly 1.5 US-consumption-years worth of oil in the Alaska reserves. I was expecting some such result and I was surprised anyway. (If you want to check my numbers, work out for each state how much of the ANWR it consumes in a given year and add these numbers together to find out how much all the states together consume in a year -- it's the harmonic mean of the original numbers.)

It is so typical that the very first document with numbers that I see on this issue is a blatant "lie with statistics".

On preview, it's pretty decisive that lirio's calculations, using different numbers than mine, have the same final result.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:35 PM on March 16, 2005


I fuckin luvs me da consertative voice. Lets restore morals from an outdated time. Lets restore God in our culture, enthroning on a hieght he never sat upon before. Lets taint something completely untainted as of yet, to support the conservative value of ... what agin?

Forget the emotional arguments. Forget the "rational" arguments. Lets be just plain and simple, here. This did not have to be done. It was done simply so that the few could benefit. If the many give a shit, and I don't think they do, they would rise up and pound the few into the dust which inspires their bullshit will to do what need not be done. It's that simple, and it will never happen.

Enjoy the corporate welfare. You prolly won't see any benifit, but then again, those who will don't give a shit about you, as long as you don't speak up to protect what's yours from their greed. Another pristine place has fallen unneccesarily because someone else could make a buck. Be happy. Someone's making a buck ... off of you.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2005


Someone should investigate whether Crawford TX has any oil reserves. It'd be mighty un-christian for Shrub to enjoy his ranch all by himself when so many oil executives could profit from it!

Besides, it's not like he owned that damn ranch before 1999 anyway.
posted by clevershark at 4:42 PM on March 16, 2005


Here's the complete list of environmental impacts if anybody has some time to kill.

Also, the reason people don't complain about the Petroleum Reserve next door is because it's already a petroleum reserve. Long time ago reserved by, I think, Truman. ANWR is supposed to be the nature preserve.
posted by destro at 4:48 PM on March 16, 2005


Skipping over some comments here, but:

goethean: I'm serious. Why is this so horrible? I don't particularly like it, I wish it had been voted down, but I don't see it as a harbinger of end times as most in this thread seem to, and I really want to know why people are reacting this way.


Xmutex, I would guess that the reaction is so severe because it's not really about Anwar, it's about the symbolism of the act, and about priorites concerning the impending energy crisis. There is almost no focus on solving the oil dependence problem, just extending it -- and destroying, or damaging (or whatever) pristine wilderness does nothing for anyone but the oil companies.
posted by undule at 4:50 PM on March 16, 2005


In the Ownership Society of the Future all citizens own stock, so all citizens profit from corporate welfare. You do want to be a good citizen, don't you?
posted by solipse at 4:54 PM on March 16, 2005


And where's all the Iraqi Oil?
posted by amberglow at 5:12 PM on March 16, 2005


Just for the record, 'just one caribou herd' is quite misleading, and plain ol' wrong. ANWR serves as the main range for the Porcupine herd, and the Central Arctic herd moves through the periphery. The two herds contain rougly 150,000 animals between them. So think Serengeti more than South Pole.

As for what the Alaskans want- I worked in Nome last summer, and as an outsider my impression was that most of them were either quite passionate about the value wilderness, or lived in a bizarre world where everything they loved was centered around wilderness, yet they didn't value the wilderness itself or even like the concept. These people viewed the entire landscape only in terms of what they could extract from it- fish, berries, gold, whatever. Naturally, except for the miners, their ability to get all sorts of wonderful things from the land is entirely dependent on it being relatively wild- with too many people around, one person couldn't take 1,000 salmon a year for their own consumption. Of course, you can get similar quantities of meat from the store, without the manual labor. As far as I'm concerned, most Alaskans should all be forced to live in Los Angeles for a year when they turn 17. Until then, they won't really understand what they have. So i don't really give a damn what they think of drilling in ANWR. The history of Alaska involves a whole lot of people from the lower 48 trying to protect Alaska from the Alaskans.

The wild land up there is for all intents and purposes totally irreplacable, so as far as I'm concerned the only reason to develop Alaska in any sense would be if we had to. And given that better gas mileage would save more gas than ANWR could make, and that if we haven't replaced oil in a few decades civilization will end anyway, there's no need.

