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oil drilling in alaska


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COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNN) -- With oil prices nearing last year's record highs, President Bush renewed his call for Congress to authorize oil exploration in Alaska's largest wildlife refuge as part of a broader energy bill.


In a speech Tuesday in Ohio, Bush urged lawmakers to pass the energy bill that has stalled in Congress since the beginning of his first term, saying it would wean the United States away from overseas sources of crude.


"We have had four years of debate about a national energy bill. Now's the time to get the job done," he said.


Bush spoke after a visit to the Battelle Memorial Institute, a non-profit research corporation that is working on developing hydrogen fuel cells. He said he said reducing U.S. dependence on oil imports will be good for the economy and for national security.


But the sticking point for his last energy bill was a provision that would have opened a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration.


"Developing small section of ANWR would not only create thousands of new jobs, but it would eventually reduce our dependence on foreign oil by up to 1 million barrels of oil a day," Bush said.


Advocates like the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's trade association, say the refuge sits atop enough oil to replace U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia for two decades.


Environmental groups like the Sierra Club say that figure is wildly overstated, arguing that any oil reserves beneath the refuge's coastal plain would last less than a year -- while opening the refuge to oil exploration would inflict irreparable damage to the vast wilderness area.


But Bush said oil exploration can be limited to a 2,000-acre site -- "the size of the Columbus airport" -- and could be done "with almost no impact on land or local wildlife."


He said drilling in ANWR should be part of an overall energy bill that would promote conservation, increase domestic energy production and modernize infrastructure such as power grids and pipelines.


Bush's proposed budget for 2006 would cut funding for research into energy conservation by 2.5 percent, from $868 million to $847 million, though some efforts -- like research into hydrogen-powered vehicles and fuel cell technology -- would see increases.


The overall request for "energy security" -- which includes funding for power grids and pipelines, nuclear, fossil fuel and hydroelectric research -- is down 2.7 percent from the 2005 budget, from $2.8 billion to $2.7 billion.


The president spoke as crude oil prices hit record highs in London and moved above $55 a barrel in New York, coming within two cents of the $55.67 record set in October before closing at $54.77.


The rising prices have prompted new calls by several senators for Bush to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and put off new purchases for the stockpile.


"We're asking that this be done, and I don't think we have much choice," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York. "The economy seems to be going along nicely now. But if you ask any economist what's the No. 1 thing that could stop it, it's oil prices."


Bush has rejected previous calls to ease price spikes by releasing oil from the reserve, which he says should be left intact for national emergencies.


But Schumer said tapping the oil reserve would be a money-making proposition for the government, since it would be releasing crude into the market when prices are high and could buy back those stockpiles when prices come down. And Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, said Bush's refusals amount to "a gift to the oil companies."


"Taxpayers are paying to fill the SPRO with the highest prices ever," she said. "That makes no sense while our consumers are facing this madness at the pump."


At least one Republican -- Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, whose state has a large number of heating oil consumers -- joined six Democratic senators in signing a letter to Bush.


The rising cost of crude oil drove gasoline prices up an average of 7 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to an average of $1.97 for a gallon of self-serve regular, according to the Lundberg Survey's nationwide canvass of filling stations.


In Los Angeles and San Francisco, prices at some gas station have topped $2.50 a gallon, Boxer said. And the U.S. summer vacation season -- which typically boosts demand for fuel -- has yet to begin.


Bush did not specifically address the rising cost of gasoline in his Columbus speech, but he noted that the United States now imports more than half its oil from abroad -- "and our dependence is growing."


Bush also called on Congress to back the development of "clean coal" technology, which would allow broader use of the most abundant U.S. energy source with less environmental damage; encourage the construction of new nuclear power plants; and overhaul aging electrical grids and pipeline networks.








Kerry pledges to fight Bush on Alaska oil

Senator urges battle for environment against energy plan


Marc Sandalow, Washington Bureau Chief


Friday, March 11, 2005



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Washington -- Sen. John Kerry pledged Thursday to lead the fight against President Bush's proposal to drill for oil in the Alaska wilderness, sounding a call to arms for environmentalists to combat the administration's energy policies.


"The only mandate this administration has is for unity, to find common ground,'' Kerry said in an interview with The Chronicle. "The American people did not vote to drill in ANWR.''


Kerry characterized the president's plan for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a "phony, absolutely fraudulent offering,'' which vastly overstates the potential to reduce gas prices or the nation's reliance on foreign oil. He called it the "ideological linchpin'' to a broader, more reckless environmental policy.


"They need to be called out on it, and I intend to do it,'' Kerry said.


The defiant words from the losing Democratic presidential candidate came a day after President Bush promoted his energy plan in Ohio, and as Republicans in the Senate fashioned a drilling measure which they hope will be immune to a filibuster.


