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Environmentalists Making America Less Safe

As armed conflict with Iran becomes more and more of a possibility in the near future many Americans, heck make that many citizens of the world, are worried about what such a conflict could mean for our countries. Especially our economies as they relate to oil.

If Iran's oil were to come off the market gas prices here in America would jump, which would have a very negative impact on our economy. It is true that America does not purchase any oil from Iran, but in terms of market impact that fact just isn't relevant. Other countries do buy their oil from Iran. If China, for instance, suddenly had to look elsewhere for oil - whether it be due to Iran turning off the spigot or something like UN sanctions - global prices would go up as the reduction in oil supply would soon have China competing with America and other countries for oil supplies even more than they already are.

If gas prices go up here in America the prices of just about everything else goes up with it. Shipping merchandise would get more expensive as the shipping companies would have to compensate for increased gas prices. Stores would then have to compensate by raising their own prices to offset the increased cost of keeping their shelves stocked. With products and services costing more Americans would buy less. That's not a good situation for our country to be in. Not a devastating situation in that we could survive it, but it certainly isn't a place we want to go.

But putting all that aside for a moment, a question I think we need to ask ourselves right now is this: Why are we in this situation?

My answer is this: We are in this situation, at least in part, because certain interests here in America have prevented our country from developing our domestic supplies of oil.

Our country could very easily be less dependent on foreign oil if the staunch opponents to domestic oil drilling and petroleum infrastructure development had been a little less successful in getting their way in recent decades. If we were significantly less dependent on foreign oil it is safe to say that the looming potential for war with Iran would be a little less threatening. At least from an economic standpoint.

So how do we gain our energy independence? We could stop using so much oil, obviously. Yet that is problematic, at least in the short term. Conservation would work to a point, but that would only take us so far. Some alternative energy technologies aren't perfected yet and probably can't supply us with all the energy we need, and even the alternatives that do work to some degree have met opposition from certain factions. After all, everybody likes to say that they support America using less oil yet nobody wants a big ugly windmill or nuclear power plant in their back yard.

Like it or not, in the foreseeable future America will need oil. It would be nice if we could use our own oil instead of depending on the oil supplied to us from international places. That dependence is making our economy less stable and our citizens less safe. So the next time some legislation comes up to allow for domestic oil exploration (e.g. drilling in ANWR) I think it is in our best interest to tell our political leaders that we not only want it passed, we need it passed.

You can read more from Rob Port at SayAnythingBlog.com

Comments (24)

The U.S. needs to drill for... (Below threshold)

The U.S. needs to drill for oil anywhere we can regardless of the effects. We need oil and we should do anything to get more.

Not only developing our dom... (Below threshold)

Not only developing our domestic sources of oil, but also screaming to high heaven about nuclear power development. And wind power, too, at least when it is going to be in their backyard. *cough*Robert Kennedy, Jr.*cough*

Is this satire?This ... (Below threshold)

Is this satire?
This is kind of like the left calling Bush a terrorist. Because fighting terrorism creates more terrorist.
Funny stuff.

Something that I've always ... (Below threshold)

Something that I've always wondered about is that we have the oil resources in shale to provide our petroleum needs for the next 100 years (100 Trillion barrels estimated), available at an extraction cost of between $40 and $60 per barrel.

Why aren't we at least setting up smaller scale facilities to mediate the domestic cost of oil?

Ah, stop your whining. We ... (Below threshold)

Ah, stop your whining. We pay 4 times the US price for petrol at the pump here in the UK. If we go to war with Iran you wimpy Yanks should just suck it up and stop getting the vapors ;)

sortapundit said:Ah,... (Below threshold)

sortapundit said:
Ah, stop your whining. We pay 4 times the US price for petrol at the pump here in the UK. If we go to war with Iran you wimpy Yanks should just suck it up and stop getting the vapors ;)

Higher prices are usually what happens when socialists get their grubby hands on the authority to tax.
I seem to remember that we yanks did something about that situation ... ;)

According to the 1998 U.S. ... (Below threshold)

According to the 1998 U.S. Geological Survey study, the mean estimate of economically recoverable oil from the Arctic refuge is 3.2 - 5.2 billion barrels.
Equivalent to the amount of oil the U.S. consumes in about six months.

sortapundit said:"Ah... (Below threshold)

sortapundit said:
"Ah, stop your whining. We pay 4 times the US price for petrol at the pump here in the UK. If we go to war with Iran you wimpy Yanks should just suck it up and stop getting the vapors ;)"

Talk about wimpy, how about all you wimpy limeys get the lychees to tell your government to quit taxing you to death then maybe your fuel prices wouldn't be so high.... Get off your high horse and shut up.

Get off your high horse ... (Below threshold)

Get off your high horse and shut up

I ought to come over there and kick your ass.

Only I can't afford the petrol :)

"I ought to come over there... (Below threshold)

"I ought to come over there and kick your ass.

Only I can't afford the petrol :)"

lol,, yeah, easy excuse,, like I said before,, you don't have the lychees..

"...the mean estimate of... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

"...the mean estimate of economically recoverable oil from the Arctic refuge is 3.2 - 5.2 billion barrels..."

As oil prices rise, and technology improves, the amount of economically recoverable oil will increase dramatically.

There's much of the Texas G... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

There's much of the Texas Gulf Coast, Louisiana/Alabama/Miss. Gulf Coast, Florida Gulf Coast, Southern Atlantic Coast, and the California Coast (among many other places that aren't immediately springing to mind) that simply haven't attained oil-drilling permits thanks to environmental lawyers who constantly keep the oil companies tied up in courts, challenging the validity of their leases, permits and so forth. And the reserves in those areas, including natural gas, is quite deep and plentiful. (I should know, my wife and I own oodles of stock in one of those oil companies that was recently just moments away from being able to drill before being stopped in the courts by environmental lawyers.)

My point: All the damn court-imposed environmental restrictions are virtually unnecessary for a very simple business-related reason: Public relations. Today, any environmental accident that is the fault of an oil company is a PR disaster (think: Exxon Valdez). So, it naturally behooves the company to make and take all the necessary precautions in order to make sure spills do not happen, and animals and the environment are protected. (And that doesn't even account for the money they lose on the oil, the tanker, the derrick, the clean-up and so on in the event of an accident.)

I'm all for alternative energy solutions for transportation, IF they are realistic solutions for and attainable by the general population.


Rob's not just talking about your precious ANWR, and everyone knows ANWR isn't the end-all-be-all solution to supplying our own oil, so get over it. P.S. Besides, where the drilling would take place in ANWR is nothing but a nearly animal-less (particularly caribou) saltmarsh...

Oh, and one more ANWR fact ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Oh, and one more ANWR fact (one that DUDA obviously didn't research):

From the "Summary" of 1998 USGS report:

Using a methodology similar to that used in previous USGS assessments in the ANWR and the National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska, this study estimates that the total quantity of technically recoverable oil in the 1002 area is 7.7 BBO (mean value), which is distributed among 10 plays. Most of the oil is estimated to occur in the western, undeformed part of the ANWR 1002 area, which is closest to existing infrastructure. Furthermore, the oil is expected to occur in a number of accumulations rather than a single large accumulation. Estimates of economically recoverable oil, expressed by probability curves, show increasing amounts of oil with increasing price. At prices less than $13 per barrel, no commercial oil is estimated, but at a price of $30 per barrel, between 3 and 10.4 billion barrels are estimated. Economic analysis includes the costs of finding, developing, producing, and transporting oil to market based on a 12 percent after-tax return on investment, all calculated in constant 1996 dollars.
The amounts of in-place oil estimated for the ANWR 1002 area are larger than previous USGS estimates. The increase results in large part from improved resolution of reprocessed seismic data and geologic analogs provided by recent nearby oil discoveries.

Oh, more little factoid: The drilling would take place in just 2,000 acres of the 1.5 million acre ANWR Coastal plan.

among many other places ... (Below threshold)

among many other places that aren't immediately springing to mind

Lake Michigan, too.

I'm not against drilling AN... (Below threshold)

I'm not against drilling ANWR. But I'm not upset if it isn't drilled. Because as time goes along, it will become more and more critical. And having an untapped stash of oil to draw on may be a good thing. Basically we can tap it now or tap it later.

The motive for tapping it now would be in part Middle East politics. Later if will likely give more economic relief and who knows where the political sitution will be at that time.

But eventually it will be tapped.

The real relief for oil is nuclear power. There is no doubt about it. I believe France is 50-80% nuclear and Japan is ~30% nuclear. The other resource to exploit is coal.

The enviromentalist stop us from real independance. And because of the money we do pump into that part of the world, we prop up dictatorships that would otherwise be economically self-destructive.

How good is war for the environment, let alone the human costs?

How good is war for the ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

How good is war for the environment, let alone the human costs?

Good point, jpm100. Especially when a certain former Middle East dictator set fire to his former Kuwaiti oil fields and then proceeded to destroy most of the Mesopotanian Iraqi marshlands with the Marsh Arabs and livestock still in them.

