Skip to comments.ANWR: America's Untapped Resource
Posted on 03/27/2003 8:30:26 AM PST by Stand Watch Listen
America's greens chalked up a `victory' when the United States Senate voted last week to omit funding for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the fiscal year 2004 budget.
Not surprisingly, the Sierra Club's national office trumpeted the vote as one "to protect this spectacular (Alaskan) landscape." And it also claims with a straight face to favor reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
We both agree on the last point. But the Sierra Club sees your SUV and its thirst for gas as the problem in our achieving that important goal. This powerful green lobby pushes for developing unproven technologies such as wind power and solar energy as the answer to our energy problems.
Most conservatives -- count me among them -- and many scientists do not see the answer to our energy problems to be blowing in the wind. But we do see the Sierra Club and like-minded green lobbies to be a big part of the problem in lessening our reliance on foreign oil. They are standing in the way of developing ANWR and other key projects that could yield more energy for our nation.
By opposing development of ANWR, the Sierra Club is preventing us from taking a practical step to increase our nation's energy security.
Environmental lobbies like to scare people away from developing ANWR by showing pretty pictures of Alaska's towering mountains and green valleys and beautiful lakes and its wildlife, implying that they will all be ruined if exploration and development of ANWR is allowed to proceed.
Yet, as Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton told the U.S. House Committee on Resources earlier this month, the specific area of ANWR where exploration for oil would take place has "no trees, there are no deepwater lakes. There are no mountains." The polar bears and muskoxen and caribou have done well in those places in Alaska where oil development is already taking place.
The real story about ANWR is very different than what is featured in the propaganda of environmental groups.
The ANWR proposal, if passed by Congress and signed into law, would include stringent environmental protection. But Secretary Norton asks this question: "As we consider the environmental factors affecting the Congressional choice about ANWR, one might ask what environmental protections are used in other countries on which we rely for 57% of our oil?"
More importantly, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that ANWR could yield as much as 1, 369,863 barrels of oil daily. Texas produces 1,065,753 barrels followed by Alaska (non-ANWR) with 972,603 barrels.
Norton recently told the Committee on Resources that the United States Geological Survey estimates that ANWR has an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil. She said, "The potential daily production from [ANWR] is larger than the current daily onshore oil production of any of the lower 48 state." She calls ANWR our "nation's single greatest onshore prospect for future oil."
It will take years to develop ANWR, something that Norton admitted when she noted that Americans "have now heard for more than 15 years that [ANWR] isn't worth developing on the Coastal Plain because it would take ten years to get the oil to market. If we had begun exploration and development when the Congress first proposed it" then some of ANWR's oil would be in a pipeline heading toward the Lower 48 today.
There are very good reasons why we should move as a nation toward energy independence based on concerns of economic and national security, namely protecting our country from threats of blackmail or revenge from oil-rich foreign countries and holding the line on our balance of trade.
Secretary Norton and others in the Bush Administration vow that we have not heard the last of ANWR, that they will keep pushing until the green light is given for exploration and drilling. Good! We need energy at a time when our own supplies are at risk because of the volatile political climates in the Middle East and South America.
We do not have oil from ANWR now and will not in the future if the Sierra Club and other groups continue to thwart allowing exploration and development of it there.
If we are to have an effective, workable program for reducing our dependence on foreign oil, then ANWR has to be a very important part of it. The Sierra Club and other environmental groups have spent fifteen years lobbying to stop development of ANWR, succeeding so far through their use of scare tactics.
The obstructionism of the green lobby should not be allowed to continue at this critical time for our nation. Congress needs to give the go-ahead to explore and develop what stands to become our nation's most important source of oil here at home.
(Paul M. Weyrich is chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.)
Free Congress Foundation
Taken from the February issue of Oil & Gas Investor, page 11:
EIA estimates total US production at 5.78 million barrels of oil per day (BOD).
Shell Oil's Brutus offshore platform (Gulf) is expected to peak at 100,000 BOD this year. Production from the Mars, Troika, Ursa, Dianna-Hoover and Brutus offshore Gulf fields could account for 9.7% of total lower 48 oil production by fourth quarter 2003.
Alaska will produce 17.2% of total US production (including Gulf production) in 2003 with the addition of the Colville River, Aurora, Polaris and Borealis satellite fields located on the North Slope.
LET ME BE CLEAR: with TOTAL US production at 5.78 million BOD, the addition of modest ANWR estimates of 1 million BOD, is equal to 17.3% of TOTAL US PRODUCTION
- ANWR total area: 19,600,000 acres
- ANWR designated wilderness part: 8,000,000 acres
- ANWR coastal plain (not part of wilderness area) designated long ago by Congress for oil exploration study: 1,500,000 acres
- Coastal plain area needed for oil extraction: 2,000 acres (0.01% of the total ANWR area)
In 1998 the USGS did a study that concluded that there are between 5.7 billion to 16 Billion barrels of recoverable Oil in the "1002" Area of ANWR. That is a LOT of oil!
and it doesnt even take into consideration the nearly 200 TRILLION cubic feet of natural gas there (over 150 years supply at the current rate of use in the U.S.)
