Alaskan Wilderness and Oil Drilling

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Neserk, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #1
    I spent about an hour this morning listening to a guy talk about how drilling oil in the Alaskan rainforest is a really, really bad idea.

    This is what hit me most profoundly: Drilling would reduce our dependence on foreign oil from 70% to 66%. And if I understood correctly that would only last for about 10 years.


    OTOH, if we increase the mpg on our vehicles by 3mpg (yes, 3mpg) we would save 5x that much need for oil...
     
  2. SlyHunter macrumors newbie

    SlyHunter

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    #2
    Why not do both and make it 20 give us time to perfect hybrid and other type of vehicles?
     
  3. Neserk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #3
    Species to protect, people to protect, little things like that ;)

    I'll have to go out to my car and get my papers...
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #4
    It is my understanding that a better comparison than "rain forest" for the Alaska NWR would be "desert". Rain forests get a lot of precipitation, and have a far faster rate of healing. From reading, the northern coast of Alaska doesn't get very much precipitation.

    As for the part of the ANWR where drilling is proposed, I understand that it is along the coast. That's across a very wide plain from the mountains and forests commonly shown on TV when "ANWR" is referred to. Of the however-many million acres of the Refuge, a very few hundred would be affected by the drilling operations. The connecting pipeline would probably affect more acreage than the actual drilling sites.

    I'm not an expert on tundra ecology. I won't go into the problems of pipeline construction on the tundra or the ways to ameliorate the associated environmental problems, since that's outside my area of expertise. I do know from numerous articles that all the horrible things that were supposed to happen to the wildlife along the Alyeska pipeline didn't happen, so it's difficult to give credence to the cries of, "Woe! Woe!" coming from the same sorts of sources.

    I don't have much sympathy for the WoeWoe crowd in California or Florida as regards offshore drilling, for that matter. In the Gulf of Mexico, the common behavior of the fishing guides when taking charters offshore is to head for an oil or gas rig. That's where the fish are. A drilling rig provides about two acres of habitat per hundred feet of depth, and an entire food chain begins when one is put in place.

    Regardless, there's not enough oil in Alaska or off the coasts of California and Florida to make us independent of OPEC and the rest of the oil-exporting nations. Our only hope is to increase our energy efficiency, change our life styles, and probably build more nuke plants as well as other stuff such as wind and solar.

    'Rat
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    Do you have any sympathy for the WoeWoe crowd in Prince William Sound?
     
  6. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

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    #6
    Haha at least you ended on a good note. I can't tell what perspective you are coming from. Woewoe would initially indicate an obvious Republican bias, but the moment you say efficiency puts a reverse in that direction. Pure Republicans hate "efficiency" and love putting it down, referring to it as "running your cars on grass, wearing sweaters in winter"--you know, the standard flow of B.S. from people like Rush or Coulter.

    But your knowledgeable statement at the end tells me you can see beyond that bull. Thank god :)
     
  7. Neserk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #7
    The part of Alaska I was in in 1998 is actually a rain forest. I believe that the northern most part is a desert.

    *I really need to go get my info from the car*
     
  8. Neserk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #8
    Okay:

    Tongass National Forest is a Rainforest. The issue here is logging. website for more info www.alaskawild.org and www.akrain.org

    oil and gas drilling is in the coastal plain of the National Wildlife REfuge. The Gwichi'in Tribe has taken a stand here. www.alaska.net/~gwichin

    Here is what I was trying to recall from memory in the original post:

    EPA estimates that improving our mpg by 3 save 5x the amount of oil that is under the Artic Refuge. The US consumes 25% of the world's oil but only produces 3%. "It is not possible to drill our way to energy security. Drilling in the Artic does not maek good enrogy senes, does not increase our national security, and should not be part of the discussion over any national energy plan."

    The main issue here is that we need to look at other forms of energy instead of depending on oil which is a finite source. the bottom line is write to your senator's and congress people!