Besides- even if you hate everything green, there's still no reason to drill in ANWR yet- the longer we wait, the more valuable that oil will become. And, the longer we wait, the more unstable a lot of nations in the middle east are going to become (too many young men, not enough jobs or fresh water). So, why not use up all of their oil reserves before we start to use ours? That'll take longer than 10 years, so even from a cynical as hell perspective it's better to at least wait another decade before starting the ten year process of oil development.
posted by spooman at 5:22 PM on March 16, 2005


But it'll never happen, and particularly not with a GOP president from Texas who has been in the oil business.

George W. Bush is not from Texas, he is from Connecticut.
posted by odinsdream at 5:26 PM on March 16, 2005


Regarding the USGS ANWR oil estimates by number of years of oil per state:

This is based on a 10. BBO estimate and it makes perfect sense. For example: Texas = 9 years, so, in one year, Texas uses up 1/9th of the total from ANWR. So, in year one, the amount of oil used by the states is calculated thus:

(1/103)+(1/203)+(1/108)+(1/146)+(1/16)+(1/120)+(1/132)+(1/399)+(1/1710)+(1/29)+(1/54)+(1/249)+(1/363)+(1/43)+(1/68)+(1/132)+(1/141)+(1/79)+(1/36)+(1/249)+(1/100)+(1/75)+(1/52)+(1/84)+ (1/116)+(1/77)+(1/342)+(1/255)+(1/226)+(1/315)+(1/46)+(1/222)+(1/34)+(1/58)+(1/399)+(1/43)+ (1/97)+(1/155)+(1/39)+(1/570)+(1/120)+(1/499)+(1/80)+(1/9)+(1/218)+(1/598)+(1/62)+(1/68)+(1/266)+(1/83)+(1/374)

=0.691958265

So, in year one, we use 69% of the total amount of oil in ANWR. Thus, we run out of oil, according to the USGS, in less than a year and a half of use, and the pumping starts in 10 years and lasts 30 years. Wow, that is a lot of oil!

Also, I posted my personal explanation of why this is "doomsday bad," but nobody has responded to my points yet.
posted by crazy finger at 5:34 PM on March 16, 2005


Sigh.

Okay children, listen: To those of you who are advocating this nonsense, drilling in ANWR itself isn't the end of the world. It's the fact that the Bush administration is setting a precedent for this shit. It's like fucking your first girlfriend - the first time is really awkward and you have to try for a long time before you finally get it, but once you do it gets easier and easier every time. That's why 90% of the things they've done have been bad; in and of themselves bills like this won't kill everybody, but we're letting the government do whatever the fuck it wants. And who cares if the Alaskans want it, they voted for Bush.

Plus, you know, the caribou.
posted by borkingchikapa at 5:36 PM on March 16, 2005


I feel the rage building...
posted by kuatto at 5:44 PM on March 16, 2005


The pipelines are more likely elevated 6-10 feet because of permafrost and a need to get at them with whatever snow conditions rather than any nonsense corpo-enviro-steward PR spew.
posted by syscom at 5:50 PM on March 16, 2005


.
posted by shmegegge at 5:50 PM on March 16, 2005


Also, if this is so great, why is it necessary to place it as a rider on a budget bill? Why not make a new Save America From Foreign-Run Oil Now Act (SAFFRON ACT)"

Doesn't that sound catchy? Surely everyone would vote for the SAFFRON act, right? If it's so great, then why hide it in the details?

Obvious answer: It isn't so great, it's a non-solution to a real problem that needs answers now. This isn't a good answer, it's a political move to reward deep-pocketed oil industries who backed Bush in the past.

Also, yea, where's all that fucking Iraqi Freedom Oil?
posted by odinsdream at 6:05 PM on March 16, 2005


This is the wrong issue for the Left; thedevildancedlightly is bang-on here. The environmental impact is being ballooned out of proportion intentionally.

But yes, odinsdream, it is a non-solution to a real problem that needs answers now. Absolutely. Both global warming and peak oil are staring human civilization in the face, and we have done nothing to prepare for either.
posted by mek at 6:14 PM on March 16, 2005


Does this mean the Iraqis get their country back?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:20 PM on March 16, 2005


I chuckle when I read about the sophisticated technology that's going to save ANWR. I worked with some of those sophisticated technologists, and it was an eyebrow raising experience. I've seen quarter-million dollar mistakes made out of sheer stupid bravado, leaving crap strewn all over the Gulf of Mexico.
I watched a toolpusher dump several thousand gallons of oily water overboard once (which in that arena is about like dropping your hankie overboard) while he observed "It isn't an oil slick at night!" Har har.
posted by atchafalaya at 6:44 PM on March 16, 2005


.

There's not enough oil there to keep a VW bug running for a year. Just contracts for politically connected companies.
posted by Shane at 6:52 PM on March 16, 2005


Just checking in on the right-wing responses in this thread. Let's see. We have Steve saying that Mefites don't have an explanation for the environmental damage this can cause, followed by several Mefites who present it, PeePee with his regularly scheduled random declaration of hatred for John Kerry, and dhoyt explaining that reading one blog immediately invalidates my mentioning an attitude present on the right side of the blogosphere as a whole. Oh, and let's not forget the traditional generic "god, what a horrible cesspool of liberalism this site I keep visiting every single day is!"

Seriously- do you guys, like, have post-its around the house that say "KEEP BREATHING" and stuff like that? What happened that first time you forgot? That must have been a close one. Kudos for xmutex for being the only pro-ANWR person in this thread who managed to both present a credible piece of evidence to his view and managed to not insert the obligatory Poor Widdle Conservative Help-I'm-Being-Repressed-by-Metafiler pap.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:06 PM on March 16, 2005


This is great! I'm not sure what part is better though: The black oily goodness or all the liberals getting their panties in a knot.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 7:09 PM on March 16, 2005


that first pic--it's you, right, drscrooge?
posted by amberglow at 7:17 PM on March 16, 2005


They paved paradise...
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:28 PM on March 16, 2005


Steve says nothing, as usual, just ducks in to trash other MeFites, while contributing nothing to the topic. Lamer.

I'm serious. Why is this so horrible?

What disturbs me most is the values it communicates.

1) Our energy policy is unsustainable politically: the US Armed Forces are already maximally deployed, maintaining vital fossil-fuel interests. The world hates us. We consume the most, waste the most, and apply double-standards to developing nations at the same time. We're the most powerful nation in the world yet we can't bring electricity to Baghdad, let alone protect the pipeline.

2) Our energy policy and usage are unsustainable environmentally: pollution, global warming, etc are damaging the entire ecospehere with long-ranging consequences we can't possibly predict. Huge chunks of ice are breaking off the polar caps. Climate records are broken constantly. The evidence of a climate change is overwhelming, and while we're stupidly embroiled in a conversation about whether we're the whole cause for it, we're happily doing things we *know* contribute to it. Stupid!

3) Our energy policy is not sustainable thermodynamically: fossil fuels are finite and non-renewable. We should be scaling back already. Duh. And wouldn't independence from the Saudis be nice? Not if you're in bed with them like the Bush family, I suppose. There are fortunes to protect, I guess. Fuck the planet. Drill the Arctic rather than allow an alternative fuel economy to spring up and threaten Bush's personal fortune.

So, with the technology at our disposal to change a fundamentally bad policy, or at least conserve resources and stop handing out tax breaks to SUVs, it's goddamned disheartening to see the US entering the last untouched region of the planet to drill for MORE oil.

"Oh yeah, we'll just go get some more oil! That'll solve the problem!"

In another 100 years, when our CO2 footprint is deep and massive on the forehead of the planet and the ozone layer is gone, what continent are we going to turn to for EVEN MORE oil? Fucking Mars?

We have to change at some point. There are better options. We have it in our hands to destroy this world and we have to take that responsibility seriously. Whether or not this drilling is going to ram 10 million tons of CO2 down your personal throat, xmutex, I can't say. But I will say that the entire issue has been like a run-it-up-the-flagpole test, an indicator of the values we have as a society, and, once again, we choose cheap, dirty, non-sustainable, pretty much without a fight, when we goddamn-well know better.

We're great because we pass knowledge and wisdom down to our young and grow stronger with each generation. But we're assholes because we've gotten to the point of passing insoluble problems on to the next generation rather than suffering some transition pain *now.*

In other words, we are basically suicidal as a species overall, and in the short term willing to sacrifice our young for temporary comfort and personal wealth.

