Sunday, July 10, 2005

Fill 'er Up

Underneath the frozen 19.6 million acres of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge known as ANWR (currently a seasonal home for several thousand caribou) lies oil – a lot of oil: 5.7 to 16 billion barrels, according to the US Geological Survey. Of course we don’t have to use all 19.6 million acres to get at that oil – 2000 acres or about 0.01% of the total will be sufficient for a production area that could give us more oil than Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and New Mexico combined.

200 miles out to sea, in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), lies a further estimated 46 billion barrels of oil – most of it off the California coast. Considerably closer to shore on the Atlantic side, off Florida, is still more oil.

All this crude is currently untapped and untappable, thanks to green (and yellow) legislators: The moratorium on offshore drilling that affects Florida is not scheduled to expire until 2012, California has permanently banned drilling off its coast, and the ANWR ban is stuck in limbo between the House and Senate versions of the budget bill.

Yes, there is majority support for drilling: A 2005 Harris Interactive nationwide survey found that 53% of Americans want to open ANWR for drilling. Among Alaskans, support for drilling in ANWR is even stronger: two Dittman surveys taken five years apart found support constant at 75%, with opposition dropping from 23 to 19%. Eskimo support is even stronger: 78% in favor and just 9% opposed.

When the Sierra club looks at Alaskans’ strong support for drilling in their state, they have a simple explanation: Alaskans have been brainwashed. You can find another simple explanation by asking Alaskans why they don’t want ANWR to remain closed except to caribou: as the Alaska Federation of Natives explained, drilling in ANWR is a “critically important economic opportunity for Alaska natives.”

Of course it is naive to think that Greens care about the population of Alaska (or of the United States). It’s even naive to think that Greens care about the caribou – if they did, they would have noticed that while most caribou populations in Alaska have been falling, the Central Arctic herd, which spends its summers in the oil fields near Prudhoe Bay, has been growing at about 8.5 percent per year.

There is no place to hide from the logic of opening ANWR.

Prudhoe Bay is the largest oil field in North America. Originally predicted to hold 8 billion barrels of recoverable oil, Prudhoe has already given us more than 14 billion – but production has been slowing since the 80s, and it is time to develop Alaska’s other oil fields. After all, this might be the caribou’s only chance for survival.

Of course getting at that buried oil would be good for humans too – we could realize as much as 2 million barrels a day at peak production from ANWR alone (not to mention the OCS and other off-shore resources). ANWR could provide us with about 10% of our daily oil consumption.

While one CATO researcher predicted in 2001 that this increase in American oil production would knock only $2 off the price of a barrel of crude, he was talking about a $20 barrel of oil. Four years later, with prices above $60 per barrel, a similar percent reduction in price would mean considerably more.

When dealing with environmentalists you must remember that they do not have human interests – your interests – in mind. Environmentalism is a religion – a kind of paganism that worships animals and inanimate objects. And environmentalists would like to see Americans reduced to living as animals do. Some groups are fairly open about this – like the eco-terrorist Earth Liberation Front (ELF). On their website I read this response to an e-mail that asked why the organization feels free to commit arson and destroy homes and SUVs:

“At least ELF gets its point across. Do you people know how unbelievably frustrating that something that is so important to me, something that I believe in, is disregarded and ignored by everyone else. The environment is important, and if this (arson) is the only effective way of getting that point across…I have no problem destroying an SUV or some stupid mansion. I mean, you people don’t even realize the magnificence of what you are bulldozing to erect some stupid shopping mall. I for one, refuse to go quietly.”

Most greens, of course, are not criminals; they are merely uninformed cultists. That does not give them a claim to majority status in this country or the right to control America’s natural recourses. There is plenty of oil out there, and we need it. While the environmentalist lobby continues to work on wind-powered cars, I plan to go on using real gasoline and I would like to see fuel rationing remain no more than an embarrassing reminder of the Carter administration. Drill away.

49 Comments:

At 6:54 PM, Blogger James Howard Shott said...

There is no place to hide from the logic of opening ANWR.

There you go again, Dan. Using logic against the Left. That's playing dirty.

 
At 8:52 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

"When dealing with environmentalists you must remember that they do not have human interests – your interests – in mind. Environmentalism is a religion – a kind of paganism that worships animals and inanimate objects. And environmentalists would like to see Americans reduced to living as animals do."

-Dan

That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I think you are just striving to become an outrageous pundit. Your is well known because he is not stupid. You just seem to be trying to copy Rush Limbaugh. Congratulations!

-----------------------------
But lets actually look at enviornmentalism, and step away from quoting ELF (which would be like summing up Islam with a quote from Al Qaeda).

