Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kill a polar bear, or a thousand, save a penny.

How much would opening up ANWR to oil exploration save hard-working American families? Basically nothing. Nothing. Nothing. But it would make some moola for someone or other, I forget who. Woops, forgive me, I just had a McCain moment. According to the well-known liberal organization, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, in a study commissioned by that even better-known liberal Ted Stevens (R-Paleozoic), gas will go down by an entire penny/gallon.

From the report:
The recent run-up in the price of crude oil has prompted new calls for the Federal government to increase its petroleum production by allowing exploration and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) along the northern coast of Alaska. While there is a strong incentive to provide much needed relief to American families who are currently struggling with high gasoline prices, analysis of ANWR’s projected contribution to crude oil markets suggests that relief will be neither substantial nor timely in its effect. Based on Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections of the effect of ANWR on crude oil prices, we estimate that opening up ANWR will reduce gasoline prices by just one cent, starting in 2018.

Both pictures from ANWR, licenced under Wikipedia Creative Commons Licenses.

Much Love to TBogg for the links. All my best to Satchmo.


Steve said...

Thanks for backing up with facts what I already knew in my heart! Now I have more ammunition for all those populists like McCain!

djinn said...

It's worse, though; the new oil fields wouldn't come online for about a decade, and then the oil would be sold on the WORLD market at MARKET PRICES. No way it makes a difference, except for the Oil Companies who get even richer, Republican Politicians who get to make cheap political points, and those who get their kicks from despoiling wild habitat.

tamar said...

I have to figure that eventually oil will be so scarce that we will be forced to drill even in Alaskan park lands. The oil will be much more valuable to us in 60 or 80 years when other sources will be all but depleted. We should most definitely not drill for it now. Even if the drilling now brought down prices---which is doubtful---I would be against it. High gas prices now are a good thing to the extent that they spur us to change the way we live and consume. We are way too dependent on oil and must be forced (apparently by economic circumstances) to develop other energy sources. People also need to reconsider such choices as commuting to work ( especially by car) between 40 and 60 miles each way. Unfortunately this all too common.

djinn said...

I'm surprised how inelastic gas usage is. It's gone down only 3%, according to NPR. I'm guessing that most people must get to work without public transportation, and so must still drive. There should be some carpooling opportunities, though.

I've been checking the prices of Ford Explorers on Craigslist. THe value has gone thru the floor, with the cheapest prices being offered by car lots. Guess no one is buying gas guzzlers at any price. I want one. (Not really.)

djinn said...

Back from Craigslist.
1999 Ford Explorer, all options, 193 K miles, price - $1900.00.

1999 Honda Civic, 167 K miles, price, $4500.00.

tamar said...

In addition to driving less, one of the changes that Americans can make to reduce energy consumption is to reduce meat consumption. Beef, lamb and pork require ( or so I've been told ) about 15 to 20 times as much agriculture-----you know, all that HEAVILY subsidized corn and wheat...----to produce sustenance as compared to vegetarian fare. Farm machinery and the transportation of animal feed burn huge quantities of fuel. People don't have to become vegetarian; just cutting back by 50% would make a tremendous difference if enough people pitched in. Our household reduced meat consumption drastically starting last May. (Surprisingly the boys agreed it would be a good thing to try!) We now have meat about once a month. (We do allow ourselves some fish as well.) It doesn't seem to lower our grocery bills, but we figure we'll probably be healthier for it. We have also included poultry in our list of foods we rarely eat, but I don't know how energy intensive poultry production is.

It seems like Americans say they want change but are quite resistant to actually changing the way they go about their lives. When moving my son to New Haven, we tried to maintain the more fuel efficient 55 mph ; we felt like we were causing dangerous traffic patterns as cars going 70 mph or more were all lining up to pass us on both sides. They wouldn't even give us a chance to pull into the right hand lane!

I guess Americans like "change" better when someone else does it.