The same measure failed in the Senate in 2003 after passing in the House. This year, after winning four new seats in the Senate and four more years for President Bush, Republicans are feeling optimistic about the chances of legislation to open up about 1.5 million acres of the Alaska wilderness to drilling.


Bush described the proposal as environmentally inconsequential -- he told Wednesday's audience that drilling would be confined to 2,000 acres, roughly the size of the Columbus, Ohio, airport -- with the potential to produce up to a million barrels of oil a day.


Kerry portrayed it as a sign of the president's lack of commitment to protecting natural resources.


"The moment you put a footprint of any kind in wilderness, it is not wilderness,'' Kerry said. "It makes a huge statement about this administration's commitment to monitoring preservation of irretrievable assets. ''


The fourth-term senator has assumed a high profile since Congress returned to business last month, holding news conferences on matters such as health care for children and distributing press releases challenging the president on matters from the environment to Bush's selection for an ambassador to the United Nations.


Seated in his modest Senate office, Kerry reflected on why matters like the environment -- an issue he believes remains potent with the electorate - - had not won him election in November.


"There was one dominant complication in the year 2004," Kerry said. "It's called the war. The war on terror. It's the only thing Bush people really talked about, advertised on, scared people about.''


Kerry said he had tried to frame the energy issue as a matter of national security, but the focus remained on Iraq and al Qaeda.


"I think we were going up that (final) week," he said. "Osama bin Laden appeared, so the nature of national security got clouded in the last weekend. ''


Some environmentalists have faulted Kerry -- as they did Vice President Al Gore before him -- for not making matters such as Alaska drilling, regulating air and water pollution, forest management and endangered species protection a higher priority during the campaign. In rebuttal, Kerry cited a half a dozen events he held during the campaign, including Earth Day in Houston, and events focused on Great Lakes protection in Michigan and coastal erosion in Louisiana.


Had it not been for the threat of terror, he said, "I think the environment would have emerged as a greater issue, as would health care and education. A lot of issues were drowned out. And purposely so by the administration, because their strategy was obviously to use the war as the fulcrum that it was. It was ... effective."


White House spokesman Ken Lisaius disputed Kerry's contention that voters supported Bush only because of the war on terror.


"The last election was about a variety of issues, and about leadership and about making policy choices that are in the best interest of the country, '' Lisaius said.


The energy issue is one that Bush "has talked about from the start of his presidency," Lisaius said. "Certainly reducing reliance on foreign sources of energy and increasing environmentally sound exploration and production of domestic energy is an important policy.''


Kerry spokesman David Wade said the senator would filibuster the president's energy bill if necessary. Maneuverings by Republican senators this week, however, have left it unclear whether a filibuster would be possible. Senators have included the Alaska drilling portion of the energy proposal as part of a broader budget package, which would make it immune to filibuster.


Kerry acknowledged the difficulty of turning environmental issues into voting priorities, and said Democrats must do a better job of connecting broad -- and often complex -- environmental issues to everyday life.


"Environment has become a term that a lot of people don't even understand, and they see it in impersonal, distant terms,'' Kerry said. "This is about the kids who can't go fishing with their parents and eat the fish they catch. This is about kids who are growing up with serious obesity problems that lead to diabetes.''


He noted the current disparity of attention that environmental issues receive, as compared to matters like steroids, which are the topic of a high- profile congressional hearing next week.


"The fact is a lot more young people will be impacted by asthma and by mercury poisoning and by obesity than will be impacted by steroids, and (we) ought to pay as much attention to those issues,'' Kerry said.

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The argument that this is going to create jobs is bullshit. First of all, how many people are going to want to move to the most remote part of ALASKA to have an oil drilling job? It's not like it's in Anchorage, it's the middle of fucking nowhere! If we used ethanol (which is cleaner) it would create tons of farming jobs in the states.

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Originally posted by casekonly@Mar 18 2005, 08:28 PM

but ethanol isn't as profitable as oil is. the thing is, when there is less of something it creates a drive to sell it for larger amounts of money. that's how opec gets away with price gauging. 53$ a barrel my ass. fuckers are like the mafia.

If they're that hellbent on making money, they can takeover ethanol manufacturing. But we really should stop using so much oil in areas we don't need it.

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Originally posted by villain@Mar 18 2005, 08:10 PM

The reserves in alaska are estimated to last about one month. I'm willing to bet we would burn more oil drilling there than we could get out of it.




i thought it was somewhat larger of an estimate, like maybe 8 years...nevertheless, it's miniscule in the whole of things.


i think it goes pretty much like this: bush gets elected, has his trial run of things with people he wants in office, things don't go as expected, he gets elected a second time, fires people, then starts his REAL administration off with lackey bitches, goes after what he really wanted to go after in the beginning. there are tons of republicans in office now. tons of people ready to bend over and make some money off of investments in the 'right' places.


oil is it.

