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An Alaskan Perspective on “Drill, Baby, Drill”

A friend of mine in Alaska shared his take with me on the “Drill, Baby, Drill” campaign that was so popular in St Paul at the RNC Convention this past week.

He asked that I not use his name since he doesn’t want to face the wrath of a lipstick wearing pit bull, so I guess you could call this an anonymous source. But I can tell you this: He’s a smart dude who knows his stuff on issues like this. And he’s a good friend of mine.

One point that everyone fails to address when it comes to Alaska energy, and more specifically north slope oil and “drill, baby drill” is this. Where is all of this new oil going to go? Are we seriously thinking about filling the 30+ year old pipeline back up to full capacity? If that is the case I believe that what you would end up with would be a 800 mile crude oil sprinkler/slip n’ slide. If that is not the answer (I REALLY hope that it is not. It was designed for a lifespan of thirty years and the not so honorable former Gov. Merkowski fast tracked the re-approval of the permit. And low and behold after that, all the spills happened to start to be reported up there.) What is the answer? A new oil pipeline? I seriously doubt that big oil is gonna pop for a $100 billion + pipeline for the resources that are actually available.

So what is the point? This is the point and feel free to share it with the blogosphere if you like.

US current oil consumption: 20,730,000 barrels a day
Trans Alaska pipeline (PEAK VOLUME 1988): 2,100,000 barrels a day
Current volume : 740,000 barrels a day.

So IF the TAP was full and flowing you would get less than 10% of the daily consumption which IS a decent chunk of the whole. BUT the sucker leaks like a sieve at half capacity so that would be a long shot. If we use the current volume figures then you get a lot less, like 3%. I have a feeling if we looked, and not that hard, we could find 3% of our daily need in oil A LOT closer to the contiguous US.

MY point is it is all a bunch of lip service to pacify uninformed people (surprise, surprise!) when in reality the price of oil will not change and the only long term effect would be longer life of the field for the oil company!

Now if I wanted to take a truly Alaskan view I would say “who gives a fuck as long as my dividend grows.”

Dang, that’s a good point. If you had a bike tire that was oxidized and cracked on an original Schwinn Varsity 10-Speed, you wouldn’t dare pump the tires up to the max. The same goes for the equally old 800-mile pipeline that crosses the pristine wilderness of Alaska.

Oil and Permanent Bases

The Nation, via Yahoo, provides a concise explanation of why Bush is so stuck when it comes to Iraq:

There are two elephants in the room when it comes to Iraq, and for some reason the establishment press can never quite bring itself to broach the subjects: permanent bases and access to oil. It’s fairly clear that Bush is not going to withdraw from Iraq no matter what happens. Part of this is due to the fact that he has decided that as long as we stay in Iraq we can’t lose the war, and he doesn’t want to lose it. But there’s also the not-so-minor fact that if we withdraw from Iraq we’ll have a hard time establishing permanent bases and may not have any secure access to the country’s oil.

“Stay the course”

“You’re with us against us”

“When they stand up, we’ll stand down.”

“A New Way Forward”

All just ways to buy time for Bush with the American people. Time that costs billions of dollars and thousands of lives.

Exxon Mobil Proves How Wrong They Are About Global Warming

You’re on the wrong side of history when you have to make anonymous videos attacking movies based on the best scientific evidence of the day. Exxon Mobil should have its tail between its legs over this crap.

Where did that video spoofing Gore’s film come from?

In an email exchange with The Wall Street Journal, Toutsmith didn’t answer when asked who he was or why he made the video, which has just over 59,000 views on YouTube. However, computer routing information contained in an email sent from Toutsmith’s Yahoo account indicate it didn’t come from an amateur working out of his basement. Instead, the email originated from a computer registered to DCI Group, a Washington, D.C., public relations and lobbying firm whose clients include oil company Exxon Mobil Corp.

A DCI Group spokesman declines to say whether or not DCI made the anti-Gore penguin video, or to explain why Toutsmith appeared to be sending email from DCI’s computers.

 “DCI Group does not disclose the names of its clients, nor do we discuss the work that we do on our clients’ behalf,” says Matt Triaca, who heads DCI’s media relations shop.