Friday, May 28, 2004

Republicans and energy independence 

Kerry's speech in Seattle might have been less than inspiring, but the Republican response was pretty funny:

Republicans also complained that if Kerry wants to end America's dependence on Mideast oil, he should support opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, which he opposes.

"His solution is to make families drive around in small, unsafe cars," Virginia Sen. George Allen said on a Republican conference call to respond to Kerry's speech in Seattle.

This one really made me laugh. The amount of economically recoverable oil in the ANWR (i.e. oil that can be profitably extracted and sold) is estimated at 5 billion barrels. By comparison, total U.S. oil consumption is 19.7 million barrels per day. When you work this out, there is enough oil in the ANWR to power the country for approximately eight months. Sure, drilling in the ANWR could bring us energy independence -- eight months of it.

I am not necessarily opposed to drilling in the ANWR if it could be shown to have minimal environmental impact; but to claim that drilling in the ANWR would solve the problem of energy independence is like saying that giving a meal to one starving child solves world hunger. The problem completely dwarfs the proposed solution. When you consider that those in favor of drilling point out that "the Coastal Plain of ANWR is America's best possibility for the discovery of another giant `Prudhoe Bay-sized' oil and gas discovery in North America," and even this "best possibility" would only power the country for an estimated eight months, conservation starts to look like a pretty good idea. That's where those "small, unsafe cars" come in.
Back to the Odd Hours main page
© 2004 Odd Hours
Reproduction permitted provided Odd Hours or the author of the quoted post is credited.