ANWR: Pristine–Pristine–Pristine–Desolute–Desolute–Desolute–Drill–Drill–Drill– McCain/Romney: Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less!

Posted on June 15, 2008. Filed under: Blogroll, Climate, Economics, Links, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Resources, Science, Taxes, Technology, Video, War |

ANWR: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge



Senator John McCain has been repeatedly asked whether he favors drilling for oil in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

His stump speech /radio talk show stock reply is the he does not favor drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the Grand Canyon, or the everglades because they are pristine.

McCain talks about drilling in ANWR

ANWR–The Real Story

Apparently Senator McCain has viewed  the following video:

Oil in ANWR

McCain also goes on to say he is a Federalist and it is up to each state to decide whether they want drilling for oil and natural gas in their state or off their coasts.

Well let us hear from an Alaskan native on ANWR and popular Alaskian Governor Palin:

An Alaskan Makes the Case for the Exploration of ANWR

“…Inupiat Fenton Rexford breaks down the rationale for the exploration of a small part of ANWR from the perspective of an Alaskan. …”

Sarah Palin on Glenn Beck

Sarah Palin – Perspective

Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin on the vice-presidency

May be Senator McCain should stop listening to his green socialist staff and start listening to the American people.

The American people are demanding more affordable energy including gasoline and electricity.

Also, start listening to President Bush, former Governor Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Congressman Young and Bob Barr, if you want to win in November:

Bush: ANWR Drilling Is Solution to High Gas Prices

Romney: Open Oil Fields in Alaska for Domestic Drilling

Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.

Newt Gingrich Gives John McCain Advice On the Energy Crisis

Rep. Young Discusses ANWR on the Fox Business Channel

Bob Barr: Energy Policy & ANWR

Bob Barr On Energy Independence On Glenn Beck 06/05/2008

Barr on Glenn Beck 06/06/2008 – Part 1

Stop pandering Senator McCain to the American elites and start listening to the American people.

While you are at it, you might want to select Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin as your running mate for Republican Vice-President candidate. Both understand business, markets and economics and makes more sense in five minutes than your pristine nonsense.

You are beginning to sound as stupid and ignorant of basic economics and markets as Senators Clinton and Obama, who advocate more taxes, more government spending, more government regulations and more investigations:

High gas prices?! And why do you think that is?

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is best described not as pristine but desolate and very cold. 

Ugh, Wilderness!
The horror of “ANWR,” the American elite’s favorite hellhole.

By Jonah Goldberg

“…Indeed, before you can appreciate what a small presence human beings have up here, you need to understand how mind-bogglingly huge — and devoid of people — Alaska really is. Alaska has a population not much greater than that of the nation’s capital, but you could fit the District of Columbia into it more than 9,000 times. You could squeeze California into it almost four times; New York State, more than eleven times. A former Army Ranger who now works in Prudhoe Bay as a doctor put it to me this way: “We don’t even bother trying to put out Connecticut-sized forest fires up here. Maybe we start to worry when they get to be the size of Virginia.”

Over 60 percent of the official wilderness areas of the U.S. are in Alaska alone (which is one reason native Alaskans resent bureaucrats four time zones away who try to turn their state into a federally protected theme park). Anchorage, on the southern coast, is Alaska’s biggest city, accounting all by itself for more than a third of the state’s population.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is way over on the other side of Alaska, past several mountain ranges. ANWR is 19.6 million acres, about the size of South Carolina. And it’s beautiful. Well, most of it is. But more about that in a moment. On the very northern cusp of ANWR is what is commonly called the coastal plain, a tract of flat tundra largely indistinguishable from other spots along the coast and throughout the region. This comprises about 8 percent of the refuge-but an even smaller fraction of its pretty scenery. Some of this area is already off-limits to oil exploration, permanently. Nonetheless, the U.S. Geological Survey — seconded by industry experts-believes there could be untold billions of barrels of oil in the swath still legally available. The oil industry says it would need to use only 2,000 acres-an area no bigger than Dulles Airport, outside D.C.-to get that oil. This footprint would be 50 times smaller than the Montana ranch owned by Ted Turner, who helps bankroll efforts to keep ANWR off-limits. …”

“…In this sense the whole area is really just a Rorschach test for the imagination. There’s little doubt that for much of human history most reasonable people would have considered this spot the definition of the word “godforsaken.” You need not look back, for evidence, to the ancient pilgrims who died on the frozen tundra. You could simply read an old copy of the Washington Post from 14 years ago: “[T]hat part of the [ANWR] is one of the bleakest, most remote places on this continent, and there is hardly any other where drilling would have less impact on the surrounding life.”

Two decades have intervened, and an environmental fatwa has been issued declaring that the word “pristine” is synonymous with “beautiful” or “sacred.” Of course, anyone who has seen a mint-condition AMC Gremlin knows that pristineness and aesthetic appeal have only a coincidental relationship. Even ANWR fetishists concede that in the winter, with its complete darkness and 70-below-zero temperatures-not counting wind chill-this is no paradise.

But then, it’s no paradise in the summertime either. During the winter, the entire coastal plain is covered by a vast tarp of ice; when the sun comes back, the resulting thaw creates, well, lots of puddles. These patches of freestanding water pock the flat tundra for as far as the eye can see; that’s why this barren region is the only place the U.S. government recognizes as both a desert and a wetland. The water in an old tire can breed thousands of mosquitoes; a puddle in a junkyard, millions. ANWR is the Great Kingdom of the Mosquitoes. …”


The 19 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) lies in the northeast corner of Alaska. The entire refuge lies north of the Arctic Circle and 1,300 miles south of the North Pole.

The Coastal Plain area, comprising 1.5 million acres on the northern edge of ANWR, is bordered on the north by the Beaufort Sea, on the east by the U.S. Canadian border, and on the west by the Canning River. The Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (both Alaska Native corporations) own 94,000 acres in the Coastal Plain surrounding the village of Kaktovik.



Most folks don’t really understand where the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is located and the relatively tiny amount of space within ANWR, (the Coastal Plain), that’s been set aside for potential oil and gas development. If exploration proves the area is worth developing, less than one half of one percent, 2,000 to 5,000 acres would actually be developed.


“…Most geologists agree that the potential of recoverable oil on the Coastal Plain is in the order of billions of barrels and trillions of cubic feet of recoverable gas and that these resources may rival the initial reserves at Prudhoe Bay. The validity of these estimates can only be proved by drilling exploratory wells. Before oil and gas development in the Coastal Plain can proceed, Congress and the President need to authorize leasing and development. …”

Senator McCain is a big believer in the precautionary principle–look before you leap.

McCain stump speech on global warming and energy

Well Senator, if you want to be President of the United States, you might consider an alternative principle–He who hesitates is lost!

The American people will vote their pocket books.

When gasoline prices hit $6, any politician opposing oil exploration and production in ANWR, the continential US and off the US coasts will be voted out of office, including your friend  and green Senator Joe Lieberman.

The Precautionary Principle

Precautionary principle

john denver- a song for all lovers

Background Articles and Videos

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

“The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is a National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska. It consists of 19,049,236 acres (79,318 km²) in the Alaska North Slope region.

The Arctic Refuge and its Coastal Plain

Part II: The Debate

Tapping Oil Reserves In A Small Part Of ANWR: Environmentally Sound, Energy Wise

by Charli E. Coon

“…Drilling in the ANWR will not threaten that natural preserve and will increase U.S. energy independence. Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimate that drilling in ANWR could yield up to 16 billion barrels of oil-an amount roughly equal to 30 years of oil imports from Saudi Arabia. Such a resource would increase the nation’s energy security as well. Members of Congress should resist any effort to delete oil and gas exploration in ANWR from H.R. 4.

How much of ANWR is involved?
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, located within the Arctic Circle in northeast Alaska, consists of 19 million acres. Oil and gas development in the refuge is prohibited by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-487) unless Congress specifically authorizes such activity. In Section 1002 of this act, Congress set aside 1.5 million acres of the refuge’s coastal plain section for potential exploration and development of oil and gas. In 1995, Congress approved exploration in the so-called 1002 Area, but President Clinton vetoed that measure. The debate in Congress today centers solely on this small section; the remaining 17.5 million acres of ANWR lie in the protected enclave that cannot be developed.

Moreover, only a tiny amount of the section proposed for exploration would actually be involved in drilling. New production technology-including multilateral wells as well as directional drilling and other horizontal underground drilling-would require the use of only 2,000 acres in the 1002 Area, a parcel no bigger than Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C., leaving 99.99 percent of ANWR untouched. …”

Arctic Refuge drilling controversy

“…The U.S. consumes about 20 million barrels (3,200,000 m³) daily. If the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil reserves were used to supply 5% of the U.S. daily consumption the reserves, using the low figure of 4.3 billion barrels (680,000,000 m³), would last approximately 4300 days, or almost 12 years. Using the high estimate, the reserves would last approximately 11800 days, or 32 years. Using the increasing price of oil this supply (with 10.5 billion barrel mean and crude oil at over $120 a barrel) would be worth $1.26 trillion.

In total, the oil deposits in ANWR contain enough oil to solely support U.S. consumption for 7 months (4.3B estimate) to 19 months (12B estimate). If used to completely replace oil imported from the Persian Gulf (775M barrels in 2007[12]), oil from ANWR would last from approximately 5.5 years (4.3B estimate) to 15 years (12B estimate).[13]  …”

There is a reason it was call the Arctic National Wildlife Range before the subtle name change to refuge, it is mostly mountains, the Brooks range.

