Oil problems: Drilling in Alaska

greekguy

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because of Katrina it appears we have an oil crisis on our hands. now to avoid this to happen in the future, the US has to do something different to prepare for sudden oil shortages, whether it be nature or man based. my family argues constantly about what would help solve the oil problems (before Katrina). i always say if we would just drill in Alaska we would have enough oil to be semi-comfortable for the next 50 years or so. in the meantime we could develop better reneweable sources of energy. my family disagrees, mostly on the grounds that it would harm wildlife. so am i right here? would drilling in Alaska prevent another oil crisis if we lose the gulf to hurricanes? would it help prevent another crisis, like the one we have now, from happpening again, in case we have a shortage of oil?
 

Pyrite

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Shale oil only becomes profitable at high gas prices.
Much of the oil in alaska is shale oil.
A capitalist economy, would not support a corporation drilling shale oil until gas prices raised more to fit the bill (you need to put a lot more energy into shale oil as an investment to extract any energy whatsoever.) so until gas prices raise a little more, well, those wells won't be tapped. And there really isn't enough oil there for the united states to rely on anyway. It will lower our dependance (if gas prices raised) but it would not be substantial enough to be our sole energy source.
 

SeleucusNicator

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I am skeptical as to whether Alaska actually contains enough oil to make a significant long-term impact on our situation.

The only complete solution, of course, is to move away from oil dependence by moving away from oil. But as we do that, we're still going to need oil and the such in a transitory manner. My solution? Siberia. Send massive economic aid to Russia and, in return, get a cut of Siberian oil. It's currently not being extracted as much as it should be because of Russia's infrastructure problems.
 

Commodore

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Why should all the animal and plant life in the Wildlife reserve(which is where the oil is) be displaced because we are too short-sighted to find some other energy source? I'm sorry, I normally don't resort to insults like this, but anyone who thinks we should destroy the Wildlife Reserve so we can get a quick oil fix, is nothing more than a short-sighted fool, who has no regard for the planet or any lifeforms on it.
 

Gogf

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Theres not enough oil in Alaska to make any significant difference. It would probably take twenty years to even get up a sufficiant drilling infrastructure there anyway.

As said, the solution is not more oil, but less.
 

greekguy

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Commodore said:
Why should all the animal and plant life in the Wildlife reserve(which is where the oil is) be displaced because we are too short-sighted to find some other energy source? I'm sorry, I normally don't resort to insults like this, but anyone who thinks we should destroy the Wildlife Reserve so we can get a quick oil fix, is nothing more than a short-sighted fool, who has no regard for the planet or any lifeforms on it.

i don't care about the animals. i'm asking is there enough oil to fill the needs of the human American population.
 

Commodore

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What makes humans more important than the environment? I place environmental protection above human life for the simple fact that if the planet's ecosystem breaks down, we die. I'll use NO as an example. I heard a report that a lot of the flooding would have been stop by the natural marshlands in the area, but those marshlands were destroyed because of human development, which allowed the flood waters to rush into the city unimpeded.
 

Gogf

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The reason not to drill for oil is not because of animal life (the oil is in 1% of the wildlife refuge, IIRC), but economic and other enviromental (pollution) reasons.
 

Ginger_Ale

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greekguy said:
i don't care about the animals. i'm asking is there enough oil to fill the needs of the human American population.

A tad self-centered, no?
 

frekk

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Supply isn't actually a problem - they can just increase production at other sites to meet the need. It's limited reserves that are the problem, which is why they are reluctant to increase production. Depleting another reserve wouldn't really do much to solve the problem. If anything, it should be conserved for the real crunch.

The immediate solutions are much simpler. End indirect subsidies for larger vehicles, encourage hybrid engines, etc etc. High gasoline prices are simply the result of demand, so if people found ways to use less gas and not get greedy and lazy with it, then prices would drop. Unlimited demand, though, means unlimited price.
 

Commodore

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Gogf said:
The reason not to drill for oil is not because of animal life (the oil is in 1% of the wildlife refuge, IIRC), but economic and other enviromental (pollution) reasons.

Still, it does infringe on the Wildlife Reserve, and that alone, IMO, makes drilling unacceptable.
 

Mountain-God

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While searching for some GIS data, I came across a US government environmental agency website - annoying to me now, as I've wanted to reference it a couple times, I cannot recall which, and I trawled through hundreds of sites.

What I was interested to read was the site administrator's editorial - referring to the recent offline status and change of content.

The site held considerable data on ecology and wildlife in Alaska, and, particularly, those in the proposed areas of oil industry.

The key point was that all data references to the impacts of this drilling on the wildlife - as it impacts directly on key ecological ranges - were removed in the offline period.

The Bush administration is censoring public data.
 

Yom

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There's only enough oil in Alaska to power the U.S. for six months, not for 50 "semi-comfortable... years."
 

Gogf

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Commodore said:
Still, it does infringe on the Wildlife Reserve, and that alone, IMO, makes drilling unacceptable.

If it is truely neccessary for survival, I'm sure we could find a way to do it without infringing on wildlife. The point is this would be coastly, taking years, and there is so little oil there that it would probably be cheaper to buy the oil. The only truely economically viable scenario would be if we are approaching the threshold at which the world runs out of oil, where if we are still using oil, we have more pressing problems than making a animals move a couple of miles.
 

Left

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Gogf said:
Theres not enough oil in Alaska to make any significant difference. It would probably take twenty years to even get up a sufficiant drilling infrastructure there anyway.

As said, the solution is not more oil, but less.


...There already is S***loads of drilling infastructure here.

But I don't think ANWR is going to cut it anyway. I'd rather keep the state wild then let some carpetbagging oil barons milk some more $ out of the ground.
 

Commodore

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Gogf said:
If it is truely neccessary for survival, I'm sure we could find a way to do it without infringing on wildlife. The point is this would be coastly, taking years, and there is so little oil there that it would probably be cheaper to buy the oil. The only truely economically viable scenario would be if we are approaching the threshold at which the world runs out of oil, where if we are still using oil, we have more pressing problems than making a animals move a couple of miles.

So you're driven by cost and I'm driven by environmental protection, either way we are both agreeing on the same point: drilling in Alaska is not a viable option.

On a side note: why does it seem like oil is concentrated in the most inhospitable places on earth? I mean, all the oil is either in frozen tundras, or scorching deserts. Anyway, that's just something that just popped into my head.
 

Left

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The Gulf of Mexico isn't bad. But it is hurricane central, apparently.
 

blackheart

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As already stated, not enough oil in Alaska to make it worth it. Plus, drilling more oil isn't solving the problem because oil WILL run out. Moving away from oil dependence is the solution.
 

Speedo

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Most of the oil drilled in Alaska would go to China and Japan anyway. It's more profitable to ship it there than down to the CONUS.
 
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