Thursday, March 17, 2005

One step closer to drilling in Alaska.

Today (or was it late last night), the Bush administration pushed through some weird bill that moves the US one step closer to drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) has a great little piece on the issue here. (I've been getting into this paper. The articles are well researched and reported.)

No one's really sure just how much oil there is under Alaska, but the big oil companies seem to have lost interest in the project. And no one's really sure how much ecological impact this project will have, either.

Bush, however, is mostly concerned with how rising oil prices will "affect the average American family."

How about that average American family? Recent polls - as the CSM article points out - suggests that 73% of Americans prefer conservation tecniques or alternative forms of energy over an increase in domestic oil production. As such, I'm not feeling very good about the Bush adminstration's ability to represent the needs of its people on this one.

If you've ever read this blog before, you know where I stand on eco-issues, and sometimes they aren't always black-and-white. This one, however, seems a no-brainer: oil companies don't think the resources justify the costs, the public doesn't support it, and the ANWR is considered so important to wildlife that even Canada can object to any drilling (as per an international agreement). So why bother sneaking this little tidbit through government? It beats me.

But. as friend and fellow blogger Mike pointed out, these issues are sometimes driven by market forces. Until the US public puts its money where its mouth is and actually starts conserving, buying fuel-efficient vehicles, eating locally, eating less dead animal, using less A/C, just plain 'ol being smarter, then we'll have foolish presidents dropping wells into pristine and never-to-be-seen-again wilderness. Take a look at the picture above.

(here's something kinda funny:, which you would think might be the official government site for the preserve, is actually an oil and oil worker's lobbying website, offering you - among many other things - 10 reasons to drill for oil in the refuge. Good times.)


Blogger Mike said...

I love you and hate you all at the same time over this one. More love than hate.

On the point of the CSM's poll... I appreciate the zing.

Here is my take... it is far easier to check a box on a survey proclaiming that you [Americans] are for conservation and alternate energy sources, than it is to balance your checkbook with the consequences.

Heck, the US has some of the cheapest petrol on the planet for consumers, but they cry if it goes to $2 per gallon. I am sitting next to a guy from Holland right now who just confirmed that his gas costs him $5 per gallon (taxes not withstanding, this is the price to the consumer).

I happen to be for the RESPONSIBLE drilling in the AWR. There are a lot of ups and downs, but it can be done.

2:34 AM  

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