On ANWR

31 07 2008

With soaring oil prices, it seems like the topic du jour is drilling in Alaska. Every time anyone mentions oil, they conjure up screaming masses of right-wingers — and a few left-wingers as well — yelling about Alaskan drilling and the necessity thereof. Apparently, doing so would reduce the price of gas, it would reduce out dependence on foreign nations, and all around be a fabulous thing. This way, we wouldn’t have to deal with messy and confusing things that might upset the oil companies, like alternative energy sources! However, in reality, the issue isn’t quite as clear. Let’s look at some statistics, shall we?

  • The United States consumes approximately 20,588,000 barrels of petroleum daily.
  • The ANWR oil fields are expected to produce, at maximum, approximately 1.45 million barrels of petroleum a day, in 2028, when production is expected to peak, under this production. The minimum is projected at approximately 510,000 barrels of petroleum per day at peak.
  • Under the best circumstances, ANWR drilling is projected to produce a $1.44/barrel price reduction worldwide at peak.

The highest projected peak production from ANWR would barely constitute 7% of United States oil consumption today. The debate comes down to whether we want to destroy a pristine wilderness to extract an fairly small amount of hydrocarbonaceous black carcinogenic gunk from under the ground, where it’s safely isolated, to burn it and place tons of poisonous/greenhouse gases into the world at large. In my opinion, the money could be better spent on, for example, researching sources of energy that don’t pour toxins into the atmosphere. But, that’s my view. What do you people think?

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3 responses

7 08 2008
estjercita

Hi! i just read some random posts in your blog, and I love it (I arrived here via RationalWiki). I expect you are clean by now of your caffeine addiction.
just that. Ciao!

9 08 2008
Linus

Hey, sorry for not responding more rapidly. I’ve been busy over the last couple of days (school impending), so I haven’t been online as much as I would like. I’m trying to get some new content up soon, although I seem to have encountered yet more writer’s block. And thanks for the vote of confidence!

9 08 2008
Linus

Oh, and yes, I am pretty caffeine-addiction-clean now, although I caved and drank a full cup of coffee today to combat a headache. 🙂

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