I am the first in line for solving the current energy crunch. So, I started listening to pundits and Congressmen and such, to see what solutions they had to offer. The prevailing idea is to drill our way out of this current shortage.
To investigate this potential solution, so I read a thouroughly written, comprehensive white paper called Fool’s Gold in Alaskaby Amory B. Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins. Their impressive list of collective credentials are listed in the article.
Turns out drilling in Alaska is probably the worst thing we can do, and the report is chock full of reasons why.
The government says, if you can trust them, that even under best-case scenarios, it would take 10 years to start production and the average net drop in price would be about 86 cents per barrel.
Ten years? What do we do in the mean time?
Energy independence, or something closer it I’m guessing, is the goal here.
However, the government’s most optimistic estimate is that peak ANWR (and off shore drilling according to other sources) would only yield a total of 19 to 150 billion barrels. In fact, ANWR would only produce about 750,000 barrels per day – less than 1 percent of total world oil output.
The supposed ‘supply effect’ is a myth also.What no one is taking into account is that OPEC and other producers may cut output to offset increased supply, with an eye on keeping prices elevated.
The report also suggests that there is little direct knowledge about the location of oil in ANWR and how much of it there really is. What we do “know” is little more than a guess, based upon some computer models. There’s also issues with the reliability and usefulness of the Alaska Oil Pipeline going forward.
Then we’re faced with the environmental factors. If we care anything about the Arctic Refuge for Wildlife, we must closely examine the effects of drilling in the undisturbed arctic ecosystem. Most experts say the damage would be substantial.
In the end, I don’t believe ANWR is a viable short-term or maybe even long-term answer. The costs seem to vastly out weigh the limited benefits – as opposed to other ideas like higher fuel efficiency standards, smaller cars, fuel conservation, alternative fuel research, and slower driving speeds.
Last month Americans drove 1.6 billion less miles and gas is down in price three days in a row now.
Americans have the know-how and gumption to solve this problem. It is time we started doing it. Hydrogen can be produced from water for pennies – people are doing it right now in garages all over the country. Diesel can be made from waster grease. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are being produced right now but there’s no infrastructure.
0Why not pursue these projects at the national level with a “Manhattan Project for Alternative Fuel”? Why not petition Congress to ACT instead of chasing oil men’s pipe dreams of drilling our way to energy independence? That ship has sailed.