    Write to your congress person, info at:

    www.house.gov

    email at www.house.gov/writerep/
     
  9. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #9
    On a side note, I have read that Canada has vast oil reserves (top 5 in the world), but it is all located in sandy/shale rock locations, which are currently very expensive and inefficient to utilize...this holds much better prospects than ANWR in the near to mid-term future, as dwindling oil reserves will spur new and improved extracting technology...perhaps we will invade Canada soon :D
     
  10. SlyHunter macrumors newbie

    SlyHunter

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    #10
    This implies we invaded Iraq for oil.
    If we had done that they would not now be members of OPEC.
     
  11. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #11
    Of course, I was only joking...I wouldn't want to make any outlandish claims to stir up discussion on tangential topics w/o facts, would I? No, I wouldn't...sorry :D
     
  12. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

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    #12
    Maybe if people didn't drive those gas guzzling SUVs and everyone bought hybrid cars, then we wouldn't need to do this.

    Whether you believe it or not, oil isn't going to last forever. Sure we could destroy the earth drilling for it, but in the end we would still run out!
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #13
    bingo
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    Gotta...get....rid...of...the...Range...Rover. :( :(
     
  15. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #15
    Nah, just tell people it's your family's Range Rover, not yours. ;)
     
  16. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Alaskan rainforest. Wow. I didn't know that caribou are tropical ;) :eek:
     
  17. pooky macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Rainforests aren't necessarily tropical, they are simply forests with very high rainfall, partially because of climatic changes produced by the trees themselves. They make their own rain, so to speak. There's a very well known rainforest along the coast of the Pacific Northwest extending from the northernmost part of California on up.
     
  18. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    ANWR is tundra... not rainforest
     
  19. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #19
    Did you know there's a large desert in Antarctica?
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #20
    No. How come? Did the US invade?
     
  21. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #21
  22. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I think the penguins and seals are to blame for the desert in Antarctica. I think its your civic duty to club baby seals and eradicate the penguins. Do it for climate change!!!! :eek:
     
  23. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #23
    mac, SFAIK, the issue along Prince William Sound is clear-cutting on steep slopes. IMO, that's dumber'n hammered dirt. That leads to soil erosion which again is DHD, as it degrades both the land and the nearby waters. Fairly large-scale selective cutting can be done without erosion, but the operating costs are, naturally, higher. Clear-cutting in gently rolling country doesn't degrade the topsoil and after replanting, within a very few years the land appears "natural".

    Mav451, I'm all over the political spectrum, depending on the issues. I'm an engineer (retired), so I'm most always "pro-efficiency". I'm also in the "cost-effective" camp, which occasionally bugs people on both sides of an argument.

    :), 'Rat
     
  24. SlyHunter macrumors newbie

    SlyHunter

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    #24
    The way I understood it they would go to ANWAR during deepest winter using Ice roadways instead of concrete build their building and facilities on a small square of land and then use helicopter transport in and out from then on. Perhaps snow mobile to run pipe quality control checks. In otherwords very little disturbance of the area.
     
  25. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #25
    SH, a few bits and pieces: The pipeline must be insulated from the tundra, or it will sink. I'm dubious about "deepest winter", since if any motor quits running for more than a few moments, you don't restart it until it thaws out; oil solidifies extremely rapidly--as does diesel.

    As far as the drilling, there would be few drill sites. From each, several wells would fan out at angles to the perpendicular; I don't doubt but what some will follow the relatively recent technology of "horizontal" drilling. (They drill down to some predetermined depth and then cause the bit to curve off toward the horizontal. Going cross-formation allows a greater percentage of primary recovery.)

    The main justification for getting more oil for us, from such as ANWR or now-forbidden offshore areas, is a balance-of-power deal, or market leverage. It's much like the Costa Rican government's situation: Roughly 49% sorta conservative; 49% sorta liberal, and 2% communistic. That 2% can ally with either side, depending on the issue, and dramatically affect the way any legislation is written: Far beyond their actual voting-strength power.

    This market leverage would allow us more influence in the market without begging or merely jawboning...

    'Rat
     

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