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Drilling In ANWR Will Not Solve The Problem But It’s A Start

21 June 2008 One Comment

I hate to talk politics on the Return To Manliness blog, but this issue is taking on epic proportions because of the insane gas prices we are witnessing. At front and center is the lightning rod topic of drilling for oil in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Reserve). Check out what Wikipedia has to say about ANWR.

The right wants to drill and drill ASAP to help replace some of our oil imports from other countries. The left wants to leave this pristine refuge untouched and kept as a “national treasure”. They both have good arguments and have good reasons for wanting what they want. They both are passionate and it is a source of great debate as we enter this year’s election season.

They both are freaking crazy. That being said, drilling in ANWR is NOT the answer to our gas crisis and addiction, but rarely is there ever one silver bullet to solve a complex problem. The drilling is not the answer, but it is a start towards one.

ANWR Drilling

Let’s look at the arguments for and against:

Drill in ANWR NOW!

  • Only 8% of ANWR would be considered for exploration
  • Return tons of revenues to State and Federal Treasury
  • 250k to 750k jobs would be created
  • Huge economic surplus to our economy
  • America’s best chance for a major discovery
  • Other US oil fields are starting to fall off in production
  • No negative impact on the refuge and the animals
  • Imported oil is WAY too costly (for many different reasons)
  • Very small footprint due to increased technology
  • More than 75% of Alaskans (arguably the most impacted) support it

Drill in ANWR? NEVER!

  • It would ruin a national treasure that is pristine
  • A spill of any size could have epic negative consequences on the environment
  • Massive infrastructure would have to be built leaving a very large footprint
  • The indigenous people, Inupiat Eskimo and the Gwich’in Athabascan Indian, do not fully support the project
  • Caribou, Polar Bears, freshwater fish, and migrating birds that rely on the delicate balance of the preserve will be displaced
  • The project will take at least 7 years for any oil to come to marketANWR Caribou
  • The new supply would only displace roughly 2% of our annual oil and gas needs
  • The use of fossil fuels in the future is already in doubt. That is, we might be trying to find supply for future demand that is in question

The Presidential candidates are using this issue as a political football – kicking it back and forth with crazy tenacity. That is a bad thing. But they are at least talking about the MUCH bigger problem at hand – rising oil prices and gas prices and our country’s complete reliance on foreigners for this need.

We love our large vehicles and our spread out open spaces here in the US. When I think of manliness and driving a car – I think of a big Ford Pickup. I don’t think of a little car that gets 50 mpg. I know everyone in the US thinks the same way as well. This is why it is important to at least start the discussion of drilling in ANWR. If nothing ever happens up there, I will not be surprised. But with that discussion comes a changing mindset that will change the habits of the consumer. That is a good thing…

Here is another great source of information on ANWR and where folks want to drill for oil.

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