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Why More Drilling is Not the Answer

Published:

        Submitted by Michael Moynihan on Thu, 06/19/2008 - 8:44am.   

Of the various false solutions being proposed to the current oil shockperhaps none is more disingenous than the idea that it can be solved bydrilling in the Alaskan wilderness and along the continental shelf.This is the idea that the right wing media, recently, John McCain andnow President Bush have been pushing as a cureall for soaring oilprices. Since many Democrats oppose this drilling, the next false stepof logic is to say Democrats are to blame. This was the thrust ofPresident Bush's energy proposal yesterday, one that only highlightsthe intellectual dishonesty and partisanship of this failedAdministration.

Is more drilling the answer?  No for three reasons.

First, the amount of potential oil in the Arctic National WildlifeRefuge or ANWR is simply not enough to make a dent in global worldconsumption. The entire estimated reserves of ANWR are estimated toequal current US consumption in one year. The mere increase in China'sconsumption in the next few years will exceed the entire Alaskanreserves. Since the reserves would be harvested over decades, thequantity of oil they would produce each year would amount at most to afew drops in the global oil bucket.

Second, oil exploration and drilling takes years. Even ifexploration began tomorrow, we would probably not see significantquantities of oil from Alaska or offshore for close to a decade.

Third, the oil companies already have millions of acres allocated tothem that they have not gotten around to exploring let alone drillingin. When asked the delicate question, as some have been recently, whythey have not explored these millions of acres to which the federalgovernment has granted them rights, oil companies typically respondthat the public should understand that oil exploration takes time.

There may be some opportunities for targeted, ecologicallysensistive drilling off of America's shores that would make economicsense. But more drilling will not address either the current oil shockshock or the long term situation. And of course, it will worsen, notmitigate the climate.

Entry #126

Comments

1.
Comment by Gentlespirit - June 19, 2008, 5:00 pm
I don't know what the best answer is to our energy problem...but, I do know that America needs to become self-sufficient and not rely on Arab countries for oil. If we don't solve our problem soon, it will become our downfall!!!
2.
Comment by pacattack05 - June 19, 2008, 5:08 pm
I disagree Tenaj. So much, around 50 to 60 percent of high prices are attributed to speculation. If there was just an inkling of news getting around that we are drilling on our own land, the price would immediately drop.

If you read my blog I recently posted about peak oil myths, you'll see the real reason we don't drill here. Here's my reply to Todd's blog which basically says what Mr williams talks about in "Myth peak oil",


In my blog "peak oil myth", in part 8, Lindsey Williams clearly points out the reason they can't drill for oil in Alaska. He sat on the board for 3 years as a chaplain and knows why.

In the 60s Kissinger went to the Saudis and made a deal. One part of the deal was in return for buying their oil, they would have to give a portion of that money to pay for our national debt. Therefore, if we used our own oil, the IMF and the world bank wouldn't make as much money. Ifyou remember a while back when we told the impoverished countries that we would forgive them their debt? Well where did all that money come from to replace it? The gas pump. We are paying high prices to pay for the national debt.

Below is part 8 of the video,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC61X78-OI0&feature=related


Also, the reason we have to attack Iran soon is not because of nuclear weapons. Many other countries have them but we are picking on Iran because they said that by a certain date, they will flood the world with cheap oil in Euros, which will collapse the dollar.



3.
truecriticComment by truecritic - June 19, 2008, 8:14 pm
Want all the exposure I can get because I know I am right and posted this in Todd's blog as well.

I don't care how much oil they drill for - the G/D oil companies have said repeatedly that they charge according to market demand.   If they drill for new oil, they will not be charging us 12¢ per gallon like Venezuela!   So until they outlaw the high profits and high wages of oil companies there is NO SOLUTION.   

On a separate issue, look at the gas prices at the BOTTOM third of this list. How do those Countries do it? We should adopt their plan.

http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/global_gasprices/price.html
4.
Comment by pacattack05 - June 19, 2008, 8:42 pm
Truecritic, if you really believe what you wrote in the first sentence of the second paragraph, then you have been, along with a lot of Americans, fed a lie, among a whole host of lies.

There are a lot of intelligent people out there who think there is nothing else they can learn. It's a very dangerous trap. My employer is one of them. He thinks nothing is done behind closed doors, and the welfare of the American people are at the top priorities among the ploiticians.

I just don't get it. After numerous, and continuous exposure of corruption being doled out everday worldwide, one might think most people would by now have a good idea about how the choices are really made, and who really profits. But I run into people all day long who are in most case more knowledgeable about life in general, who don't have the slightest clue about the real goings on behind closed doors.

I don't need to be a professional analyst to know deep in my gut, after researching all that I have, that something is not right. Not just with oil it seems, but in just about every other way they control all of us.