Alone Across Alaska: 1,000 Miles of Wilderness

Brooks Range

“The Brooks Range is a mountain range that stretches from west to east across northern Alaska and into Canada’s Yukon Territory, a total distance of about 1100 km (700 mi). The mountains are not especially high, topping out at over 2,700 m (9,000 ft). This mountain range forms the northern-most drainage divide in North America, separating streams flowing into the Arctic Ocean and the North Pacific. The range roughly delineates the summer position of the Arctic front. It represents the northern extent of tree line, with no trees (apart from some isolated Balsam poplar stands) occurring north of the continental drainage divide. Mount Chamberlin, 9020 ft (2,749 m), is the highest peak in the range. Other notable peaks include Mount Isto, 8,975 ft (2,736 m) and Mount Michelson, 8,855 ft (2,699 m).[1]

The range is mostly uninhabited, but the Dalton Highway and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System run through the Atigun Pass (1,415 m, 4,643 ft) on their way to the North Slope and the oil fields at Prudhoe Bay. The Alaska Native villages of Anaktuvuk and Arctic Village, as well as the very small communities of Coldfoot, Wiseman, Bettles, and Chandalar Lake are the only settlements in the 700-mile Brooks Range. In the far west, near the Wulik River in the De Long Mountains is the Red Dog Mine, Alaska, largest zinc mine in the world. …”

Brooks Range

Brooks Range 1

Brooks Range 2

History of ANWR

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Established in 1960


 Comparison of ANWR to the Continental U.S.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the Air

Alaska Hunting: 700 Miles Alone by Backpack & Raft

 Chairman Don Young Introduces ANWR Bill, Sparks Many Converts

“…Minority Natural Resources Committee Chairman Don Young introduced HR 6107, The American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act.  The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD). The bill calls for the opening of the 10-02 Area of ANWR to responsible oil and gas development and uses the funds generated from oil production taxes to set up an Alternative Energy Trust Fund to promote the development and production of alternative energies. 

The trust fund would also be used to help fund many of the alternative energy provisions not paid for in the 2005 National Energy Act (EPACT) and the 2007 National Energy Bill (EISA).  The funds generated for such programs will not only provide a way forward away from a finite oil supply but will cost the tax payers of America not one penny. 

Chairman Young’s bill is gaining many supporters most notably his co-sponsor Rep. Bartlett who has often in the past been against ANWR legislation.  Rep. Bartlett held a press conference on Capitol Hill announcing his change of policy due to his understanding of the huge economic benefit of ANWR oil development on the nation at a time when gasoline and food prices are at record highs.  Bartlett stated, “Investing this money in alternative sources of energy will eventually reduce gas prices because supply and demand will come forth to balance and the price will drop.” …”

How Much Oil in ANWR

“…Geologists agree that the Coastal Plain has the nation’s best geologic prospects for major new onshore oil discoveries. According to the Department of Interior’s 1987 resource evaluation of ANWR’s Coastal Plain, there is a 95% chance that a ‘super field’ with 500 million barrels would be discovered. DOI also estimates that there exists a mean of 3.5 billion barrels, and a 5% chance that a large Prudhoe Bay type discovery would be made.

High potential. The high potential for significant discoveries of oil and gas in ANWR has long been recognized. Early explorers of the region at the turn of the century, found oil seeps and oil-stained sands. However, since ANWR was established in 1960, exploration in the region has been restricted to surface geological investigations, aeromagnetic surveys, and two winter seismic surveys (in 1983-84 and 1984-85). No exploratory drilling has been accomplished in the area except for one well commenced in the winter of 1984-85 on Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation lands southeast of Kaktovik on the Coastal Plain.  …”

There’s Something About McCain
An uncanny ability to drive virtually all conservatives nuts.
by Dean Barnett

“…There’s little doubt that John McCain really believes what he says about ANWR. One of John McCain’s virtues is that you can pretty much believe everything that comes out of his mouth. The fact that McCain’s conviction is so unquestionable is one of the things that makes this otherwise trivial matter disturbing.

You have to wonder, Where did McCain come up with his conclusion that ANWR is the same as the Grand Canyon? What did he see that Jonah Goldberg missed? Did the senator’s previous immersion in the balmy Arizona climate make ANWR’s 70-below-zero temperatures feel like an invigorating change of pace? Or perhaps it was warmer out, but the bugs weren’t biting the day the Senator hit ANWR.

Then again, has John McCain ever been to ANWR? We’ve inquired of the McCain campaign three separate times in the past day whether McCain knows of ANWR’s epic beauty from first hand experience. Regardless of whether or not the senator has ever been there, his comments on ANWR reside somewhere on a continuum between laughable blustering and ignorant blustering.