Then we came along and started to restore those marshlands and helped those people return to their homes.

Shame on us. Bad USA, very bad.

Do not stash the oil. When ... (Below threshold)
Fred Z:

Do not stash the oil. When we get into whatever will replace oil, the extant oil will be worthless. Let's not be cave men hoarding our flint resources until - uh, oh - some jerk discovers how to make metal blades.

There are about 50 billion ... (Below threshold)

There are about 50 billion barrels of oil reserves in North America, 22 billion being in the U.S. For the sake of argument, let's included Canadian and Mexican oil in the domestic category. At 20 million barrels consumed per day in the U.S., those 50 billion barrels will last about 7 years. And that's assuming our northern and southern neighbors don't use any.

As the price of oil goes up, more oil will be economically extractable. Does anybody know what the max amount of oil in North America is? i.e. if prices shot to $200/barrel, how much more oil could we add to our proven reserves?

And, as Rob pointed out, oil is a fungible commodity. In the event of an Iranian embargo, wouldn't the prices of domestic oil go up? Why would producers sell U.S. oil to the U.S. if they could get more money by selling to international markets? Should we nationalize the oil industry? Or earmark domestic oil for domestic use only, and suffer the consequences of price controls?

It seems that if we committ to domestic supplies only, we'd better have a long term plan for what to do when it all runs out.

Let's talk natural gas as w... (Below threshold)

Let's talk natural gas as well. Twenty years ago, we put the kibosh on Nuk plants politically & through endless litigation. Since then almost all new electrical generation has come from burning natural gas. And each power plant takes a heck of lot natural gas to run. This has put terrific pressure on the natural gas market and is the sole biggest factor in the market shortfall on gas. Gas is much better suited to applications like home heating since it is close to 90 percent efficient rather that 35-40 efficiency seen in making power. And folks, it's only going to get worse. Better get back building nuks and at all possible speed. But the plodding regulators and the activists will do thier damnest to slow walk them.

Hmm, I find it difficult to... (Below threshold)

Hmm, I find it difficult to believe that by making great and necessary efforts to protect the few untainted wildlife habitats left in all of America, enviornmentalists are somehow making our country a less safe place to live. Yes, I know to several self-absorbed, reckless misers such as yourself it is hard to beleive that for some people the idea of saving money takes a backseat to the preference of salvaging what is left of our wonderfful wildlife and the places they live. Because ultimately and unfortunately, that is what this is all about: money. As some previous posters have pointed out, we (Americans) pay a lot less for gas compared to what people from other countires pay. We burn through gas at an alarming rate and use more oil than any other country. How about instead of intruding on and eventually destroying more peaceful, precious habitiats we try instead to become less reckless with how we use our oil and overall become more conservative? Oh no, of course thats not an option, not for Americans. Apparently saving a few bucks at the pump is more important than preserving what little unhindered nature we have left. If selfish Americans such as yourself would stop viewing everything in terms of money, you just might be able to understand and appreciate the importance of conservation and why it is so important that we NOT drill in Alaska.

[email protected]:Yeah, ... (Below threshold)

[email protected]:

Yeah, who needs money? It's useless. All it can do is feed starving children, care for the elderly, vaccinate babies, provide AIDS treatment, eliminate malaria-carrying mosquitos, and other useless things like that.

Much better to have a pristine stretch of barren ice. Who can't appreciate that?

In those few instances wher... (Below threshold)

In those few instances where the goal of environmentalists is actually the environment and not just anti-captialism hiding behind trees it works well. Unfortunately those instances are rare. About those Brits paying 4 times what Americans pay, I have to laugh, you export oil to us at a cheaper price than you sell it to yourselves. Amrecians would revolt if someone tried to do that to us, but I guess you knew that already...

Umm, I heard Paul has some ... (Below threshold)

Umm, I heard Paul has some pristine swampland with a partial existing oil infrastructure that is more than willing to be tapped for oil exploration:)

[email protected]:...... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

[email protected]:

...we (Americans) pay a lot less for gas compared to what people from other countires pay. We burn through gas at an alarming rate and use more oil than any other country...

While I'm no economist, I do believe there's a reason we pay less for our gas: demand drives down prices, devaluing the commodity. (If there's an economist out there, please correct me.) But I think this is why we pay less for gas.

...what little unhindered nature we have left.

Oh please. Have you been West of the Mississippi lately? Huge, massive portions of the West where I live are completely protected and remain "unhindered" areas. Furthermore, every year more and more land is set aside for protection than what is commercially or residentially developed.

...why it is so important that we NOT drill in Alaska.

Thrill us. Why is it so important?






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