Archive for the ‘ANWR’ Category

ANWR — Trillion-dollar Arctic cathedral

November 17, 2008

Barack Obama promised change. Here is a good prospect. Few areas of public debate have been as stale – as barren of substance, focused instead on powerful emotional symbols – as the oil development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northeast Alaska.

By Robert Nelson
The Washington Times

David Kreutzer discusses Arctic oil.  

For the environmental movement, ANWR development long ago became a sacred cause that served above all as a litmus test of whether “you are with us or against us.” It is time to move past all that.

The proponents of ANWR development have also distorted the picture by themselves making false arguments. First, it should be acknowledged that ANWR oil production will not in itself come close to achieving energy independence for the United States. Second, ANWR production alone will not affect oil prices significantly. Even the large reserves that ANWR possesses are not large enough, relative to the total world oil market, to have much effect on future world prices.

The real issue in ANWR is the proper use of the fiscal assets of the U.S. government. The oil there is worth, minimally, $500 billion in gross value and, potentially, $1 trillion dollars or more – depending obviously on the future world price of oil. With the current dire economic situation, and federal deficits projected to approach a trillion dollars in the next year or two, the United States can no longer afford to leave this immensely valuable economic asset to simply sit idle.

The best estimates available, released by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1998, concluded there was a 95 percent probability of finding at least 5.7 billion barrels of “technically recoverable” oil, a 5 percent probability of finding 16.0 billion barrels, and a 50 percent “mean” probability of finding 10.4 billion barrels. For the mean probability, this includes 7.7 billion barrels actually inside ANWR on federal lands, and 2.7 billion barrels owned nearby by Alaska Native Corps. and the state of Alaska (which could be economically produced only in conjunction with the development of the ANWR federal reserves).

An oil pump seen in constant motion, in this photo dated Wednesday, ...
AP

World oil prices have been changing so rapidly that any prediction is uncertain. But at assuming for purposes of discussion a future world oil price of $50 per barrel, the mean expectation for the federal and nonfederal ANWR oil reserves is a cumulative gross market value of more than $500 billion – and it would be worth more than $1 trillion at prices of $100 per barrel. It might cost $20 to $30 per barrel to produce most of the ANWR oil, but the net revenues (after costs) would still probably be greater than $300 billion (and could turn out to be much higher, depending on the future price of oil). To put this in perspective, the United States could have paid most of the interest payments on the national debt in 2008 with the likely future oil revenues obtainable from ANWR.

The objection will no doubt be raised that ANWR production would benefit oil companies, not the federal government or average American citizens. As noted above, however, three-quarters of ANWR oil is on federal land, and the rest is on Native American and Alaska state land. Like existing federal oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the ANWR oil would probably be made available to oil companies by competitive auctions and the government would also charge a large royalty on any future production. Throughout the world, the true beneficiaries of petroleum resources are not the oil companies who may physically extract the oil but the actual owners of the resource.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008
/nov/17/trillion-dollar-arctic-cathedral/

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McCain: A Candidate Who Embraces Opposites

October 11, 2008

At the presidential debate in Nashville last Tuesday, Senator John McCain made his case for fiscally conservative, smaller government, calling for an “across the board” spending freeze and denouncing what he described as Senator Barack Obama’s “government will do this and government will do that” approach to health care.

But Mr. McCain’s big proposal that night was to spend $300 billion in taxpayer money to buy bad mortgages from banks and refinance them, a plan conservatives quickly criticized as an expensive effort to nationalize the mortgage industry.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ... 

The juxtaposition of a hands-off approach to governing with an embrace of intervention — albeit intervention at a moment of national crisis — was hardly unusual for Mr. McCain. Throughout his run for the presidency, he has often proposed policies that appear to be incompatible with one another, if not contradictory.

His foreign policy, for example, calls for ostracizing Russia for its undemocratic ways by expelling it from the Group of Eight industrialized powers, a hard-line position that he took long before Russia’s war with Georgia this summer. But Mr. McCain also calls for fostering closer ties with Russia to cooperate with it on a new nuclear disarmament agreement.

Mr. McCain’s economic policy centers on extending President Bush’s deficit-swelling tax cuts and on cutting even more corporate taxes. But at the same time, Mr. McCain has vowed to balance the federal budget by the end of his term, a pledge he has reiterated even with the fiscal crisis threatening to throw the budget even deeper into the red.

His energy policy is built in part on curbing the use of fossil fuels to reduce global warming, and he was an early Republican supporter of the cap-and-trade approach. But as gas prices shot up he made a series of proposals aimed at making gasoline cheaper and more available, from his call for a gas-tax holiday last summer to his new support for drilling for oil offshore (but still not in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge).

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/us/politics
/12mccain.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin