Posts tagged “ANWR”
One of the most contentious domestic political issues in the debate between energy development and environmental policy for over 20 years has been how to develop America’s energy resources in the Arctic. As Shell makes preparations to send offshore drilling rigs into the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas north of Alaska, I thought it would be important to walk through the history of energy exploration in Alaska.
Two weeks ago, I spoke as a part of a lecture series by the Massachusetts-based Manomet Center about energy development and ecosystems in the Arctic. Manomet is a conservation sciences organization that was founded to study migratory shorebirds; I was paired in the lecture with Stephen Brown, one of Manomet’s foremost experts on Alaskan shorebirds. The event was very interesting because it allowed a frank and open discussion of the threats and opportunities in the Arctic. The discussion below is adapted from my presentation.
Under normal circumstances, I would be all over the story of last week’s BP oil rig disaster. By now, you all know that BP suffered an explosion and a fire in the Gulf of Mexico in which lives were lost and an unprecedented leak a mile below the surface of the ocean is occurring. Because of pressing deadlines (which after this week should be dealt with) I have barely kept up with any news at all. But as I watched the news trickle in over this, I couldn’t help but think the implications will be very far-reaching. There are a number of angles in this story. It highlights the fact that the oil industry can be very dangerous, and accidents… Continue»
I said I wasn’t going to update until Wednesday, but have a little free time this morning. Imagine my surprise to read this headline today: Senate Democrats offer deal to break energy bill standstill Turns out they are proposing the same deal that I proposed in my essay from last week on coming to a compromise on the drilling question: WASHINGTON (CNN) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid surprised Republicans on Monday by offering them a chance to vote this week on four GOP-backed amendments to an energy bill, including one that would expand offshore oil drilling. The possible breakthrough comes days before Congress recesses for August and lawmakers return home to face constituents anxious for relief at fuel pumps…. Continue»
I have given a lot of thought to the issue of opening up new areas for drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). My position has always been to leave that oil in place for a very rainy day. I wanted to see major conservation efforts in place before we considered tapping that oil. Opening those areas when oil was $20 a barrel would have meant that much of it would have been used frivolously. Now that oil is over $100 – and in my opinion will be much higher in 5 or 10 years (T. Boone Pickens predicts $300/bbl in 10 years) – we will have tightened our belts a good… Continue»