That bad enough for you?
posted by scarabic at 7:30 PM on March 16, 2005


Accidents happen.
posted by uni verse at 7:36 PM on March 16, 2005


amber: no, he's goatse.

anyway, I feel for the white, Christian Conservatives who are victims of oppression here on MetaFilter and in the world. really.
the dictatorship of lesbian black pacifist environmentalist women -- who, as we all know, have all the power in the world -- has got to stop.
posted by matteo at 7:40 PM on March 16, 2005


Amen, scarabic.
posted by fatllama at 7:44 PM on March 16, 2005


Xmutex: this whole site has a lot of seemingly well-grounded information on the benefits of ANWR drilling. I don't know who really is behind the site, but the numbers do seem to speak for themselves.


anwr.org is run by a lobbying group called Arctic Power : "Arctic Power is primarily underwritten by the state of Alaska with some funding from the oil industry (The Washington Post, March 11, 2002)."

According to opensecrets.org, "About 70 percent of the group's funds come from the Alaska state legislature. The legislature recently approved $1.1 million for Arctic Power’s lobbying effort this year. Over the past 10 years, the state has given more than $8 million to the group."

BP and Conoco, under PR pressure, have quit supporting the group.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:45 PM on March 16, 2005


I'm an Alaskan and *I* don't want to see drilling there. And I'm not alone. But nearly... that's why the former Repub senator is now the governor and his ill-equipped daughter was elected to take his place after first being appointed to the position. Alaska, like America, will now get what it wished for having elected the current bunch of crooks and dullards.
posted by fncll at 7:48 PM on March 16, 2005


This is great! I'm not sure what part is better though: The black oily goodness or all the liberals getting their panties in a knot.

This is what's so bizarre about the whole thing. There isn't that much of the black oily goodness out there to begin with. Its not going to come online anytime soon. Noone will benefit significantly from it, aside from a small group of people, who'll make a killing. But they are not going to share that wealth with us. We'll have more pollution, more sprawl and more traffic jams, and less undisturbed wilderness. But it must be really worth it, as long as it gets the liberals pissed off. Oh yeah, and fucks up the caribou.
posted by c13 at 7:51 PM on March 16, 2005


Welcome to the United States of Halliburton (a company sure to benefit from the Arctic RefugeOil Fields.)

In 2004, the UN’s International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) - the international group that oversees the use of Iraqi money on Iraqi reconstruction - wanted to know more about Halliburton. Specifically, they wanted to conduct an audit of Halliburton subsidiary Kellog Brown & Root’s single-source, oh-so-lucrative Iraq contract, $1.6 billion of which came straight from Iraqi coffers. After much foot dragging, the White House finally complied, sending the IAMB heavily redacted versions of audits the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) had conducted into Halliburton’s use of the money.

Blacked out of the redacted report was the fact that Halliburton may have bilked the U.S. military out of about $100 million. Also blacked out were statements critical of KBR like “KBR was unable to reconcile the proposed costs to its accounting records” and “KBR did not always provide accurate information.”

Here’s where it gets really interesting. Wondering why the extensive redactions blocked all of the negative findings, the crack researchers in Rep. Henry Waxman’s office looked into the matter. It turns out the White House gave Halliburton a copy of the negative audit and let the company scrub out all of the negative stuff itself before it was sent to the UN group. A letter from KBR dated 9/28/04 to the Army Corps of Engineers states “we have redacted the statements of DCAA that we believe are factually incorrect or misleading and could be used by a competitor to damage KBR’s ability to win and negotiate new work.”

posted by amberglow at 8:02 PM on March 16, 2005


I care about the environmental effects of this, but I see the ANWR thing more as a symbol of humans having peace with the environment more than anything. So, essentially this who debate is over a symbol more than the roaming habits of caribou.

But, there's a more troubling aspect in my mind in all this and it's that people think that drilling in ANWR is going to be a major cog in helping us solve the energy crisis, the same energy crisis that is causing (a) major immediate and long-term political and economic problems for our country and (b) major, irreversible environmental problems for the entire world. Drilling in ANWR isn't moving America towards energy independence, it's barely even a drop in the bucket of oil that we'll be consuming ten years from now. But, politicians are going to go home and trumpet a major victory and millions of people are going to think that the problem is solved and gas is going to go down in price (it IS going to go down because OPEC announced it is raising output the same day) and no more thought is going to be given to hydrogen cars, electric cars, solar, wind, or even nuclear power for heavens sake.

