George W. Bush & his oil

So like he said during his campaign, his administration is going ahead with removing the protection of Alaskan wilderness so that oil companies can begin drilling there.

This will make us (somewhat) less dependent on foreign oil (for a while). This will also be a (big) boon to American oil companies.

I get the sneaking suspicion that W has intentions of adjusting the playing field so that by the time he is out of office in 3-7 years he will reconnect with Big Oil at a point when it will be even more lucrative to do so.

This is all paranoid (though I don’t think too far-fetched) speculation and would really appreciate any factual input supporting or disproving my suspicions. Like:

  • What is the extent of W’s connection to American oil companies?
  • How ravaging is the effect of oil drilling?
  • What is the reality of usable alternative energy sources?

Fair questions:
- What is the extent of W’s connection to American oil
companies?

At this moment, I believe he has no connection at all. In the past he owned an oil-related company. (IIRC it drilled for oil in Texas)

- How ravaging is the effect of oil drilling?

As regards ANWR, it depends who you believe. Drilling opponents say the effects would be significant. Proponents say that only the most negligible, tiny fraction of ANWR would be affected.

**- What is the reality of usable alternative energy sources? **The most feasible major alternatives would be coal and nuclear (fission). Of course those two have their own problems. Nuclear is a public relations disaster. There’s widespread resistance to it.

Some day fusion might produce unlimited amounts of energy, but nobody is close to a practical method. Solar and wind produce relatively minor amounts of energy. Even if they were expanded, they’d still be only a small piece of the answer. Water power may not have much growth potential.

As a practical matter, by default the US is likely to move more toward coal power in the next few years.

Trying to get on Anthracite’s good side, eh? :wink: