free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 189. WEEKEND ASSAULT ON ANWR CONTINUES

Sunday, December 18, 2005

189. WEEKEND ASSAULT ON ANWR CONTINUES

Continuing from the previous article, it appears that Stevens and Frist will attach the ANWR drilling provisions to the defense bill, which also contains money for Katrina victims and LIHEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program).Source

Here's Feinstein's comment:
This is a brazen attempt by the Republican leadership to hold funding for our troops and relief for Hurricane Katrina victims hostage to a misguided effort to open up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.Source
Here's McCain's comment:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called Stevens' effort "disgusting" and couldn't say how he'd vote on the combined bill.

"I think it's disgraceful that I have to be put in that position," McCain, a drilling opponent, told the Washington Post.Source
The usual status quo brown-nosers can almost smell the gasoline fumes already. George Will says opposition to drilling ANWR is just a cover for collectivism:
A quarter of a century of this tactic applied to ANWR is about 24 years too many. If geologists were to decide that there were only three thimbles of oil beneath area 1002, there would still be something to be said for going down to get them, just to prove that this nation cannot be forever paralyzed by people wielding environmentalism as a cover for collectivism.Source
FOX News has a "common-sense" piece by shills from the Heritage Foundation refuting all that environmentalism bunk about ANWR:
Drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge makes so much sense, it's no wonder opponents have to twist the facts to turn it into a controversy.

We're talking about 10 billion barrels of domestic oil located in an area with a proven track record for environmentally responsible drilling. Yet a host of tall tales from environmental activists and like-minded journalists has made it a tough fight in Washington.

Congress is currently deciding whether to add ANWR drilling to the defense appropriations bill. Given the continued high oil prices and political turmoil in many oil-producing nations, now might be the best chance to get ANWR done. But it will happen only if the ANWR myths are exposed. Here are several:

ANWR Drilling Would Harm Alaska's Environment...

Oil Wells Would Despoil One Of The Few Remaining Pristine Places...

Drilling Is Incompatible With The Purpose Of National Wildlife Refuges...

Oil Development Harms Local Wildlife...

The Caribou Herds Will be Devastated...

Alaskans Oppose ANWR Drilling...Source
Personally I couldn't give a rat's ass about the caribou or the pristine tundra in ANWR. In fact, FOX News is probably right that the impact of drilling will be pretty minimal (although the impact of burning all that oil certainly won't be good for the Gulf Coast). I'm opposed to drilling ANWR because it's the last big chunk of domestic oil in the U.S., and when it's gone, there ain't no more. The Republicans are trying to paint ANWR as a solution for energy independence, but it clearly isn't. When they get done shooting up ANWR, the U.S. will be just as dependent as before, except all their domestic oil will be gone forever.

Of course, that's just where "they" want America to be 20 years from now. An abject petroleum junky, without a drop on her own soil. Military power is completely incompatible with such a state-of-affairs, and America is sleepwalking into a cunning trap. It works like this: bide your time, and let the U.S. run out of oil, while it cheerfully increases its hog-like consumption to 25 or 30 mbd. Then pull the plug and watch the Big Junky implode. This is a long-term strategic game of "last man standing", and an intelligent player would burn somebody else's oil, and leave his own in the ground for later. But America isn't intelligent is it? They're going to follow myopic pom-pom girls like George Will into the spiked pit.

The best strategy is to just let America keep sleeping for decade or two. Then they'll be in a situation like Ukraine and Western Europe vis-a-vis Russia:
The Russian natural gas monopolist Gazprom will halt all natural gas deliveries to Ukraine as of January, if no agreement is reached by the end of this year, said Sergei Kuprianov, a Gazprom spokesman in Moscow.

Gazprom officials during contract talks have said they want to raise the price of natural gas supplied to Ukraine from 50 to 160 dollars for 1000 cubic metres.

If Russia were to shut off gas supplies to Ukraine, western European nations would face a severe shortage of natural gas, as Russian natural gas enters the European market via pipelines through Ukraine.Source
See how slick that works? Ukraine and Europe are Russia's poodle -- impotent, emasculated victims of energy blackmail. To paraphrase W.S. Burroughs in Naked Lunch: "Oil and NG are the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy."
-- by JD

16 Comments:

At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 10:03:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that I understand why I dislike you so. You always speak for the affect and not the truth. My impression of this blog is a nascent emloyment resume. Give it up JD. No one is ever going to make a living spouting on the internet. Have you forgotten that digits want freedom not income

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 10:21:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But you just just told us in previous posts that almost all of France's power was nuclier.They are still in Europe aren't they?
I believe they may still have coal reserves too.I've heard they also have a dandy high spead rail system too. Some how they don't seem to be that dependent on Russian gas and oil or the Dummies that the Bush Adm. would like you to think they are. J.C. Sr.

