ANWR: Oil and the Caribou

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Now that the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been opened to oil and gas exploration, I just can't seem to get a quote from Robert Novak out of my head. He stated one day on Crossfire that "no fuzzy animals will be hurt in the ANWR drilling." Of course any reasonable person could understand this was a lie, but until recently I had no proof. A report titled Politics and Science in the Bush Administration by the Committee on Government Reform-Special Investigations Division requested by Rep. Henry Waxman in August of 2003 offers some interesting reading.
According to the report scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and five offices within the Interior Department provided, data indicated that calving of ANWR's caribou occurred primarily inside area 1002 (the area designated for drilling) for 11 of the past 18 years. This is contrary to the report Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton gave to congress in July of 2001 in which she stated that calving occurred primarily outside area 1002 for 11 of the past 18 years. Furthermore the report, which scientists approved, states that:
1. Some part of the herd has calved in area 1002 for 27 of the past 30 years.
2. Calf production and survival are lower when the Porcupine Caribou herd does not calve in area 1002.
3. Herd birth rates were lower in areas near oil field development than elsewhere.

Maybe Porcupine Caribou are just not classified as "fuzzy animals".


Paul said...

It's the Arctic. Who cares!

A few less caribou are worth it if the US ill be less dependent on OPEC.

jmcmaster said...

While you may not care about the caribou, your reference to being less dependent on OPEC is wrong. We will not be any less dependent because the studies and surveys show around 4.25 billion barrels of oil. Sounds like a decent number..but it is actually less than 3% of our consumption. So I guess the question is would that little a difference be worth destroying a national wildlife refuge area and some caribou? I do give you credit Paul for recognizing that we do get mostly all of our oil from OPEC and not the middle-east as some would believe.

Paul said...

The studies I've read state the the reserves in ANWR could equal the amount of oil we import from Saudi Arabia for the next 20 - 30 years, a million barrels a day. Read -

The conservative 4.25 billion barrels of oil you quoted would equate to a million barrels of oil a day for the next 11 years. That's worth it to me.

Do you ever plan on visiting this wildlife refuge? Not me, to cold. What is the point of have oil prices skyrocket and as a country we refuse to do something about it because of some frozen wasteland, or in the case of off shore drilling in CA, might ruin some billionaire's view, while the common person gets screwed by the rising oil prices. If we can reduce our dependancy on oil foriegn oil particularly from the Opec Cartel, we can sustainably improve the economy until alternative energy sources take hold in this country. I don't like the fact that 11 nations, could put a strangle hold on the world economy if they wanted, while we sit on billions of barrels of reserves, and a bunch or tree hugging liberals are worried about a few Caribou.

Here's the real question, how exactly is the drilling going to destroy ANWR?

jmcmaster said...

Problem is, your link for one doesn't work, and I would also be weary of some government (Bush administration) report on how much oil they are going to get from ANWR. As far as damage, I am not even so sure it is the rigs and acctual drilling that will do the most damage. Let us not forget the roads and pipelines that must be laid, not to mention traffic. Paul would you be against oil drilling in wildlife refuges if they were in a warm area?

Copyright © Outside The Box