Saddam, ANWR, and the energy policy

According to this article here, President Bush urged drilling in ANWR due to Saddam stating that he is going to withhold oil shipments for 30 days.


Seems to me, part of a “comprehensive energy plan” must include conservation, yet the administration has no interest in conservation. Indeed, they used the excuse of "it would create smaller, **unsafe[/b (???) cars, when opposing the raising of fuel efficiency standards. Talk about stretching.

Am I the only one that is getting tired of this administration spinning every news story into another way of validating their policy? Saudi Arabia and other nations have already said they will make up the difference in oil that Saddam doesn’t ship. How does this insistance on drilling do anything long term to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil? There just isn’t that much there. Isn’t this a blatant example of the White House allowing the energy industry to form policies that are in the best interests of themselves and not the rest of us?

If you don’t like paying Saddam Hussein for his oil, then don’t buy it from him. Everyone who advocates belt-tightening when it comes to government budgets seems to get very quiet when they might talk about tightening the energy belt.

Since you are from Alaska, let me ask you this…

What is the general opinion about drilling in the ANWR or even just yours. Is it seen primarily as a good thing due to potential jobs it would bring. Or, are people upset at the environmental implications (as they are in Nevada where Bush wants to dump all of the nuclear waste).


Well, see if we drill for oil (and subsidize it both directly and indirectly of course), we keep the supplies up which keeps the prices down way way below the actual costs, which continues to encourage high and wasteful usage, which … Oh, never mind, it is too complicated for you to understand. :wink:

Yes, probably. Although, I have heard, interestingly enough, that the case for ANWR is so weak economically that some of the oil companies aren’t interested. (And, I imagine that even fewer would be interested without the generous subsidization they apparently already get in oil exploration and drilling.) Some have even argued that the push on ANWR may have more to do with it becoming a sort of bone for the far right wing … the way that appointing conservative anti-abortion judges is, for example. [It’s also some much desired pork for the state of Alaska.] Who knows!?!

Actually, I wrote a little parody news article the other day related to this whole subject. It is kind of long so I am not sure I’ll post it here unless people really want to see it. [I imagine the reaction will be, “Don’t quit your day job.”]

Personally, I’m ambivalent. But I think a majority of Alaskans favor (or don’t oppose) drilling in the coastal plain. It’s not the jobs as much as the money: More development means more royalties and taxes from the oil industry. That will delay the imposition of any statewide taxes – which Alaskans currently don’t pay.

No! Say it ain’t so! Or, to put it another way: Duh.

This is more of a pissing match at the Congressional level. In Alaska politics, ANWR development is universally accepted. Democrats favor it (though they tend to pursue it with less fervor than Republicans). Of course, most things in Alaska are backward. Take oil prices: In the Lower 48, people worry about gasoline prices going up. In Alaska, it’s a good thing, since it means more revenue for the state, maintaining this tax-free nirvana we now inhabit.

Evidence linking the caribou and Al Queda will be released shortly. At the moment, Ari Fleisher is still busy getting all the documentation in order, as regards the scandal of Clinton trashing the White House. You remember, don’t you? Thats the last we heard, he was still “compiling the evidence”. Must be massive amount, huh? Took more than a year…

Then the caribou…

Enough unseemly gloating. We are asked to witness, without snickering or puking, the wholesomely patriotic endeavor by the Republican Party (a wholly owned subsidiary of MammonCo) to safeguard our great nation from the predations of Goddam Hussein and his minions.

Warms the heart, it surely does. So far, they haven’t found a way to work Heroic Firemen into the photo op, but they will.

So howzaboutthis? If this is all such a patriotic endeavor, howzabout Chevron, Halliburton, et. al. agree to drill and pump the oil on a cost basis: all the oil drilled will be earmarked for the use of our military, and provided by our chest-thumping patriots in the oil bidness at cost. No proft. Just that heart swelling goodness that comes from knowing you’re doing what’s right for your country!

And who better to run the project than Ted White, Secretary of the Army, a man of proven management expertise. Though rumor has it he may be wanting to spend more time with his family. Lots more.

An SUV sporting patriotic symbols is an excercise in very droll postmodernist irony.

Yes, I worked on a postcard campaign (USPIRG) this summer trying to get Bush not to drill there. The statistics are something ridiculous like if everyone inflated their tires a little more for a couple of decades it would save an equal amount of oil. Raising the CAFE standards would save many, many more times the oil. Notice that the only people who the (lack of) new CAFE standards help are the car companies, who can make a cheaper product, and the oil companies, who sell more gas, both of whom were generous benefactors in the recent presidential election. Consumers’ extra cost for the car would be made up within a year by the gas saved. Lowering the CAFE standards would result in generally smaller cars on the road, which would partially (or maybe completely, I don’t have any numbers on this) offset any safety loss with lighter cars. And this isn’t even mentioning the fact that ANWR is one of the last places in the US that there isn’t any sign of humans for a signifigant (small state sized) area, and includes one of the last Native American peoples that have very little outside influence.

One of the stupid motivational sound bites we had in the office was “It’s not an energy plan, it’s a scam”, so it amused me greatly later when the possibility of the Bush administration’s first scandal broke on this subject.

We regret to inform that you will not be able to see any of the documentation due to national security issues. Gonna have to get a court order.

And of course it is taking a lot of time. They need about 16 million taxpayer dollars to have a formal investigation. In the end, it will be determined that he wasn’t involved in said trashing (or any other alternative paths the investigation will likely take). They will however find that he occasionally masturbated as a teenager and that will make the whole investigation worthwhile.

With statements like that, you must be a terrorist.

It seems to me that Fleischer’s statement is an admission that we don’t really get that much oil from Iraq anyway, and that Saddam is basically making an empty threat here. Matter of fact, Iraq produces less than 10% of OPEC’s total production, and OPEC only accounts for 40% of the world’s total, according to this. People are just overreacting to this news (as usual), but even if Iraq does stop all exports, it won’t have any affect on us.

Fleischer’s statement is an admission that we don’t get much oil from Saddam but I don’t think he intended it to sound that way. He seems to suggest that this is a serious enough threat that congress needs to stop stalling and let them start drilling because that is the only way we are going to have enough oil.

But it isn’t the only way. Is is just the only way that doesn’t piss off the energy folks that “helped” with our energy policy. I would suggest that proof of this is the fact that not one environmental agency was allowed an appointment with Cheney. That would have been just a little bit more of a “comprehensive” energy policy. So if people are overreacting to this news, perhaps it is because of the white house spin, such as how his statement conveniently leaves out the part about Saudi Arabia making up the difference. Of course, if he left that part in, how would he justify the drilling.

I assume you mean the Inupiat of Kaktovik. Notice, these untouched primitives have their own website.

You could also fit several tracts the size of the coastal plain into the federally protected inholdings throughout Alaska – to say nothing of the Canadian Arctic. Why, Wrangell-St. Elias Preserve alone is 7500 square miles – bigger than Connecticut or Delaware (which isn’t too hard). And the entire Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is bigger than all other states except Texas, California, and Montana. And it adjoins Kluane National Park across the Canadian border, and the Tongass National Forest. That’s a lot of wilderness to spare.

As I said above, I’m ambivalent about ANWR development. I’d just like to make sure the debate is taken in the proper context.