WHAT MAKES McCAIN’S stridency on ANWR particularly odd is the issue’s utter irrelevance. Regardless of whether John McCain, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, or Ron Paul wins the 2008 presidential election, the exact same amount of oil will come gushing forth from there over the next president’s term–none. And even if ANWR were to get fully tapped, it would only marginally lessen America’s dependency on foreign oil.

McCain’s decision to stick by his original positions on ANWR is admirably principled if arguably hidebound. But that doesn’t explain why McCain chose to defend his ground by reciting Sierra Club talking points, the same ones that liberals use to belittle conservatives whenever this issue arises. …”

Potential Oil Production from the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Updated Assessment

3.  Summary

1.5 million-acre coastal plain of the 19 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the largest unexplored, potentially productive geologic onshore basin in the United States. The primary area of the coastal plain is the 1002 Area of ANWR established when ANWR was created. A decision on permitting the exploration and development of the 1002 Area is up to Congress and has not been approved to date. Also included in the Coastal Plain are State lands to the 3-mile offshore limit and Native Inupiat land near the village of Kaktovik. 


The USGS estimated:

  • a 95 percent probability that at least 5.7 billion barrels of technically recoverable undiscovered oil are in the ANWR coastal plain,
  • a 5 percent probability that at least 16 billion barrels of technically recoverable undiscovered oil are in the ANWR coastal plain, and
  • a mean or expected value of 10.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable undiscovered oil in the ANWR coastal plain.

EIA postulates two development rates for each of the three USPS probability estimates without specifying the effect of various levels of oil prices and technology advancements, ranging from 250 to 800 million barrels developed per year. EIA projects peak production rates from 600,000 to 1.9 million barrels per day over the six cases, with peak production estimated to occur 20 – 30 years after the onset of production.

Seven to 12 years are estimated to be required from an approval to explore and develop to first production from the ANWR Area. This study uses 9 years, to 2010. The time to first production could vary significantly based on time required for leasing after approval to develop is given. Environmental considerations and the possibility of drilling restrictions would directly impact the time interval to reach first production.

 The USGS economic analysis of the ANWR 1002 Area calculates that once oil has been discovered, more than 80 percent of the technically recoverable oil is commercially developable at an oil price of $25 per barrel. The imported refiner acquisition cost in 2020 is projected in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2000 reference case at $22.04 (1998 dollars). At this price, the potential ANWR oil recovered would have a value between $125 and $350 billion (in 1998 dollars.) 






  George F. Will:

The Gas Prices We Deserve

“…One million barrels is what might today be flowing from ANWR if in 1995 President Bill Clinton had not vetoed legislation to permit drilling there. One million barrels produce 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. Seventy-two of today’s senators — including Schumer, of course, and 38 other Democrats, including Barack Obama, and 33 Republicans, including John McCain — have voted to keep ANWR’s estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil off the market. …”

“…Also disqualified from complaining are all voters who sent to Washington senators and representatives who have voted to keep ANWR’s oil in the ground and who voted to put 85 percent of America’s offshore territory off-limits to drilling. The U.S. Minerals Management Service says that restricted area contains perhaps 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — 10 times as much oil and 20 times as much natural gas as Americans use in a year.

Drilling is underway 60 miles off Florida. The drilling is being done by China, in cooperation with Cuba, which is drilling closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are.

ANWR is larger than the combined areas of five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware), and drilling along its coastal plain would be confined to a space one-sixth the size of Washington’s Dulles airport. Offshore? Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed or damaged hundreds of drilling rigs without causing a large spill. There has not been a significant spill from an offshore U.S. well since 1969. Of the more than 7 billion barrels of oil pumped offshore in the past 25 years, 0.001 percent — that is one-thousandth of 1 percent — has been spilled. Louisiana has more than 3,200 rigs offshore — and a thriving commercial fishing industry. …”

 Bob Barr on Glenn Beck 06/06/2008 – Part 2

Bob Barr on Glenn Beck 06/06/2008 – Part 3

Bob Barr on Glenn Beck 06/06/2008 – Part 4

Bob Barr on Glenn Beck 06/06/2008 – Part 5

Bob Barr on Immigration 5/24/2008


The Perils of the Precautionary Principle: Lessons from the American and European Experience

by John D. Graham, Ph.D.

“…In summary, there are two major perils associated with an extreme approach to precaution. One is that technological innovation will be stifled, and we all recognize that innovation has played a major role in economic progress throughout the world. A second peril, more subtle, is that public health and the environment would be harmed as the energies of regulators and the regulated community would be diverted from known or plausible hazards to speculative and ill-founded ones. For these reasons, please do not be surprised if the U.S. government continues to take a precautionary approach to calls for adoption of a universal precautionary principle in regulatory policy.”

Senate OKs oil drilling in Alaska’s ANWR
Democrats vow that the fight is not over for wilderness area


John McCain wants to LOWER Gas prices…


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