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Drilling for oil in ANWR

Christian Science Monitor is pretty clear on both the vote and the details of its meaning, the drilling site, etc. Worth a read, if you are unfamiliar with some of the details and background. Even though it will take many years to get the oil out (never mind the House vote, which almost certainly will be in favor), this is a major victory for the GOP. Note that because it was attached to a budget resolution, it couldn’t be filibustered. Maybe federal judges should be attached to budget resolutions!

Discussions - 7 Comments

Major victory for the GOP, yes, victory for the US, I’m not so sure yet. I’ll have to update with this statement, but I’m pretty sure that the majority of the oil that already comes from Alaska goes to foreign markets (like Japan), not to We The People. I noticed another interesting part to all of this--gas prices shot up Tuesday night in Minneapolis, and the vote went through on Wednesday afternoon. Now that the bill passed, and the futures market could see the possibility of more oil in the market for the US they...raised prices again another 10 cents/gallon.

There are plenty of bad and good examples of how this proposed "low-impact" version of drilling will affect the great untrammeled north. I just hope that if there will be drilling the companies will be held to strict rules and regulations for cleanup. That area will still be designated a Wilderness...

So, I’m not convinced yet. There are far too many question marks about the amount of oil there, how long it will last, and what impact the new roads/oil rigs/worker housing areas/etc will change the landscape and damage a pristine ecosystem. Send a photographer for "before" pictures! The most important part of all of this should not read "less American dependence on foreign oil", rather, "less American dependence on oil." Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) has it right when he says:

"I voted in support of the Boxer amendment [in 2004] to strip out a provision concerning ANWR drilling because I believe that the ANWR debate is a detour from the road we ought to be traveling if we want to maximize environmental protection, energy independence, and economic development dividends. I strongly believe the road to these dividends is renewable energy, including ethanol, biodiesel, wind, and even livestock waste."
(cited from an email correspondence)

Joel: The one problem about looking to the futures market for the effect of the legislation is the timeframe. The standard NYMEX futures contracts are for 30 consecutive months. The longest standard long-term futures contract I am aware of is for 84 months (7 years). As the article Peter cites makes clear, the oil in ANWR is not anticipated to hit the market for at least 120 months (10 years). Thus, the current price of gas, or the current price of oil, or even the futures price of oil should not be effected by the vote for at least three years. The increase to which you refer is more likely attributable to a declaration by OPEC that it is increasing its output by a modest 2.2%--an amount which the market seems to suggest is insufficient to accommodate increases in usage, thereby leading to a higher price.

Gotcha. I knew the 10 years part, yet misspoke. I wasn’t positive on how far ahead the futures market looked. Thank you for the clarification.

However, I was speaking more to the fact that prices went up 10 cents the day before legislation...which I know is because of OPEC’s production woes, but still a little shady as prices rose to their former mark when OPEC made the announcement, then the day of the issue of opening the wildlife refuge goes to Senate the prices go up yet again-- seems to be strange.

Then there’s the coincidence of the announcement to raise oil prices the day of the vote and what was said by the EIA and our President to stir the pot.

Sorry, that ended up to be a long clarification of my first paragraph.

Did anyone notice that two of the pro-ANWR votes came from Hawaii’s very, very liberal Democratic senators? What’s up with this? Were they bribed? Are they playing a game with us?

The GOP lost too many votes on this and received very few Democratic votes. The only moderate or supposedly moderate Dem who voted with us was Mary Landrieu, who as a Louisiana senator is expected to represent the oil industry.

While the ANWR victory may add modestly to President Bush’s political clout on other, more important matters, the roll call is not especially encouraging in regard to future votes on tough issues.

Joel, you shouldn’t read too much into the price increase. That’s about the twentieth time they have raised oil prices in the past two months. It’s hardly a coincidence. Bush could have picked any day this month and it would have been pretty much the same.

If this thing actually goes through, my only problem will be that there won’t be anyone to bomb the living
s--t out of....errr, liberate, in order to get to the oil. Maybe there’ll be some protesters!! As Gen. Mattis said, it’s fun to kill some people!

The Hawaiian Senators had a deal with someone...I can’t remember who without going back to a few websites...that if they passed this bill, they would be supported in getting a bill passed that they want/need. I think the subject of their bill is to get native Hawaiians recognized as "Native Americans". Again, I think. Some of the credible demo-blogs have the info, and are furious...for good reason, I think. There has been much debate about the Hawaiian Senator’s votes. Alarming and devastating for the Democratic party on this issue, as well as creating even more unrest within the party.

As for Oily Mcoilman, I do think that there is a bit more to the language used, and who said what to whom to possibly "remind" some Senators that there is this "urgent need" to open the Wildlife Refuge. The fact that prices have been going up is "normal", yet the reasons listed in the EIA statement, as well as what the President said are raising flags in a lot of camps.

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