What Dan do you think the basis of enviornmentalism is? Do you honestly believe it is a paganist group seeking the return of the cavemen?

So I guess I will start by answering a pretty basic question, does the government have the duty to intervene on behalf of the enviornment?

I think your response to that question Dan, is no. Which is the root of your aimless rantings on enviornmentalist beastiality.

Here is why enviornmentalism is not just moral or all that mumbo jumbo, but actually required.

First lets start by looking at what would happen with no enviornmental checks, you don't have to search hard, just look at what plauges fishermen. All the fishermen have an interest in keeping fishing sustainable, but in a free market, the fishermen will fish as many fish as they can. This is turn can cause ie the fish will go extinct.

This is an example of a negative externality that the free market can not check without government intervention, there are a number of ways that the government can intervene, stupid and smart ways. But the enviornment can not protect itself without government intervention of some sort.

So those tree hugging, ocean loving, and acid-rain hating hippies actually have a neccesary purpose in their lobbying. Regardless of ANWR, which I'll address in a second, enviornmentalists are pretty damn important, and economically neccesary.

Acid Rain is bad Dan, it burnssss.

---------------------------

Another gripe, you quote the public support for ANWR of only a slight majority like that is important or proves some point. I am sure if I shoved polling data that showed a right to abortion is popularly supported, as it is (http://pollingreport.com/abortion.htm), you would respond with, "who cares about polling data, it is simply immoral." Well don't be a hypocrit, don't rely on a stupid poll with a 3% majority to prove a complicated point like you are attempting to do.

---------------------------

Your comment on how Caribou are now thriving in oil fields is ridiculous. You actually say that oil fields may save Caribou. My response is: WHY? How do oil fields help caribou in anyway? Can you cite a reason for that arguement, pleaseeeeeee? I'm sure we would all love to know the enviornmental basis for that arguement.

----------------------------

Now on to ANWR in actuality. I think most people's complaints surround the fact that it is simply not a solution. The most optimistic of estimates give 10-15 years before any drilling of any kind can occur. So you can throw around how great and dandy 2 million barrels a day is, but that is decades away.

Now tie this in with your false analysis on price changes. You say, "While one CATO researcher predicted in 2001 that this increase in American oil production would knock only $2 off the price of a barrel of crude, he was talking about a $20 barrel of oil. Four years later, with prices above $60 per barrel, a similar percent reduction in price would mean considerably more."

But what is that conclusion based upon? Becuase economics tells us that you are wrong. So oil is a pretty inelastic good, meaning economies are pretty dependent upon it and if the price of oil rises, people still buy a similar amount of it. Couple this with the fact that the price of oil has risen so much because demand has risen, especially from growing economies like China and India. So demand for crude oil has become more inelastic since 2001. Thus an increase in supply will not drop the market price by the same percentage it did in 2001, simply because the demand curve is steeper than it use to be.

Now will more supply of oil lower the price? Yes, but not by the 10% it may have been projected to in 2001. Also given that 20-30 years from now demand from growing economies is only projected to grow, we may see a 1-3% reduction in the market price of oil, max.

So then the question becomes, is ruining this wildlife refuge worth a dent in oil prices in three decades. I would say no. Not because I like to have sex with Carbiou (and who doesn't!), but because I value wildlife preserves, endangered species, and beautiful land. I could be convinced to drill if it is World War 3 with China, or the consequences are much more dire than you make them.

============================

Protecting the enviornment is about tradeoffs. Once you get past your terrible pricing analysis there just does not seem to be any terrible tradeoff we are facing by protecting what we have a moral responsibility to save.

Oy,

Mr. Alec

 
At 10:38 PM, Blogger Alan said...

You slipped a decimal point. That is .01%, not .001%.

 
At 10:42 PM, Blogger Beowulf, King of the Geats said...

Alaskans have another great reason for supporting ANWR. Instead of paying income tax, Alaska residents get a yearly $1000 oil dividend check. (Something about there being not that many Alaskans and lots of oil) That is why the solution to everything is to move to Alaska. Well, that and 42.

 
At 11:05 PM, Blogger Commander Mike said...

Don't you see? In Dan-world, outrageous extereme-right hyperbole is the key to truth. That is what convinces him, so it must be correct. That's the way things work.

 
At 4:51 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

Mr. Alec does make some good points, however; I also feel that a good portion of today's environmentalist do not have "human" interest at heart. Unfortunately there are increasing numbers of environmentalists that have gone off the deep end into the land of tin foil hats.

Note: Does anyone here actually take Green Peace, ELF, or PETA seriously? These are the kind of nutcase organizations that have increased and have become more vocal. The first time you hang yourself off a bridge in Seattle protesting about the whales, you loose credibility in my eyes.

ANWR has become a big issue because America would like to become less dependent on Arab oil. Right now I believe only something like 28% of our oil comes from the Middle East. It is vastly lower than what most people think. The hope is that eliminating or greatly reducing a percentage like that might not be impossible. Since the Middle East is a very unstable, unreliable, and quite frankly barbaric place today, it is to our benefit to not rely on them for anything. It would also give us a free hand to go after thuggish regimes that currently give us oil. The hope of ANWR is that it would reduce or eliminate the amount of oil we get from the Middle East.

I agree that a long term solution is what most people want. To that end, we need to kick the oil habit completely. This, unfortunately, is a long term goal. If for nothing else, oil needs to be kicked out the door for national security reasons. I do not want hostile, uncivilized, and barbaric populations in oil producing countries to hold our economy and way of life hostage. Recent spending increases in alternative fuel research was a good step forward, but more needs to be done. I would like to see the US running on a different fuel before I leave this world. ANWR, although its benefits could take 10 – 15 years, might be a short term solution in the long run.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger fmragtops said...

Very well said Matthew. How 'bout instead of sinking tons of money into these enviro-socialist groups, we spend that money researching alternative fuel sources.

Mr. Alec, what you are apparently missing is that there is a huge difference between "conservation" and "evironmentalism" Conservation is about enjoying the environment without destroying it, i.e. bag limits, limits on the places used for hunting, etc. Any biologist will tell you that the deer population inside a given area wil actually increase more in quantity and quality if hunted properly than it would if it was not hunted at all.

Mr. Alec, have you ever been fishing? Probably not. You must either be a Vegan or buy your fish in the store. In the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana, there is some great fishing. Do you know where the best fishing probably in the world is? It's around the oil platforms in the Gulf. The platforms provide protection from the sun, protection from pedators, and all the little life forms growing on the structure provide food for little, which in turn provides food for bigger, which in turn provides food, and alot of fun for fisherman. In the cattle producing regions of Louisiana you will see oil rigs in cow pastures. Do you know why? Because the structure provides shade, and protection from predators.

As far as "the stupidest thing [you've] ever heard" well, Merriam Webster defines cult this way: 5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion. I think Environmentalism fits that description, n'est pas?

The basis of environmentalism is no longer saving the environment. It is now a vehicle for socialism. Even one of the founders of Greenpeace, I forget his name, got out of Greenpeace because it became more about fighting corporations than saving the environment. You should check out "Penn and Teller's Bullsh!t" I don't always agree with them but they sure make some good points, and they're funny as hell too.

So you see, Alec, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and, after all, isn't that what liberalism is all about? Feeling good about oneself and how much they care?

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger allen said...

Commander Mike wrote:

Don't you see? In Dan-world, outrageous extereme-right hyperbole is the key to truth. That is what convinces him, so it must be correct. That's the way things work.

Yes! Yes! I see it! Tell it Commander Mike! Bring us the word so that we may know the true truth and a cooling balm of environmental worthiness shall bathe the land.

Mr. Alec wrote:

All the fishermen have an interest in keeping fishing sustainable, but in a free market, the fishermen will fish as many fish as they can.

Sorry, you've just described a commons, not a free market.

No property rights? No rule of law? No free market and the smart play is to grab as much as you can as fast as you can.

Why do you think governments are asserting ownership rights to fishing stocks? If no one owns it it's a free-for-all and you better get getting while the getting is good.

That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

Get a better hobby or try do reduce the cliche quotient of your posts. Sometimes they read more like you get them out of a fortune cookie.

So oil is a pretty inelastic good, meaning economies are pretty dependent upon it and if the price of oil rises, people still buy a similar amount of it.

Actually, oil is a pretty price elastic commodity. You know, as in "I'll drive less with the price of gas so high" and "I think I'll buy a Prius with the price of gas so high" and "we've got to shut this plant down because the cost of plastic is so high", etc. Price elastic.

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Mihai said...

Alec, calling some environmentalists religiously anti-human isn't too far from the truth. I'm not going to make that
argument in particular, but the mainstream of what we know as the environmental movement is often extremely irrational. A couple examples:

They are uncompromising about both reducing carbon emmissions and blocking nuclear power, when any realistic individual can see that in the next few decades we face a tradeoff between the two.