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 11:13:00 AM PST, Blogger al fin said...

Coal. 250 years reserve.
Biofuels.
Ultra cheap, ultra efficient solar.
Pluggable hybrids.
Natural gas? At least 80 years reserve in the US alone.
Tar sands.
Shale oil.
ANWR is chicken feed.
Nuclear fission as a stopgap until fusion is perfected.

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 12:43:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al fin is right. In a game of "last man standing" the US will most certainly be the last man. The rest of the world will be crawling through the proverbial sewer to buy American coal.

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 1:40:00 PM PST, Blogger Omnitir said...

America will probably have a booming coal trade in the future as one of the worlds largest coal reserves, though Australia also has massive coal reserves (supposedly the largest in the world?) and is eager to export it. Unfortunately though the Aus govt. seem ever keen to suck up to America, so maybe we’ll end up selling our coal to whomever the U.S. wants us to sell it to?

Anyway, I agree with JD’s logic that extracting the U.S.’s last hit of the oil drug is a terrible idea. I disagree though about the nature and wildlife aspect. I believe the research suggesting that drilling will have devastating effects on the fragile arctic environment, and I think it would be a terrible shame, and totally disgusting, if we end up causing the extinction of several endangered species just so that Americans can keep to their SUV’s just a few years longer.

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 3:08:00 PM PST, Anonymous Reality Check said...

JD knows when the US economy tanks, Japan's is going straight in the toilet.

Then what's he going to do for a living?

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 4:40:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

al fin,
As time goes on, the U.S. will have two problems: how to fuel its military machine, and how to fuel suburbia. If the U.S. is burning 25-30mbd and producing 1mbd (as is likely to be the case in a decade or two), they have no viable response to oil producers shutting off the taps. The existing infrastructure of the military cannot run on coal, solar, pluggable hybrids, NG, shale oil, or nuclear fission/fusion. Even if the military can run on biofuels, tar sands and the remaining oil, that still leaves the problem of how to fuel suburbia while the military is operating. How will America support its military if its domestic economy is imploding due to liquids starvation?
It's a question of timing. The U.S. may have the raw energy in the ground to handle the problem, but if that energy is not in a readily usable form when the taps get shut off, the U.S. is screwed.

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 4:52:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

But you just just told us in previous posts that almost all of France's power was nuclier.They are still in Europe aren't they?

Yes, France is in a fairly good position, as are a number of Scandinavian countries. They still need NG for industrial purposes, however. Also, many other European countries, like Italy or the UK, are not in a good position. Russia can blackmail them very effectively. France's position doesn't help them at all. It's certainly not in France's interest to watch its neighbor's power grids brown-out.

I believe they may still have coal reserves too.

France's coal reserves are pathetic: 17 million short tons.

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 6:33:00 PM PST, Anonymous Concerned Optimist said...

JD,

Question for you: when the US implodes due to liquid fuel starvation, you surely understand Japan will implode as well, at leas financially.

What do you plan on doing then as far as your own personal survival?

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 7:26:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And also... could you define "screwed" in detail? I mean, no doubt a large number of readers are in the US... would you say to them that the doomers are right, but you'll be fine?

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 8:51:00 PM PST, Blogger al fin said...

If the Nazi war machine was capable of operating on gasified coal for an entire war of attempted conquest, it is likely that in the 21st century, more than one military machine will learn to run on coal.

The problem with static thinkers is that they are unable to adapt to change. Change is inevitable, but just not the change you expect.

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 11:04:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD, I need to get your stance.

I have reduced my *personal* NG and gas consumption 5 or 6 fold, and I live in mid western united states.

I did this because of the awareness of this blog, after LATOC I failed to see any reason in conserving because of the imminent collapse of society.

Your blog gave me hope and some sensibility, are you saying that I'm wasting my time? The US is going to collapse so why bother conserving an ounce?

Isn't this a complete 180?

Also you've shown the military will run on coal -> liquids if they want, however it's unlikely we can liquify enough coal to run suburbia and if we could we'd run out in no time. So I have 2 questions.

1. What was the point of all your conservation talk?
2. With "linked" economies Japan will suffer just as badly as the US, so won't you go down the tubes too?
3. Are you now a doomer?

