The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Friday, March 18, 2005

ANWR Framing

Once again, Dan Carol steps forward with an excellent posting for environmentalists on how to make headway in the ANWR debate. The new numbers in the Senate signal a possible change in direction on ANWR drilling -- change in the sense that Bush's direction is more likely to succeed now. I have to confess not being 100% green on the ANWR thing. I hardly think that this is the most important environmental fight facing the Green movement right now -- not when clean air, global warming and arsenic in drinking water all have much more direct relevance to people's lives. But Dan makes some great points. In a nutshell:

1) ANWR is not going to suddenly make us oil independent of the MidEast and other places. At best, it would reduce our oil imports by 2%.

2) ANWR is unlikely to reduce the price of gas at the pump since in the global market this is a few more drops.

3) We can help Alaskans now by purchasing the oil in the ground now -- making advance royalty payments.

4) There is nothing to stop oil companies from selling ANWR oil overseas instead of at home.

4) And, the best argument he makes by far -- as a matter of national security, ANWR can be thought of as an extension of the National Petroleum Reserve. By keeping it in the ground now, we increase the insurance coverage we have in case we need to have a secure source of domestic energy at some point in the future. Say Iran triggers a nuclear bomb in the MidEast and takes half their oil production capacity off line. Say currenlty friendly regimes fall into unfriendly hands. I think you see the point.

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