It just bothers me that now that sound energy policy and environmentalism has taken a major defeat and instead of trying to negotiate some semblance of a win/win scenario for both sides of the aisle that the democrats simply knowingly put up a losing vote and walked away.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:20 PM on March 16, 2005


... the democrats simply knowingly put up a losing vote and walked away.

that's not so, tho--it was purposely made part of the budget by the GOP so that it couldn't be filibustered (and it would have been defeated if it was a standalone bill, like it was in the past)--they've been after this for years.
posted by amberglow at 8:25 PM on March 16, 2005


Oil closed today up $1.39 at $57.04...
posted by c13 at 8:40 PM on March 16, 2005


I know Amberglow, I just wish that some astute democrat would've had the foresight to see that the GOP was going to pass this anyway and trying to work on some type of bipartisan legislation is all. The GOP knows that it's not in their political interest to often pass legislation by a one or two vote margin and have five of their own party members vote on the other side and they'll try to avoid it at every chance they can get. A 20% logical energy bill could've been worked out instead of what has been passed now, it's just disappointing. Like having your puppy put to sleep and then being told that they're out of more puppies.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:50 PM on March 16, 2005


xmutex : I will try to answer your question and put forth my view. This is bad policy IMHO for the following reasons:
1. oil prices aren't relatively high in the US compared to many other industrialzed nations.
2. oil prices will rise more in the future as China, India and other developing nations grow.
3. this administration has a tendency to cede environmental regulations and enforcement while big energy companies benefit financially.
4. it has been US policy in the past to use as much oil from overseas as possible in order to have a domestic "strategic reserve" source. With ANWR drilling allowed that suggests to me a disturbing policy shift.
5. IMHO the benefits aren't worth the costs. I'd rather see renewable energy research and let the market change people's behavior.
posted by infowar at 8:57 PM on March 16, 2005


How often has any Democraticly-initiated bill come up for a vote since they took over? They've all been killed in committee or even before then. I don't think it's realistic to expect that any bill we put forward will be heard and/or voted on--they control both houses and don't play fair, as evidenced by this shit.
posted by amberglow at 8:58 PM on March 16, 2005


Just checking: everyone is aware that, symbol or not, you can say goodbye to ANWR, right? Because the first thing the oil companies will pursue is the usual series of staged "accidents". After the "accidents" any protective clauses included in the law can be re-written or eliminated because, since recovering the reserve will be impossible, it won't matter anymore (and so they will represent undue loss for the poor companies). As I said, just checking.
posted by nkyad at 9:04 PM on March 16, 2005


How often has any Democraticly-initiated bill come up for a vote since they took over?

Besides McCain-Feingold's Voting Act and No Child Left Behind (both very, very early on). Never that I can think of. You're right. Maybe they did try, who knows? I would guess the GOP gave the Dems the finger and told them they would get drilling in ANWR without cedeing anything.

infowar,
1. the reason oil prices are so high in other countries is that they have taxes. For example, Norway is an oil exporting country since they have almost 100% renewable resources. Technically, oil *could* be cheaper there if they wanted it to be.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:12 PM on March 16, 2005


Addendum: yes, I know my two bill examples are not 'democratically-initiated' but they are both bipartisan items that are sponsored by Democrats.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:15 PM on March 16, 2005


Why does destruction make some people so goddamn gleeful? It's not just that some you advocate wasting some of the last remnants of truly wild life left in America, of sacrificing the future for a few years of empty gain, you have to act like it's some in-your-face victory.

Pathetic.
posted by melissa may at 9:21 PM on March 16, 2005


this really was the only way they could get it thru--by attaching it to the budget--and only the party controlling the Houses gets to do shit like this. (My kingdom for proportional representation, where you're forced to build coalitions.)
posted by amberglow at 9:25 PM on March 16, 2005


living in the US with our faith based apocalyptic president and his minions in the senate and house (and citizens watching tv evangelists across the country) is a good exercise in what it must be like to live with progressive cancer ... these f*cking scumbags. if there was some serious leadership by any of these people on conservation - it might be another matter. on this one - damn them.
posted by specialk420 at 9:27 PM on March 16, 2005


Our energy policy is not sustainable thermodynamically

What the hell? No "energy policy" is thermodynamically sustainable.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 11:06 PM on March 16, 2005


Not YET!
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:18 PM on March 16, 2005


Another informed opinion (I've been to ANWR btw): this won't affect the caribou much if at all. The current oil development doesn't and it's in a much more important area (calving and rearing grounds).