Even worse they (and this includes major groups, not like ELF) oppose using logging companies to clear flammable underbrush from national forests. Logging companies would be a safer way to do it than controlled burns, both for the forests and for the people who live near them. The only reason I can see to oppose this is thinking that any solution people might make money off of is a bad solution. If you can find a legitimate reason for opposing this I'd like to hear it.

That dosen't prove they are a cult but it does show that they can be irrational and with power and influence can block constructive solutions to our problems. A lot of environmentalists just don't accept that a balance needs to be
struck in environmental policy, and that makes them often do more harm than good.

-----------------------

Also, a few corrections. Overfishing does not happen because there are not enough environmental regulations, it happens because of a lack of property rights. If a fisherman has exclusive fishing rights to an area, he will make sure there are as many fish there next year as there were last year.

Also, aside from that example about oil drilling structures
providing shade, the reason the carribou do so well in areas
developed for drilling is because pipelines are warm! If there's suddenly a lot of warm places to sleep a population of carribou does better than it did before.

On that note I find it interesting that you seemed to think no one would have an environmental explanation for why the oil
development might help the carribou. You seemed insulted to
hear anyone suggest to you that oil development coould coexist
with carribou. Why exactly does that seem impossible or even unlikely to you?

-----------------------

Finally, on ANWR, you say you oppose drilling there "because I
value wildlife preserves, endangered species, and beautiful
land". OK, sounds fair, but I've been listening to this debate for years now and no one has explained what is so special about ANWR. I've heard that it's "pristine" and that development would "hurt the wildlife" and "mar the landscape". Not much detail...

As far as wildlife goes, of all the species we need to protect,
only one has been named: the carribou. And guess what, they're
all over Alaska and they coexist just fine with oil development. As for the landscape, have you seen it? From what I hear (based on biased but nonetheless eyewitness accounts) a lot of it is barren tundra, and seeing as this preserve is as big as South Carolina, the notion that we can't
touch any part of it at all is ridiculous, especially since the
footprint of oil development has been shrinking thanks to technology.

Yes, this is all about tradeoffs, and that's why people against this need to show that somehow drilling in ANWR will impose a worse environmental cost than drilling just about anywhere else we've
ever drilled. Otherwise, we ought to be protecting those places instead. Five years of debate and no specifics from your side seem to indicate that this battle is less about conservation than about achieving some sort of symbolic victory. It's almost like ANWR is some sort of environmentalist Holy Land...

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:23 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

Matthew makes the arguement that we must open ANWR to get off our dependency of Arab oil. Opening ANWR will not do that. Oil is a market commodity, we buy oil at the market price regardless of where we get it from. We, as a country, are not dependent on China for oil. The world is dependent, and if oil prices rise drastically it screws the whole world, and since the US has the most stock in the world economy, it screws us.

Opening ANWR will do nothing to lessen dependence on Arab oil.

----------------

Next mragtops:

You make a good point on the difference between conservation and enviormentalism. I will agree with everyone that ELF, Greenpeace, and PETA are completely off their boat. If everyone here wants to define those three groups as enviornmentalists, vs. those who want national parks, fishing licensing, and marketable pollution quotas, as conservationalists, well I am fine with that.

I was arguing in favor of "conservationists" as this board has defined them, not PETA.

Next you talk about how great fishing is in Lousiana. Ok, that doesn't mean that many fisherman are fishing themselves out of jobs. That was my point, I am glad you like to fish, pat yourself on the back for that.

------------------------------
Allen:

1. Enviornmentalism vs. Property Rights:

I am glad you know the issue of the commons. My point with fishing was that they have no interest in protecting the fish, just as a factory has no interest in protecting the river it pollutes. And in the long-term, such pollution is not sustainable, acid-rain is bad for an economy, it hurts people, and is simply not sustainable.

You missed my point on this, I forgive you.

But then you say that there are solutions to the fishing issue. I agree the licensing issue is a great solution, too bad Congress banned them. A conservationist would be against that.

2. You claim oil is elastic. That is just dumb. You prove this by saying, I can buy a Prius or a Hummer, see, elasticity. NO.

Our economy runs on oil, the world economy runs on oil. Our entire infrastructure depends on oil. That is not elasticity.

But if you don't believe logic, believe studies. John Cooper, an economist estimated the elasticity of demand for oil for 23 countries, US elasticity of demand was -0.061. That is not just inelastic (which means it is greater than -1), but it is extremely inelastic. (http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1468-0076.00121)

Allen, you were wrong, look stuff up before you make a fool of yourself.

--------------------
Mihai:

The issue of oil helping Caribou did seem ridiculous, it also seemed unsubstantiated by Dan, your explanation answers my question. Thank you, I stand corrected, though doubt that is the whole truth.

