Fight the Push by Bush to open up the Artic National Wildlife Refuge(ANWR)
for oil drilling.|
Oil Deal With U.S. Could See Canada Running on Empty.
True North by, T.H. Watkins
We use about 20 million barrels/day of oil products here in the US. This is a very wasteful amount. A breakdown gives: 1. 4mb/day used for diesel vehicles and heating oil. 2. 2mb/day for JP8(airplane jet fuel) and natural gas for home heating and power generation 3. and most of the remaining 14 mb/day is used for transportation by a majority of fuel-inefficient vehicles, namely huge pickups and SUV's. It is estimated that if the United States went on a diet of fuel efficient vehicles, electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell and hydrogen combusting vehicles that we could save 9 mb/day.
The Bush Administration, backed by the heavy oil lobby that got him elected, wants to open up (ANWR) for oil drilling as soon as possible. It is estimated that there are about 3.5 billion barrels of oil in ANWR that equates to about 9.5 mb/day of crude oil for one year. In other words it is enough petroleum products to last the United States for about half a year. Is it worth risking the pristine Artic National Wildlife Refuge, home of the Porcupine caribou, artic fox, more than 100 species of birds including the snowy owl, which use the coastal plain of ANWR for nesting and migration.
Write you Senator and Congressmen and tell them vote against opening up ANWR and to use the tapped wells on the Alaska National Petroleum Preserve to the west which has perhaps 10 times or more as much oil, including the Gull Island Strike. (4.) The Alaska congressional delegation wants the ANWR in the worst way as Alaska has become too dependent on the Prudhoe Ba oil field revenue. Each Alaska resident gets about $1200/yr from the oil revenue fund and pay no state income taxes. In addition the State of Alaska has built up a 29 billion dollar oil trust fund= $29,000,000,000.
How much is enough? Just tapping the prevailing interest on the fund would give $3000/yr to each Alaska citizen without drawing down the principal. Can the state of Alaska live on 1.7 billion dollars/yr with out any new oil exploration? (I assumed 6% interest) With minimal increase in drilling, lets say on the Alaska National Petroleum Reserve, cannot Alaskans live quite well? Reducing the oil supply would also help us get off the gas-guzzling binge here in the lower 49, and on to a more realistic sustainable economy. Read the remainder of the information on this page to get a better picture of our gluttonous fossil fuel binge buying. Electrifying Times had featured these green vehicles as well as high mileage low emission vehicles in Preview 2002, that could reduce dependence on foreign oil and the proposed ANWR oil development. If you Subscribe to Electrifying Times we will send a an extra copy, with a attached letter, to the Senator or Congressman of your choice, informing them of the folly of such a move.. Just include an address for your favorite Congressman.
Here are some general figures of Imports of Crude Oil and US
domestic production of crude oil.
(1.) we use about 20 million barrels/day of Petroleum products here in the US which includes natural gas, heating oil, diesel oil, kerosene distillate for jet aircraft, which is called JP8. This represents about 5.6 billion dollars/day of crude product squandered(Basis@ $28/barrel If we could get all the Oil in the ANWR to the lower 49 states it would enable the U.S. to run for 9 months. Arenít we oil gluttons?
(2.) we import about 9 million barrels/day (bb/d) which about $2.5 billion dollars/day(this Includes OPEC, Canada, Mexico, Asia and Russia or 75 billion dollars/month of balance of payments deficit to imports.
(3) we produce about 6 million barrels/day here in the US with Texas, Louisiana, Alaska and California being the largest producers. Alaska Produces 1/2 -3/4 million barrels/day from the Prudoe Bay oil field.
(4)President Bush wants to open up the Artic National Wildlife Refuge to Oil drilling with its estimated reserves put about 3.5 billion barrels. 3.5 billion barrels would give 9 additional years of oil coming from Alaska at 1 million barrels/day.
(5) There is a much bigger oil reserve in Alaska and it is called the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and it about 5 times the oil reserves than the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.
(6) with the pending opening of the Russian and Caspian Sea Oil Fields, and the stable supply of about 2 plus million barrels/day coming from Canada and Mexico, and the increased flow from South America and Kuwait , the need for opening up the Artic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling seems mute at the present time. We could save ANWR oil for an emergency or for future generations
(7) Cutting back the US demand through conservation and by introducing more fuel efficient vehicles and electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and hydrogen-powered vehicles, makes most sense. This will also save oil supplies(9 million barrels/day) for higher and better uses for future generations and increase vehicle sales with new more fuel-efficient vehicles. Present market sluggishness in the large vehicles, SUV's, is related to higher fuel prices. Higher sales of more fuel efficient vehicles would more than offset the low SUV sales and stimulate the sluggish US economy.
a 1973-style oil embargo, but Arab protesters are calling for their governments to use the oil weapon.
OIL DEAL WITH U.S. COULD SEE CANADA RUNNING ON EMPTY
by Eric Reguly
In 1989, Canada lost control of its energy reserves when the Mulroney government signed the free-trade pact with the United States. Few Canadians cared about using energy sovereignty because Canada was apparently blessed with an endless supply of oil and natural gas, the tradeoff was guaranteed access to the world's biggest energy market. To the Americans, Canada would become welcome rival to OPEC.
Eleven years later, you've got to wonder whether Canada's free trade negotiators had a clue what they signed and either answer is equally depressing.
In the 1990's, when the oil glut was making the world safe for monster four-wheel-drive SUVs, energy security in any Western economy was a forgotten issue.
Now, with oil running short and the Muslim world bent on punishing the United States for supporting Israel as the Palestinian body-count rises, it is suddenly front and center.
So far, none of the OPEC countries, led by Saudi Arabia, are openly talking about a 1973-style oil embargo, but protesters are calling for their governments to use the oil weapon.
