Dec 21, 2005

A lump of coal for Ted Stevens

As you all know by now, the Democrats in the Senate killed a plan to drill in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) today, after the House pretty much passed it just the day before.

Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who has dedicated the latter part of his career to get the OK to drill there, said that this was the "saddest day" of his life. After years of various tactics, Stevens tried to stick the ANWR drilling provision into the $453B defense spending bill for the troops, thinking this shit would pass so easily, because you know, everyone wants to support the troops and the war and shit.

Oh, please.
Most Senate Democrats and some moderate Republicans said the frigid wilderness and its assortment of wildlife, ranging from polar bears to peregrine falcons, should be protected. Other Republicans said ANWR must be unlocked for drilling to stop a steady slide in U.S. crude oil production.
What kills me is that the motive for drilling all boils down to money. Americans like to say that they care about the environment and the animals and preserving our beautiful land for future generations, but until the price per gallon of gas reaches the $4 mark, they don't worry about it. These politicians who favor drilling in the ANWR seem to not care about the kind of world they'll leave to their children and their grandchildren either - they'll for sure bend over backwards to make sure that oil industry lobbyists keep them in gifts and campaign contributions.

According to the Reuters article above, the ANWR is said to hold about 10 billion barrels of oil. That doesn't seem like a lot, considering that in this 2004 Mother Jones interview, Novelist Paul Roberts says that if we don't depend on OPEC to supplement our own crude oil production, the U.S. will hit our production peak in about 10 years. According to Roberts, "the market is aware that we use 80 million barrels of oil everyday [and this is in 2004, mind you - Mags] and that our maximum production at this point is 82.5 million barrels of oil a day." (Emphasis mine.)

So we use all the oil we sucked out of the ANWR. In how many years? And then what? Don't make me do the math.

Now is the time to press for renewable sources of energy. Kudos to the Dems for putting the pressure on. It's a step in the right direction.

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