But more importantly, thank you Mihai for addressing what this issue comes down to, tradeoffs.

Whether we should drill in ANWR has nothing to do with how crazy ELF and Greenpeace people are. It also has nothing to do with sticking it to liberals (the past-time of many on this board). It is about the value of ANWR vs. the value of some more oil.

I made the case that we are sacrificing very little to keep ANWR, Mihai makes the case that we sacrifice very little by drilling in ANWR. I think neither of us prove beyond a reasonable doubt that one is better than the other. But hopefully that puts it all into a proper and FACTUAL perspective for everyone.

-Mr. Alec

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger fmragtops said...

My fishing analogy had nothing to do with fisherman's jobs. First I'm talking about sport fishing. Commercial fisherman fish in open waters with a net. It's hard to get a net around an oil rig. Second, my point was that wildlife thrives around the structures. I must have been typing really fast because I left out some words, so I apologize for that. Let me see if I can fill in the blanks:

"Mr. Alec, have you ever been fishing? Probably not. You must either be a Vegan or buy your fish in the store. In the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana, there is some great fishing. Do you know where the best fishing probably in the world is? It's around the oil platforms in the Gulf. The platforms provide protection from the sun, protection from pedators, and all the little life forms growing on the structure provide food for little [fish], which in turn provides food for bigger [fish], which in turn provides food, and alot of fun for fisherm[e]n. In the cattle producing regions of Louisiana you will see oil rigs in cow pastures. [you will always see cattle huddled around the rigs.] Do you know why? Because the structure provides shade, and protection from predators."

The point is that wildlife flocks to oilrigs because they have properties that are beneficial to wildlife. Just for the record, I'm not much on fishing. I go infrequently and I only go to spend time with my Dad. Your final point is taken. I agree with you on that.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

Mr. Alec I fear you missed the point of my response.

The Middle East is an unreliable and unpredictable source of oil in these troubling days. Who knows what next week or next month could bring? Saudi Arabia, which gives us 14% of our oil imports, is ripe with unrest and could erupt into civil war at any time. To keep relying on a country whose citizens want to kill us is not a very smart economic move. It is like relying on China's industries to arm our troops with the weapons needed for war.

Then there is Kuwait. Kuwait gives us 1.7% of our total oil imports. Opening ANWR could most certainly end that. Iraq used to give us 4% of our total oil imports, however; I doubt that still occurs.

In total, only 19.8% of our total oil imports come from the Middle East. ANWR might not totally eliminate that, but over time it could reduce that.

You want to talk economics, how smart is it to continue to rely on the Middle East for a product that runs our entire economy? I am more interested in the national security side of this (which does cover our economy too).

In the end, I could care less if ANWR only reduces our imports from the Middle East from 19.8% to 18.8%. That is one percent less we have to depend on the Arab world.

To read more and so all can make up their own minds see the following site: http://www.gravmag.com/oil.html

See near the bottom of the page for oil imports from the Middle East.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Commander Mike said...

Which is why we should lessen our dependence on oil.

The oil supply cannot possibly meet its exponential growth in demand. Economically, we don't need to 'run out' of oil to cause a disaster. All we need to do is not have supply increase fast enough to meet demand.

Sounds far-fetched? Remember the oil crash of the 1970s? That was caused in part by America beginning to run out of oil. Our domestic oil supply has been decreasing for the last 35 years. It's not a wild prediction, it's already happened here, and it's going to happen everywhere else.

This isn't really related to ANWR. In my mind, there isn't much of a debate about ANWR, declining supply will force it open eventually. Just make sure the oil companies dont tear Alaska apart.

</doctor doom>

 
At 7:58 PM, Blogger SinaMoravej said...

Anthor solution is to push cart companies to make their vehicles more fuel efficient.

Here are a couple when it comes to miles per gallon (2004)

Small Cars

GM: 30.9
Ford: 27.2
DaimlerChrysler: 29.0
Toyota 35.6
Honda:37.6
Volkswagen: 29.9
Nissan: 28.8

Midsize Cars

GM: 28.3
Ford: 25.8
DaimlerChrysler: 26.7
Toyota 30.8
Honda: 29.9
Volkswagen: 27.3
Nissan: 27.6

Midsize SUV's (this is where it gets ugly)

GM: 23.6
Ford: 20.7
DaimlerChrysler: 22.0
Toyota 23.3
Honda: 24.7
Volkswagen: N/A
Nissan: 22.0

I cant list all of them and i dont want to get into Large SUV's but you can find more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPA_2004_fuel_economy_report_appendix_M2

Looking at the above there is obviously work to do, our cars our mostly behind in Fuel Efficiency.