You don't need to have an Airframes and powerplants airplane mechanic's license to realize somethings not right when the plane makes a sudden drop in altitude at 30,000 feet.
5.
truecriticComment by truecritic - June 19, 2008, 10:53 pm
@ Pac

I haven't heard anything regarding what gas will cost once they drill domestically.   I just know what will happen.

You don't believe Oil Companies are charging too much for gas? You believe they have a right to make obscene profits? You don't think the oil companies are breaking the antitrust laws? There is no real competition between oil companies - never has been - otherwise one or more would step up and lower gas prices drastically.
6.
ToddComment by Todd - June 19, 2008, 11:08 pm
@Tenaj: Much of the point of drilling domestically is to drive down prices, while lessening our dependence on foreign oil sources.

Accomplishing this has less to do with the actual volume of oil that comes out of the ground, believe it or not.

This is pretty basic stuff, but I'll assume for the moment that you have never heard this. It has to do with *perception* and *worst-case scenarios* for what can happen in the future, from the perspective of the foreign countries. If they are worried about competition, the price will drop.

The reason many liberals don't understand this is that they hate and/or don't truly understand how capitalism works. Capitalism is what made this country great, and it is what will make it great once again.

Drill Here
   Drill Now
      Pay Less!
7.
Comment by pacattack05 - June 19, 2008, 11:26 pm
Truecritic, I never said the oil companies have nothing to do with the price. My whole point revolved around corruption being rife.

It's one thing to have a fee market, but somewhere along the way people in power should recognize the effect on the economy and put a stop to this madness. Just like Bill Gates had to prove his case with the monopoly laws, so should the oil big wigs. Deregulation was a bad idea.
8.
TenajComment by Tenaj - June 20, 2008, 12:41 am
Don't be so condescending Todd - typical conservative. It's what Bush and McCain wants and we know Bush's track record and who benefits from anything he puts forth - the big companies (there is always a hidden agenda - even with the war) - the oil companies will still be the ones making the profits and it will be 10 years or later before gas prices goes down.

Drilling domestically should have been started many decades ago. But the oil companies and politicians couldn't have been able to put us where we are today if it had happened. They have done it before. I was right there in the gas line in the 70s. This ain't new just worst.

Yes, drill domestically but get the big oil companies greedy hands out of it. So I repeat.

The oil companies already have millions of acres allocated to them that they have not gotten around to exploring let alone drilling in. When asked the delicate question, as some have been recently, why they have not explored these millions of acres to which the federal government has granted them rights, oil companies typically respond that the public should understand that oil exploration takes time.

I agree with Pac on one point - it revolves around corruption being rife. It's all about the oil companies profiting and the politicians helping them. That's the problem with Capitalism. Get rid of the corrupt politicians that rub the backs of big companies and then our country will be great. But corruption is so out of control it's hard to believe that it is America. And that's the bottom line to my perception. If the government doesn't work for the people - it's not working.

THINK GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE - that's what our country is suppose to be about - NOT GOVERNMENT FOR BIG COMPANIES.
9.
jackpotismineComment by jackpotismine - June 20, 2008, 3:02 am
I think that if we make solar power and wind power cheap and available in addition to using oil, that would solve the problem. We can make solar cars. Solar homes. Cars that run on water instead of gas. The sad part is that we don't want to because it would not be profitable for the greedy people. Imagine charging for using the Sun or the Wind? It's all a sham.
10.
ToddComment by Todd - June 20, 2008, 8:10 am
@Tenaj: Amusing hearing the pot call the kettle black. You're calling *me* condescending?

If your "typical conservative" means saying something that's based on facts and logic, then I accept.

Funny how you say "Bush and McCain", just like liberal talking points. "Typical liberal."

Do you have an independent thought to offer? Everything you say has been recently stated by Barack Obama, who is the guy you said was too inexperienced to be President.

Yup, sounds like you're tying to settle in to support the guy you said you wouldn't support. "Typical liberal."
11.
TenajComment by Tenaj - June 20, 2008, 11:09 am
Todd - just so you are clear. I've never listened to an entire speech of Obama's in my life. Couldn't tell you anything he's said other that "change". I don't need to listen to politicians to know what's right and what's wrong. I learned that in kindergarten.

So I'll just repeat cause you are stuck on politics rather than the issue:

It's what Bush and McCain wants and we know Bush's track record and who benefits from anything he puts forth - the big companies (there is always a hidden agenda - even with the war) - the oil companies will still be the ones making the profits and it will be 10 years or later before gas prices goes down.

Drilling domestically should have been started many decades ago. But the oil companies and politicians couldn't have been able to put us where we are today if it had happened. They have done it before. I was right there in the gas line in the 70s. This ain't new just worst.

Yes, drill domestically but get the big oil companies greedy hands out of it. So I repeat.

The oil companies already have millions of acres allocated to them that they have not gotten around to exploring let alone drilling in. When asked the delicate question, as some have been recently, why they have not explored these millions of acres to which the federal government has granted them rights, oil companies typically respond that the public should understand that oil exploration takes time.

I agree with Pac on one point - it revolves around corruption being rife. It's all about the oil companies profiting and the politicians helping them. That's the problem with Capitalism. Get rid of the corrupt politicians that rub the backs of big companies and then our country will be great. But corruption is so out of control it's hard to believe that it is America. And that's the bottom line to my perception. If the government doesn't work for the people - it's not working.

THINK GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE - that's what our country is suppose to be about - NOT GOVERNMENT FOR BIG COMPANIES.
12.
ToddComment by Todd - June 20, 2008, 3:42 pm
@Tenaj,

I remember the gas lines very well myself: only being able to go on certain days to get gas, depending on what letter your license plate started with; red, yellow, or green flags outside gas stations indicating if they were sold out of gas; getting used to sitting in long lines waiting.

I also don't forget how we got there: we had the worst president in history who made critical errors. Carter is largely responsible for the Ayatollah taking over in Iran, and for allowing our hostages to be kept for 444 days. He was a failure in Middle-East foreign policy. Guess how he dealt with the gas crisis? Raising taxes, which is precisely the mistake that Obama wants to repeat. We did not come out of the disaster he created until the mid-eighties, when Reagan's pro-America, pro-growth policies (i.e., CAPITALISM at its finest) finally pulled us up and out of it.

My comments are not political, other than pointing out that Obama is a disaster in the making. I'm not a huge fan of McCain's, but I recognize that he is light-years better than Obama. Frankly, I don't understand how you could possibly lump him in with Bush, since he spent so much time fighting against Bush's policies in the Senate. Saying McCain is like Bush is just parroting what liberal activists say.

Looking at him objectively, since I'm not his biggest fan, I would say that McCain has some conservative policies and some liberal policies. For example, his buy-in with the whole global warming crowd is pretty dang liberal. There are several other policies of his that are liberal.

I recognize what he's saying on the energy prices and long-term solutions as the start of real, workable solutions. The only thing Obama has said is that we should raise taxes on oil companies. On the truly brainwashed could say with a straight face that Obama has a good solution for dealing with energy, whereas it is very easy to see that McCain is putting real solutions on the table. I don't agree with his policy of not drilling in ANWR, but I pragmatically support his desire to do some of the things that I know will work.

The environmental wackos who started the line about "you can't drill your way out of the mess" now has many people parroting the same line. It sounds nice and snappy, but like the "millions of acres owned by the oil companies" it is a half-truth that masks the fact that these wackos have no solution at all, and in fact *want* energy prices to skyrocket.

By the way, I *have* listened to several Obama speeches all the way through. They are like watching a summer popcorn movie. Very exciting, and if you ignore all the holes in the plot and paper-thin characters, you'll come out thinking it was great.
13.
Comment by pacattack05 - June 21, 2008, 12:37 am
Unfortunately, Clinton said no to drilling in Alaska, and if it had happened, oil would be readily available by now considering it takes a few years for the process to come on line.

I think they all stink, both sides. We need to start a new party called the "common sense" party. And I believe we all know why that will never ever happen.
14.
TenajComment by Tenaj - June 21, 2008, 8:31 am
I don't think it's the lack of "common sense" Pac. It's more - too much conniving sense. The politicians all know what they are doing and what the results will be with every bill, decision etc. made in the White House.

Whether it's concerning supply and demand, a war, the mortgage industry, Dow Jones, the US dollar, insurance and drug industries, outsourcing jobs, immigration, food and of course oil.   All with the help of the Federal Reserve and banks. All the things that bring big pockets. It's no excuse because how it should work is taught in middle school.

It's self - serving greedy political corruption and has always been. It's human nature gone amuck. But it's never been this bad in this country.   The mentality is as ugly as when the forefathers thought nothing was wrong with slavery. In some countries it's a sick minded person in charge or some kind of jacked up personality disorder or cultural befief. We got pretty close to that with Bush. Then we think we are better than them.   

Our government feed the pockets of big companies, banks and other countries. Everybody is getting a piece of the US now - off the backs of the masses of the citizens.

But what gets me are the "intellectuals" who try to explain it away with the history of what and who did this and that in policy - and that's when intellect gets in the way of common sense and they forget they are human because they are on an intellectual high and can only agree and talk among themselves.

Then the American people let the politicians fool them over and over baiting them with their own prejudices with issues - and the intellectuals jumps all on that ignorance and then you have people who think they are smart and people who really or not and we all lose.   

Then the spineless politicians that come aboard have no power and cave and it continues. God Bless America.

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