Anyone that knows me can already guess how I feel about this. I'll just add my 2 cents.
The notion that opening ANWR will reduce our dependence on foreign oil is just political hogwash designed to make you believe it’s your patriotic duty to drill. Fact is, Chevron and other large oil companies will own that oil, and that oil will enter the world
market, not just the US market. Assuming we can get even the highest estimates out of ANWR, OPEC will still be the world's leading oil producer by far and all they have to do is lower the supply to keep the demand up. They will not lose any money, and if they really do fund terrorists, and I think the damn well do (bastards), they will still be able to do it with ANWR pumping. The largest segment of the world's population, the many 3rd world nations, are just now coming online into the petroleum based market. You think gas is high now? Wait until 6 billion screaming Chinamen want gas for their cars. Bottom line, it's a world market and ANWR won't make a noticeable dent in that market. It will take at least ten years before we actually get any oil out of ANWR if they started today. They need to build thousands of miles of roads and pipelines, docks for ships, and the actual wells. They can only work and build when the ground is frozen, otherwise the tundra is too soft and you can't drive anything on it or you sink. Used to be that the areas stayed frozen >200 days per year, the last few years the opposite has been true and the areas has been staying thawed >200 days per year. And people think global warming is a joke. ha
Alt Fuels and Conservation:
Governor Swarzeneggar (sp?) already has begun a hydrogen fuel network delivery system in California. http://hydrogenhighway.ca.gov/
The technology is here and in use now. There are buses that run on hydrogen, they emit ZERO emissions, in fact, they actually clean the air. Hydrogen is readily available, worldwide, we just need the infrastructure in place. Once we have the infrastructure in place for both making hydrogen through electrolysis and have a delivery system, the automakers will follow suit with the market. We will always have gasoline driven cars, but once we start converting just a small percentage of our national fleet of cars to alt fuels, the barrels of oil we'll save will far outnumber the barrels we would have gotten from ANWR.
Automakers also have the technology available now to greatly increase gas mileage, but they choose not too. It's America, everything is market driven here, and the market the public wants are SUVs and Hummers getting 8 mpg. If the government raised standards for gas mileage, even if just for sedan style cars, the automakers could do it no problem. But, we choose to drill instead.
The entire north coastal plain is already heavily dotted with oil development. The only place free from this is the small section of coastal plain in ANWR. As the leader of the free world, why can't we choose to protect the last few wild places in this nation? The analogy used is that the whole drilling footprint will be the size of a municipal airport in a place the size of North Carolina. This small postage stamp will be of little impact. This again is just plain rhetoric by those wanting drilling. There will have to be roads, there will have to be pipelines and more roads for the pipelines and these will stretch across vast stretches of land. It's completely misleading to say it will be a small impact. Some people, like the local Gwich’in Native American tribe, need the ANWR to stay wild and they have a connection with the land. It's not right to ignore their pleas.
I'm sure the drilling will pass, the house is an easy pass and of course Bush will sign. It was pretty sneaky to put it in the budget rather than a stand-alone bill, but hey, it's politics. In ten years, gas will be so high, but all the pumping in ANWR and everywhere else will mean little to the average American consumer, but the oil-execs will be as rich as the Middle East terrorists. Nice how that works. Hopefully we'll have more alt fuels coming on-line. Once we get a nice Toyota truck in an alt fuel model, I'll get one. I trust Toyota. But, all the drilling won't mean a thing except environmental damage.
We have so many important things that we make out of petroleum, plastics, surgical tools and implements, etc., etc. I hope we will someday stop wasting the stuff in our inefficient cars.
That's all I got to say.