Lets work on that first

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

First, I am sorry to fmragtops, I should not have mocked you like that. I shamelessly exploited your point, and it was undeserved on your part. I can get worked up sometimes, sorry. Also I should make a more conscience effort to only mock those who have mocked me, which would be limited to only Dan. I only mock Allen because he seems to know what he is talking about, so that is undeserved too, sorry Allen. But Dan, your stupidity is perfectly exploitable in my book.

Second, matthew I don't think you understand how oil pricing works. We as the US may get only 1.4% of our from one country and 10% from another, but that isn't the important thing. If Saudi Arabia stops producing any oil, the market price that we pay for oil goes up, whether we buy oil from Saudi Arabia or not. Furthermore, if we drill in ANWR, the US isn't going to be the only recipient of its oil. It will be sold at the market price to all countries, which is why it is going to be developed by private companies (as it should).

As you can see, drilling in ANWR will do very little for lessening international dependence on middle eastern oil, simply because the middle east has a lot of freakin' oil in it. Much more than ANWR, that's for sure.

-Mr. Alec

 
At 4:09 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

Mr Alec I suggest you look at the following webpage. You may not agree with it, but that is for you to decide.

http://www.anwr.org/features/oilexports.htm

I suggest first reading the "myths of ANWR" article.

According to this site. Alaska does not export oil to foreign countries, and does not plan to, because of US demand. The US Geological Survey also estimates that ANWR could possibly replace 30 years of Saudi Oil. I am not asking that Saudi stops producing oil, just that we look at ways to stop purchasing as much from them.

Lastly it shows that since the Prudhoe bay drilling began, the caribou herd population has risen from 3,000 to 32,000

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger fmragtops said...

Are y'all ready for the solution? You have debated admirably, but it is now time for the answer to the question. This will solve all our ills. If the hippie activist limosine liberals would sink their own money into developing an alternative fuel source instead of lobbying the government to do it. If there are nay rich folks here, anyone that developes an alternate fuel source will be rich betyond their wildest dreams, oh wait...

No that won't work. The hippie activist limosine liberals don't actually do anything. They just care more than everybody else.

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

Good point fmragtops! This is why I sometimes get frustrated with both the left and right. Complacency on both sides is going to come back and bit us in a big way.

Visit the below site for information on alternative fuel sources.

http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/index.html

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger Commander Mike said...

"If the hippie activist limosine liberals would sink their own money into developing an alternative fuel source instead of lobbying the government to do it. If there are nay rich folks here, anyone that developes an alternate fuel source will be rich betyond their wildest dreams, oh wait..."

If by "oh wait" you mean "it takes hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds to thousands of engineers to develop efficient engines and generators", then you're right on the money.

Oh, that's not what you meant?

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

Matthew, I really think that you do not understand how commodity prices work. It does not matter where the oil goes, the added supply will lower the market price that the US and every other country in the world pays for a barrel of oil.

Furthermore, if we somehow can only use oil from Alaska, it would not stop US dependence on Saudi Oil and OPEC oil in general. Why? Because they will still produce an overwhelming amount of oil, giving them power to change the market price, that we pay, and the rest of the world pays.

-Mr. Alec

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

fmragtops, I love how you seem to blame the lack of an alternative fuel source on what you deem the hippy limousine liberals, a group that probably has about 10-20 members.

It is all hollywood's fault that we don't have an alternative fuel source, isn't it! Hollywood and the gay mafia.

But seriously, that observation was really pointless, of course the obvious answer is lets create an alternative fuel source. It is just not possible.

-Mr. Alec

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger fmragtops said...

There's a gay mafia? I always wondered why John Gotti was so well dressed. But seriously, here's another example of the left just not getting it. The point of that last post was mostly comedy, but it's an illustration of how silly some of the environmentalists look when they get all outspoken about the average citizens' SUVs. They want the government to pass laws and enact restrictions. We all know that private business would do a better job of it. They want to take my money, the very meager salary of a lowly civil servant, and single father of two instead of spending their own money to fund research, and development.

One final point, if the limosine liberals are such a small group why do they speak for the democratic party?

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

“It does not matter where the oil goes, the added supply will lower the market price that the US and every other country in the world pays for a barrel of oil.”

Is paying less for oil a bad thing? I doubt average American wants to pay more for oil.

“Furthermore, if we somehow can only use oil from Alaska, it would not stop US dependence on Saudi Oil and OPEC oil in general. Why? Because they will still produce an overwhelming amount of oil, giving them power to change the market price, that we pay, and the rest of the world pays.”