I object to this on the grounds that it's needless and stupid and it's going to cost us money, not that it's going to destory the arctic. The arctic is fucked anyway due to global warming, this is a drop in the bucket, comparatively.

Wait and see which companies take up the exploration leases and see where the money for that comes from. Then see how much drilling gets done and how much oil is actually produced.

And no, not everyone in Alaska wants this.
posted by fshgrl at 2:35 AM on March 17, 2005


Just checking: everyone is aware that, symbol or not, you can say goodbye to ANWR, right? Because the first thing the oil companies will pursue is the usual series of staged "accidents". After the "accidents" any protective clauses included in the law can be re-written or eliminated because, since recovering the reserve will be impossible, it won't matter anymore

I'm not sure where you heard that but it's simply untrue. The oil companies in Prudhoe are pretty strict about their responsibilities and the area is still a major wildlife haven and generally healthy. In fact they are required to pay independent and state biologists to monitor the wildlife populations.

Prior to the land being leased to the oil companies it was the site of such activities as govt sponsored aerial wolf kill programs, commercial polar bear hunting, whale hunts etc. The oil leases are a way better alternative than that. Like I said above, global warming and wind borne pollutants from southern cities are currently having a MUCH bigger impact on the arctic ecosystems.
posted by fshgrl at 2:49 AM on March 17, 2005


George W. Bush is not from Texas, he is from Connecticut.

Well, he's from Greenwich... which is a suburb of Davos.
posted by psmealey at 3:25 AM on March 17, 2005


This is great! I'm not sure what part is better though: The black oily goodness or all the liberals getting their panties in a knot.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 10:09 PM EST on March 16 [!]


hey you, under the bridge:

shush!
posted by exlotuseater at 4:20 AM on March 17, 2005


arch stanton: Those countries do tax their petrol product more highly than the US. But those taxes for better or worse have an impact on consumer behavior.
posted by infowar at 5:01 AM on March 17, 2005


Oil drilling in a wildlife refuge, eh?

Next step: constructing wildlife refuges on top of oil wells.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:25 AM on March 17, 2005


Destro said: Lots of people want to buy these cars. There are waiting lists to buy Prius's out in California. They are heavily in demand with the price of gas going up

Read my post again. Hybrid cars are in demand, fully electric cars are not. Fully electric cars are a liability for both GM and Ford. That's why they are nixing them. It's not some grand oil conspiracy. GM, for example, on their electric car, surveyed people who expressed interest in the fully electric car. They found less than 50 people who wanted to buy. Yes, <5 0. i>And being able to provide parts is not an issue. If people buy the cars, then there will be a demand for parts and more reason to make them.

Not when there are only a handful of customers with fully electric cars.

Note, I am not talking about the Prius, Civic hybrid, or any other hybrid. Both of the articles linked to about the Big 3's fully electrical cars being discontinued are about pilot programs that failed. The auto companies would like nothing less than to see Hybrids have the sort of buzz that SUVs do and $3/gallon+ gas prices.
posted by shawnj at 10:05 AM on March 17, 2005


Destro said: Lots of people want to buy these cars. There are waiting lists to buy Prius's out in California. They are heavily in demand with the price of gas going up

Read my post again. Hybrid cars are in demand, fully electric cars are not. Fully electric cars are a liability for both GM and Ford. That's why they are nixing them. It's not some grand oil conspiracy. GM, for example, on their electric car, surveyed people who expressed interest in the fully electric car. They found less than 50 people who wanted to buy. Yes, less than 50.

And being able to provide parts is not an issue. If people buy the cars, then there will be a demand for parts and more reason to make them.

Not when there are only a handful of customers with fully electric cars.

Note, I am not talking about the Prius, Civic hybrid, or any other hybrid. Both of the articles linked to about the Big 3's fully electrical cars being discontinued are about pilot programs that failed. The auto companies would like nothing less than to see Hybrids have the sort of buzz that SUVs do and $3/gallon+ gas prices.
posted by shawnj at 10:06 AM on March 17, 2005


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