Wednesday, December 21, 2005


ANWR contains 16 billion barrels of oil; maybe much more. At current prices, 10 or 11 billion barrels are profitably recoverable. Drilling would occur on a small area out of a land the size of the State of South Carolina. The polar bears and caribou would not be left homeless by any stretch of the imagination.

Today there will likely be a close vote in the Senate to remove ANWR legislation from the defense bill to come before the Senate. Vice-President Cheney has returned to Washington to break the possible tie. Fifty-one votes or more will decide the question. Should the vote to remove fail, the democrats will attempt to filibuster the bill. A number of folks do not want to vote against all the other stuff in the bill.

I predict that ANWR will stay in the bill and that the filibuster will fail. I can't write with great confidence but drilling is the logical step. It is silly for the US to pay dearly for foreign oil when we have 10 billion barrels out in the woods. Actually there are no woods in ANWR. ANWR is up there. It is beautiful country. Hawaii is beautiful country too. The oil wells drilled at ANWR will be small relative to the area of hotels that cover Hawaii. When the oil is pumped out, ANWR will return to its natural state. Hawaii will never be the same.

The argument that ANWR will at best supply us with a million barrels per day is weak. Our entire country only produces 5 million barrels per day. Yesterday, a big gusher was hit in the Gulf of Mexico. It will likely yield 100,000 barrels per day. Many a commercial well produces 5,000 or fewer barrels per day. The major field under development in Kasistan (spelling wrong-it has an h in there somewhere) produces only 1.3 million per day and in 10 years it will only be producing 3.9 million per day.

Unfortunately the 25 year delay has only been about politics. Democrats cannot push for government regulation of energy use if supplies are ample. We have been down the regulation road too many times before. Senators, let the market work! Vote to drill in ANWR.