Exactly Mr. Alec! If we do not need Saudi or Kuwaiti oil, or as much of it, they may adjust the price to be a little more accommodating to us. What happens when competition comes around in business? Price wars. Are you saying they would raise the price because of this? An over stock of goods in any market creates a price drop.

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger Lester said...

Have you heard of Brazil using alcohol from corn as fuel?

 
At 4:07 PM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

I don't intend to speak for enviornmentalists, but I do hate SUVs. The way I stick it to them, is watch them fill up their gas tanks. I know the market can take care of it and if people really want to pay 40 dollars to fill their tank, its their choice.

Now, Matthew, first of all you make the same point that Allen made earlier. Added supply will do very little to lower price because of the elasticity of demand for it. Look at my earlier comment.

Second, the Saudi's dont choose the price of oil, they can affect it, but they will not sell oil to us at a cheaper price if everyone else in the world is still buying oil from them, and they will. Now this is the real reason why we care about Saudi Arabia, its not that we get tons of oil from them, it is that the world economy does. If the economy goes to shit so do we.

Now I have said that ANWR will add some supply of oil, but it WILL NOT lessen any dependence on Saudi Arabia by the World Economy and the United States. If the Saudi's produce 35% instead of 40$ of the world's oil, they will still have an overwhelming amount of power that won't affect our dependence in any way.

-Mr. Alec

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

If that is the case Mr. Alec, we need to get the heck off of oil. Not only us, but the rest of the world too. Like we all know, oil makes the world go round. If we switch to another fuel, but the rest of the world does not, the Middle East could still hold the world's economy hostage.

My main concern in all of this is the Middle East. OPEC is not an organization we should trust. There is something about a bunch of 3rd world nations that all hate America, controlling the one thing we need to survive, that is a little concerning. This is probably why spending on alternative fuels has increased. Anything that could potentially help our situation, such as ANWR, needs to be explored.

The real question the American consumer needs to be asking right now is: Why is ethanol not currently mixed into most of our gasoline? Current automobiles can hold a mix of 85% gasoline and 15% ethanol. Ethanol cost $1.20 a gallon and could reduce the price of gasoline because less crude would be needed. With record profits, the oil companies need to do some explaining.

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

Commander Mike wrote:

In my mind, there isn't much of a debate about ANWR, declining supply will force it open eventually. Just make sure the oil companies dont tear Alaska apart.

That's absolutely right and it pretty much clinches the ANWR debate. As oil prices go up, the pressure to increase supply will also go up, until drilling happens.

In their obsession with blocking the drilling environmental groups are ignoring the constructive role they could be playing. The more power they have to block the drilling the more power they have to come to a compromise and allow heavily regulated drilling.

While they sit there and try to postpone the inevitable they lose that power and they lose the chance to ensure that the drilling has a small footprint when it actually occurs.

You guys may have moved on to our dependence on foreign oil but if anyone's still interested in ANWR there's something to kick around.

 
At 10:08 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

Mr. Alec wrote:

I made the case that we are sacrificing very little to keep ANWR, Mihai makes the case that we sacrifice very little by drilling in ANWR. I think neither of us prove beyond a reasonable doubt that one is better than the other.

True. But I didn't say much about the costs of not drilling, so I will.

Everyone talks about national security and dependence on foreign oil but the real benefit is that Alaska gets to sell the oil, which means money, jobs and tax revenue. In a word, wealth.

That's why people are for this over there. They can give up very in terms of environmental costs and get a huge benefit in terms of wealth.

The balance between conservation and development is better decided locally, where people have a significant stake in both what can be created and what can be conserved.

The way it is now, people in Massachussetts, Maryland or Connecticut have a say in whether Alaskans can build 50 buildings, a pipeline and a service road on a piece of land bigger than Massachussetts, Maryland or Connecticut.

Sheesh.

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger fmragtops said...

I can answer the ethanol question. Because if you put an 85% mixture of ethanol in a regular old engine, the engine will run, but it won't run properly, and over time it will cost lots of money in reapirs, and eventually ruin your engine.

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Alec Brandon said...

This Alaskan arguement is flawed for a number of reasons. First, it is federal land, so it does not matter what Alaskans want to do with the land because they do not own it. Second, it may be in the best interest of all Arizonans to turn the Grand Canyon into a water slide, but that does not mean we should leave the decision up to them (because we are all losing something in their decision to only benefit themselves).

There are probably more arguements but I'm hungry.

-Mr. Alec

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

Thanks for the information fmragtops. I had heard somewhere that current automobiles can run on a mixture of 85% gasoline and 15% ethanol.