 
At Monday, December 19, 2005 at 5:18:00 AM PST, Blogger JD said...

anon,
Even today, the U.S. (and much of the rest of the first world) are in a position of great vulnerability that a determined enemy like militant Islam could easily exploit. That's just the reality. If Saudi Arabian oil facilities go up in smoke tomorrow, we're all in a lot of trouble. Now, whether that will actually transpire is something no one knows. But one things for sure, if it happens tomorrow, al fin's coal, biofuels, ultra-cheap solar, pluggable hybrids, NG, tar sands, shale oil, fission and fusion aren't going to be worth jack shit because the military hardware, and the society which supports it, all run on oil.

My agenda is very simple. In order to improve the chances of a good outcome, America needs to relentlessly reduce its fossil fuel consumption, and save resources for later, when we will really need them. That's why you're doing the right thing. It's also why its a stupid idea to burn through ANWR to fuel sprawl. The less we use for frivolous purposes now, the more we'll have for essential purposes later.

Let me ask you something: If I've convinced you the U.S. won't collapse, then why are you conserving?

The doomers will tell you don't need to conserve because conservation is futile and society is screwed regardless. On the other hand, the cornucopians will tell you that you don't need to conserve because there will never be an energy shortage, no matter how much we waste. Basically, these two camps are the same bunch of couch potato stooges who just happen to posing under different names. If you get tired of conserving you can join up with either side at any time.

Personally, I don't view peak oil as a weekend football poll where the two choices are: "We're screwed-- might as well consume like a pig" or "Nothing at all to worry about, technology and the market will solve everything automatically -- might as well consume like a pig." Oil dependence is a serious, threatening problem which will only turn out right if people fight tooth and nail to make it turn out right.

 
At Monday, December 19, 2005 at 10:14:00 AM PST, Anonymous Not a Lemming said...

JD,

What are your plans post-peak? Japan has next to no natural resources, and US can't afford to piss of China, which means China is going to get Japan's slice of the ever diminishing pie.

If the US screws with China vis-a-vis Japan, well then it's "break out the nukes."

Do you really think Japan is a good place to be? How do you plan to make ends meet during the period between the global economy breaking down and lunar-solar being upscaled?

Basicall, I want to know what your plan is.

 
At Monday, December 19, 2005 at 4:33:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it seems that conserving won't make any difference then for myself or my family?

We are just as dead as everybody else right?

My own personal opinion is Americans can conserve just as I have, however it will take a catastrophy worse than the 70s oil shocks to motivate them to do so, and the economy may be crippled for a very long time as a result of this "shock" (I also believe peak oil won't be a big defining event, i think it will be a roller coaster ride for a number of years). I am not or ever will be tired of conserving, at this time (all other things considered: EG if the price of food doesn't reach 500% what it is now or the country doesnt get nuked) if NG and oil were quintupled in price I would take only a minor hit to my personal finances. This I can thank you for, because it has given me money to spend on other things I enjoy (OMG gizmos that use oil! I bet you anything that the oil intensity of a new television set is greater than the $2000 worth of gasoline/NG that would've been spent over the course of a year - sarcasm directed at doomers)

I was just trying to clarify where you stood because you seem to shift around alot, no matter what the case I don't think the "military machine" will be screwd, the SPR alone at 1/6th drawdown i believe is enough to run the military for just under 4 years, however you are right that we cant use it and other resources we have to offset peak oil at home and at the same time run the military - and it would be stupid to do so.

ANWR should stay in the ground, our SPR should be enlarged while it still can be, our military operations should be scaled back, efficiency should be pushed on the public.

@ guy below JD

I don't think the US and China will go to war over "remaining pie". China is already preparing to get itself off of oil as soon as possible, and invests a tremendous amount of money into alternatives.

In the US any peak oil aversion scenario is hard to fathom without at least some calamity (high unemployemnt etc), in China the government can simply say "Look you guys use less" because they have total control. I would hope China's leaders would realize that we would better get out of this mess with each other's help, and Japan may be a big part of that (ALOT of innovations in the area of energy efficiency and alternatives comes out of Japan)

We'll see what actually happens in the future, but for the meantime I'll keep conserving. I mean if I'm wrong I'm wrong but if I'm right hey I'll be better off than the guy that lives in the suburb and drives an SUV.

 
At Monday, December 19, 2005 at 4:53:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

I was just trying to clarify where you stood because you seem to shift around alot

It seems that way because I stand in the middle. I'm not a doomer or a cornucopian, and that's confusing for some people.

 

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