A little perspective on the size of ANWR development:
An exploration rig on the tundra and the absence of any wildlife in this region
Beautiful Spring day in this coastal plain
spring summer winter
Only 2,000 acres out of 19.5 MILLION are even under consideration for drilling. And those 19.5 million acres are but a FRACTION of the total land mass of Alaska. Also, contrary to dire predictions of the devastating impact on wildlife that would occur when the pipeline in Prudhoe bay, the caribou herd there have actually grown to record numbers.
SITE MAP (background / technology)http://www.anwr.org/sitemap.htm
TOP 10 REASONS TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT IN ANWR1. Only 8% of ANWR Would Be Considered for Exploration Only the 1.5 million acre or 8% on the northern coast of ANWR is being considered for development. The remaining 17.5 million acres or 92% of ANWR will remain permanently closed to any kind of development. If oil is discovered, less than 2000 acres of the over 1.5 million acres of the Coastal Plain would be affected.
2. Revenues to the State and Federal Treasury Federal revenues would be enhanced by billions of dollars from bonus bids, lease rentals, royalties and taxes. Estimates in 1995 on bonus bids alone were $2.6 billion.
3. Jobs To Be Created Between 250,000 and 735,000 jobs are estimated to be created by development of the Coastal Plain.
4. Economic Impact Between 1980 and 1994, North Slope oil field development and production activity contributed over $50 billion to the nations economy, directly impacting each state in the union.
5. America's Best Chance for a Major Discovery The Coastal Plain of ANWR is America's best possibility for the discovery of another giant "Prudhoe Bay-sized" oil and gas discovery in North America. U.S. Department of Interior estimates range from 9 to 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
6. North Slope Production in Decline The North Slope oil fields currently provide the U.S. with nearly 25% of it's domestic production and since 1988 this production has been on the decline. Peak production was reached in 1980 of two million barrels a day, but has been declining to a current level of 1.4 million barrels a day.
7. Imported Oil too Costly The U.S. imports over 55% of the nation's needed petroleum. These oil imports cost more than $55.1 billion a year (this figure does not include the military costs of protecting that imported supply). These figures are rising and could exceed 65% by the year 2005.
8. No Negative Impact on Animals Oil and gas development and wildlife are successfully coexisting in Alaska's arctic. For example, the Central Arctic Caribou Herd (CACH) at Prudhoe Bay has grown from 3,000 to as high as 23,400 during the last 20 years of operation. In 1995, the Central Arctic Caribou Herd size was estimated to be 18,100 animals.
9. Arctic Technology Advanced technology has greatly reduced the 'footprint" of arctic oil development. If Prudhoe Bay were built today, the footprint would be 1,526 acres, 64% smaller.
10. Alaskans Support More than 75% of Alaskans favor exploration and production in ANWR. The Inupiat Eskimos who live in and near ANWR support onshore oil development on the Coastal Plain.
RELATED ARTICLESBush Renews Campaign For Arctic Oil
Source: AP; Puublished: February 25, 2002;
Fresh from Asia ~ Bush bonks Daschle head with ANWR club
Source: Reuters / Whitehouse.gov; Published: February 23, 2002
Inupiat Views Ignored in ANWR Debate
Source: ANWR; Anchorage Times Editorial;
Author: Tara MacLean Sweeney
INUPIAT LEADER ASKS SENATORS TO . . .Visit ANWR
Source: Anchorage Daily News; Published: February 17, 2002
Voice of the Times
ANWR Showdown -- Liberal Caught Playing Loose With The Facts [My Title]
Source: The Fargo Forum and the Grand Forks Herald; Published: February 14, 2002;
Author: Chris Beachy; John Bluemle
Kerry and Lieberman ignore invitation from native villagers in ANWR
Source: USNewswire; Published February 13, 2002;
Author:| Village of Kaktovik Alaska
Source: City of Kaktovik, Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), Web Page;
author: City of Kaktovik
Listening to Alaska
Source: National Driller; Published: September 27, 2001
ANWR and Oil
Source: Town Hall.com; Published April 11, 2001
Bush Is Right: Opening ANWR To Oil Exploration Would Help Consumers Without Hurting Environment
Source: The National Center for Public Policy Research; Published: January 23, 2001
Author: John Carlisle
Time To Permit Oil Drilling In the Arctic Refuge
Source: Heritage Foundation; Published: October 17, 1995
Author: John Shanahan
It has been mentioned that the caribou herd had over tripled near the pipeline!
Seems other species have flourished as well
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