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Mihai said...

Alec,

There'd better be more arguments. Your first two aren't particularly convincing.

I argued that the Alaskans ought to have the power to decide this issue. Explaining why they don't dosen't refute it. Does my argument mean I think the federal government owns too much land in the west? Yes. There is such a thing as a state wildlife preserve...

Also, my argument was that in most cases a local decision would be better, that dosen't mean always. To refute that you ought to come up with a better example, unless you really think it's in Arizona's interest to turn the Grand Canyon into a water slide. Also, if the example didn't involve one of a handful of world famous landmarks, it might be applicable to more than a handful of cases. That would help.

Either way, my argument that Alaska's benefit outweighs anyone's loss when it comes to ANWR still stands.

 
At 7:40 PM, Blogger Theorigamist said...

Well, I keep missing long arguments when work keeps me busy for a while, but there's really no point in me jumping into this argument now.

I'm just posting to remind people that there are still the issues of Karl Rove and the Supreme Court to discuss, and I think we can all count on Dan having some opinion. Besides, I want to hear some unfounded speculation on all parts.

 
At 12:04 AM, Blogger Commander Mike said...

Yeah, ethanol will ruin a gas engine. I'll bet that gas will also ruin an ethanol engine. Sheesh.

 
At 6:28 AM, Blogger fmragtops said...

Not that this blog is a democracy, but I vote with theorigamist. This thing has been debated to death.

Matthew, yes the engine will run on that mixture, but the mixture will ruin the engine. I'm gonna go off on a tangent here, so please bare with me. Several months ago, the EPA was trying to force Baton Rouge, Louisiana to use reformulated gas, that was a mixture of ethanol, due to the level of air quality (see my point about evironmentalism being a vehicle for socialism?). I'm not quite sure what the percentage was. Due to the excess costs, maintenance as well as price per gallon, and the shortened life expectancy of vehicles running on the stuff, there was a near revolution and some how the local politicians persuaded the feds not to enact the policy. It had something to do with the fact the air quality had gotten better between the time this decision was made and the time the policy ws going to be enacted.

Please forgive me for not citing specific sources, but it's been awhile. If you'd like I can run them down for you, but it'll take some time. Ethanol/gasoline mixtures are just not a practical option at this point. Just like all the buzz about hydrogen cells a few years ago. Hydrogen isn't practical because you have to burn fossil fuels to produce hydrogen. At least that my understanding of it. I could be wrong.

 
At 8:06 PM, Blogger Theorigamist said...

Even so, hydrogen cells are still much more efficient than gasoline. The reason it's still not practical is the absurd cost (the last figure I heard was around 50 times more expensive than gas, but that was from some article online a while ago, so it probably isn't accurate now, and may not have been then).

 
At 5:23 AM, Blogger fmragtops said...

Yes, but don't you have to burn large amounts of fossil fuels to get small amounta of hydrogen at the production end, you know, before it's consumed? Either way, it probably is extremely expensive still.

 
At 11:33 PM, Blogger Commander Mike said...

Ethanol is still controversial because nobody actually knows how much energy it takes to refine it. Obviously you need a certain amount of efficiency for it to be "self-sustaining."

 
At 3:33 PM, Blogger allen said...

Hydrogen's produced from natural gas. Ethanol from corn which is produced using fertilizer which comes from oil.

The production costs of ethanol are such that without the EPA's unofficial price-supports for gasoline as well as substantial subsidies for growing corn, ethanol wouldn't be used in gasoline. The big beneficiary of the enviro-induced support for ethanol is Archer Danials Midland. Not, I suspect, what the enviro-community had in mind.

Inside GM, and the other car companies, they know what the vast bulk of consumers are willing to pay for an environmentally responsible automobile.

Zip. Nada. Nothing.

With that in mind, an environmentally responsible car, if it's going to sell, is going to have at least as good as a gas car at everything - reliability, longevity, performance, comfort, whatever - and if it's also environmentally responsible well that's cool too.

For the environmentally responsible automobile to triumph over the internal combustion engine it'll have to most things that consumers value better then a gas car and it would really help if it was also cheaper.

Right now the only thing that looks like it's even headed in the right direction, so to speak, is GM's Hy-wire.

clicky

Not because it's a fuel cell car and thus more environmentally responsible but because the lesser mechanical complexity and superior packaging efficiency the fuel cell allows could drop the cost of manufacturing significantly.

Of course, there's the little problem of a hydrogen infrastructure and a manufacturing base for the sorts of volumes car companies use but hey, you can't solve every problem simultaneously.

 
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