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Alright, check it. I'm trying to figure this out.



10.3 billion barrels expected. (I don't know why they would say this when there is a 95% probability that only 5.7 billion barrels will be recoverable.)


According to


the average last week for oil supplied for domestic use averaged at 20.7 million barrels per day.

Taking that average multiplying it by 365:

365x20.7=7555.5 million barrels per year. I will call it 7.5 billion barrels for simplicities sake.



It will last about 1 year and 3 months I'm guessing.

Hmm... looks like both of us were wrong.

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yeah, excellent math work.


seems that our own government is kinda fucking around with us. i saw this the other night on nbc news (they won't really talk about it on fox...and yeah i watch it. it pisses me off, so i watch it)


so, is one year and a few months here or there really worth drilling in such a beautiful pristine place? are there other motives?


don't get me wrong, i don't wanna delve into the conspiracy theory shit. it does seem paltry, though.

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Yeah paltry indeed.

Seems sort of frivolous to go through that much effort for what would only run the country for a little over a year. Maybe they have some kind of government development plan or something where they can put the burden on the taxpayers, like what halliburton has done in Iraq. Nothing but profits and free tax money for them.

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"oil exploration".. the key term. they dont know how much is there. those estimates could easily be inaccurate as even the governor of alaska is uncertain about what theyll find. the only way to decrease our dependence on middle east oil is to develop alternate energy sources.

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Originally posted by casekonly@Mar 18 2005, 07:35 PM

you don't see any oil drilling in russia, which is btw one of the largest untapped oil reserves in the world, do ya?



actually the answer is yes.

they have been producing oil for some years now and are actually slowing their production this year, which is a contributing factor to the high prices.





instead of going for the 10 billion barels in alaska, invest in extraction of the oil sands in alberta which hold in excess of 200 billion barels.


this still needs to go through 2 or 3 more votes so its not confimed just yet.


as well, due to a Carribou migration treaty signed by the US and Canada in 1980 I believe, Canada needs to approve any and all drilling which happens in Alaska, period. Given Canadas track record of approving things the US wants lately, I wouldn't count on any drilling happening any time soon.

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Originally posted by Jimmy Jump@Mar 19 2005, 06:34 PM

"oil exploration".. the key term. they dont know how much is there. those estimates could easily be inaccurate as even the governor of alaska is uncertain about what theyll find. the only way to decrease our dependence on middle east oil is to develop alternate energy sources.



Actually I hear that surveying for oil is pretty accurate these days since they use satellites that can read data miles deep into the ground.

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im not 100% sure on this but, i believe that the 73' oil crisis was partly bullshit. the arab portion of OPEC denied oil from the middle east because of "our" support of "Israel"(PALESTINE) in a conflict with Egypt.


It seems to me that even though the shortage was in fact true, we have enough oil to go around. i dont say that to mean that we have enough that it isnt no thang, but enough to the point where closing all stations on sundays.


OPEC memebers also stated that they used their power to elevate the price.


the point is its hard to even know the truth and be sure of whats goin on, were so kept in the dark. so even the slighest truth we know is just scratching the surface.

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Gas prices jumped nearly 13 cents in the past two weeks, reaching record levels as retail prices began to catch up with soaring crude oil prices, an industry analyst said Sunday.


Prices should continue to rise in the weeks ahead on strong demand and supply problems caused by the transition to cleaner-burning gasoline mixtures as summer approaches, said Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations across the country.



The average retail price for all three grades increased 12.74 cents to $2.13 per gallon between March 4 and March 18, according to the survey.



The most popular grade, self-serve regular, was priced at $2.10 a gallon, while customers paid $2.20 for mid-grade. Premium averaged $2.29 a gallon for the period.



This is the largest price hike since the run-up to May 21, 2004, when prices hit a previous record of $2.10, Lundberg said.



Prices reflect sharp hikes in the cost of crude oil in recent weeks, Lundberg said. On Friday, sweet crude for April delivery reached $56.72 a barrel — up more than 8 cents from a month earlier.



That translates into a retail price hike of 20 cents per gallon.

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There's an ethanol plant in my state that is making huge profits because people are buying more ethanol because gas is so pricey. I think some newer cars can actually run off of ethanol with no modifications. I'm talking about nice cars too.

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i wonder if anyone else realizes that it is a small conflict of interest to have a government made up completely of CEOs of huge companies making decisions about opening the nations resources up to big buisness?

so all the oil company tycoons have been lotted positions in the administration and now they want to drill Alaska for Oil, have admittedly invaded the Arabian nations which produce Oil and begun occupation. hmmm.....something seems off.

How do people ignore the diseased elephant in the living room?

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