But the very fact that Bill Richardson, the United States energy secretary, insists he has "no reason to believe" that OPEC will reduce exports must taunt the hell out of hardliners within OPEC. Indeed, the Arab League's secretary general said yesterday that the member countries would consider "all options" in an effort to contain Israeli aggression. The problem for the United States and other big oil eaters is that inventories are so tight that even relatively small OPEC export reductions could send the price soaring. In New England, heating oil supplies are more than 50 percent lower than they were a year ago.
It's true that Canada has lots of oil. We produce about 2.3 million barrels a day, of which about 1.3 million are exported to the United States. The figure made Canada the single biggest foreign supplier to the Americans in the first half of 2000, outpacing Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Now suppose OPEC does reduce exports, sending prices up and inventories down throughout North America. No problem, you say, as you pour $100 of gas into your 19-foot-long Ford Excursion, Ottawa will simply boost domestic supplies by shortchanging the Americans. But guess what? NAFTA Article 605 says you can't do that. To be more precise, it says that Canada can reduce exports to the United States only if domestic supplies are cut by a proportional amount, which wouldn't exactly cure the low-reserve problem.
Fine, you say, we'll make oil available to the Americans, but we won't make it easy on the bastards by delivering the stuff to their door-step; we'll make them crawl to Alberta with a million plastic jugs to get it themselves. That'll put them off! Sorry again, benzene breathes. A cute little subsection of Article 605 says that, not only Canada have to keep supplying oil to the United States, it has to keep supplying it in the same way, that is, through existing pipelines.
Still, you don't give up. If we can't deny the Americans home delivery, you say, we'll at least charge them extortionate prices and throw ourselves a party. They'll pay anything to keep their convoys of SUV's and minivans rolling. Forget it. NAFTA's anti-gouging section says there can be no made in Canada price for the oil. Everyone gets the same deal, which is why they call it the North American free-trade agreement. There you have it. Absolutely nothing can be done to protect Canadian energy users, even in times of crisis. This is the price Canada has to pay for guaranteed, long-term access to the American market. When there's lots of oil to go around, that's fine. When there isn't, Canadians had better stock up on electric blankets. Extricating Canada from Article 605 would be next to impossible because it would send the United States into a rage.
The Americans have wanted guaranteed access to Canadian energy since the 1960's, when then President Lyndon Johnson proposed the Continental Energy and Resource Policy, and they finally got it under free trade. With the possibility that OPEC will again play the oil card, non-Optec countries, notably nice-guy Canada, become virtually important to America's own energy security. In his first televised debate with Al Gore, George W. Bush, who is narrowly ahead in the polls, said: "Today we import millions of barrels from Saddam Hussein, I would rather that million come from our own hemisphere...
" Thanks to Canada you've got it Mr. Bush."
The Globe and Mail of Canada Sat
Oct 14th, 2000.
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True NORTHby. T.H. Watkins
Some 250 miles North of the Arctic Circle Lies "American's Serengeti". The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge where caribou and musk oxen roam and where our hunger for oil may threaten one of the nation's last truly wild places. There is oil to be found under this coastal plain, they say. But how much, and at what cost? We wouldn't drill Yosemite for a pittance of oil or gas - so why sacrifice this other incomparable place?
there is no landscape quite like it anywhere in the world. Spilling across the northeastern corner of Alaska, its coast looks out on the glimmering pack ice of the Beaufort Sea. Thirty or 40 miles south, across a flat, river-braided plain, rise the starkly drawn mountains of the Brooks Range, a jumble of beetling Alps and broad, U-shaped valleys that sweeps across the top of the state. It is complex land of crackling, glacier fed rivers, of snow-spattered mountain peaks whose edges are like saw blades against the huge blue sky, of tussock and tundra and space that takes the breath away.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, established by the Alaska lands act in 1980, is little known but an equal in beauty and ecological value to any of the most revered and sacrosanct national parks in the country. Its 19 million acres shelter grizzlies, polar bears, wolves, wolverines, arctic foxes, muck oxen, Dall sheep, ptarmigans, snowy owls, arctic terns, tundra swans, tens of thousands of summer-nesting birds. And caribou-the Porcupine herd of caribou that winter in the mountain valleys of the Brooks Range and in Canada, then migrate to the coastal plain of the Artic refuge every summer to drop their calves before fattening up on tundra grasses for the journey back to the mountains in early fall. It is no small phenomenon: The Porcupine herd can range between 100,000 and 180,000 animals, and the sight of those tens of thousands of creatures gathering on the coastal plain has inspired its description as American's Serengeti.
But perhaps not for long. Although 8 million acres of the refuge were given protection as wilderness in 1980, the 1.5 million acres of the coastal plain were only designated for further study. Conservationists have been pushing to get the plain into the wilderness system ever since. Meanwhile, Alaska's congressional delegation, its governor, and a gaggle of U.S. and foreign oil companies want to make another Prudhoe Bay out of this American Serengeti, thirsting after the oil they hope lies beneath the cotton-grass tussocks and the permafrost. Never mind the fact that it's a long shot that any commercially viable deposits are there and that even if they exist they would provide only a pitiful addition to the nations oil supply. Never mind the fact that development would obliterate the region's wilderness character, cripple the viability of the Porcupine caribou heard, and profoundly disrupt the lives of the Gwich'in Athabascan Indians, who have depended on the caribou for thousands of years.
A congressional attempt to open the coastal plain to drilling was vetoed last year by President Clinton, who has vowed to hold the line. But the issue is not likely to vanish, and the fate of the Arctic refuge may soon provide an answer to a most troubling question: Is there nothing we will not sacrifice to the transient desires of consumption?