Tuesday, March 22, 2005

ANWR are you thinking?

By: Ed

Too be honest, I wouldn't know anything about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if I had not had to write a paper about it for my Wildlife class. Now, of course, the points brought up by Michael were important, but they fail to provide a substantial reason not to drill. If anything, drilling produces minimal risks with plenty of gains for the democrats. A smart liberal politician would make this concession with the Republicans for some other legislation.

What Michael forgot to point out was that the "ecological and biological jewel of the American Arctic" is tundra. For those of you unaware of this ecosystem let me explain. The tundra, in its grandest form is dirt; cold dirt. Also there are some grasses and perhaps a bush here and there scattered about the cold, cold dirt. Now don't get me wrong, this type of ecosystem should still be preserved as it is distinct. Even though this environment is plentiful in Russia, America should have one too. So lets get to the environmental problems...

The drilling will be about 2,000 acres which is, as Michael correctly pointed out, the size of an airport. However, this is 2,000 acres out of the 18 million acres that the ANWR is composed of. Also, there will be only the drills on this site. All roads, as the oil companies have promised (and done before) if allowed to drill, will be frozen. You see, the advantage of cold dirt is that frozen roads are not totally out of the question, especially in winter when the temperature goes to -50 degrees fahrenheit. This is also useful as the oil companies are willing to agree to drill only in the winter when extreme temperatures force all the cute, and thus worthy of saving, animals into other parts of the ANWR. During the summer months, as the oil companies have done before, ramps for the animals migrating will be constructed where the pipeline itself cannot be raised. There has been no evidence of decreased populations due to inability to get past pipes. So, now after returning, the animals come back to their dirt, sans human drilling. They simply eat the grass around the drills where necessary.

It is also worth noting that the native tribes where drilling would take place want the oil companies there to provide jobs. They now live in sub-standard conditions. The only tribe against the drilling lives about one hundred miles away. It is also a bit amusing that this particular tribe let the oil companies pay for exploratory drilling in their own land and only came out against drilling after none was found. It appears they are a bit spiteful in their "if we can't have it you can't" attitude.

So, I maintain that there is little harm in letting oil companies seek there 6 months of oil, especially for a skilled politician willing to bargain. I do believe, and agree with Michael, that other sources of fuel need to be attained and harnessed.. Oil won't last forever..