: Another ANWR oil drilling proposal
03-17-2006, 12:20 PM
Forwarding this from Maria Cantwell's website. She's the senator who's lead the attempts to prevent oil drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.
The audacity of these guys never ceases to amaze me.
Once again, we have to take emergency action to try and stop the Bush Administration from opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Once again, I need you to stand with me. The vote that decides the future for the Arctic Refuge is TONIGHT.
Tell the Senate to Protect the Arctic Refuge : vote NO on the budget tonight.
Last time the Republicans tried to attach drilling provisions to the defense spending bill. This time they are trying to open the Arctic Refuge to drilling by using the budget process. They want this so badly that they will do anything it takes to win. So they use loopholes and backroom tactics to try and force their drilling plan through.
If we pass the budget tonight, we also allow for drilling in the Arctic Refuge. A vote for the budget is a vote for drilling.
Therefore, I ask you to help me convince my colleagues: vote NO on the budget tonight. Vote NO until the provision allowing drilling is removed.
This single issue highlights how bad this administration is on the environment, how they have no plan for real energy independence, how they put short term gain over long term growth, and how they will do anything to win.
Just like on the Roadless Area Conservation Act, which 58,000 of you have now co-sponsored, I need you to make your voice heard. The Senators still sitting on the fence for this critical vote are indeed listening.
Tell the Senate: vote NO on the budget until the provision allowing drilling is removed.
A victory today will be hard-fought - they are lining up impressive roadblocks in a last ditch effort to get this through. But we will certainly lose if we don't even try. So please join me now.
Thank you, once again, for your support.
Maria Cantwell "
Well, they passed the budget bill.
I think every senator that voted for it should be required to drive one of these for the next 10 years.
03-18-2006, 08:29 AM
The good news is that about two dozens of moderate Republicans who block last year drilling
from an appropriation budget have already indicated, in open letter to Rep. leadership in House, that they will not vote for the budget with ANWR ( we need only 16 Republicans vote).
Considering that this is election year, it is very unlikely those moderate Republicans will suddenly change they mind.....However the constant pressure is required to maintain momentum!
As you remember the same resistance from moderate Republicans has forced Republican leaders during negotiations to drop ANWR. Later Stevens has attached ANWR to defense bill which was modified due to filibuster in Senate
( here 60 votes is required).
If we get opposite party in charge of the House after mid-term election( very likely) we may finally get some checks on Capitol Hill, regardless what issue will be considered.
Wilderness Society and Sierra Club are doing great job here
Here is the different subject:
Court blocks EPA from easing pollution rules
Even Bush conservative judge voted against EPA what tells us how ideological and extreme is the current administration!
It's a sad state of affairs when we the people have to protect the environment against...
the Environmental Protection Agency!
The environmental agenda of this administration should go down in history as a total abomination. No wonder I am a democrat, although I agree with many conservative views the state of the environment is far, far more important to me that the other socio/economic BS. This administration literally can't see the forest for the trees.
03-19-2006, 01:37 PM
Maybe that is why they are doing their damndest to cut all the trees down!:lildevl:
03-19-2006, 04:51 PM
The plan for another 1,000 coal-fired power plants in the next 20 years is also incredible. Granted, the U.S. has huge reserves of coal (up to 200 yrs by some estimates), but the amount of filth that these old-style plants spew into the air is beyond belief (mercury, CO2, SO2, NOX, and trace U238). A move towards coal gasification would alleviate a lot of these issues in that many contaminants can be removed in scrubbers, and through other processes.
An prof. at the Harvard Scool of Public Health told me recently that old-style coal plants are directly responsible for 30,000 premature deaths (mainly due to cardio-vascular and respiratory complications) in the U.S. each year. Where's the outrage???
Of course, this will mean more mercury in the water, and therefore in the food-chain. And the administration response? Don't eat the fish.
If anyone wants to see source journal articles for these numbers, let me know and I'll dig them back up. Sorry for going on a little.
03-19-2006, 08:38 PM
Bush and his outlaws are spending over 100 billions of $ on anti-missiles system which by Pentagon own estimate has max. 50% probability to shut down a missile.
At the same time GOP right wing fraction friends in energy industry are killing 10,000 each year.
Harvard Study also stated ( Health Dep. doesn’t dispute that) about 10,000 people die each year due to asthma related problems. What means since 9/11 we lost 10x more people then during 9/11 which Bush claims want to prevent.
We don't have 7 billions to ensure that each container is screened like in Hong Kong
port, and at the same time Interior Department can't collect 6 billion in lease fee from oil companies ( must be pay-off for investment in GOP ........).
Oil companies are reporting different revenue to SEC and different to Int. Dep.
03-30-2006, 06:42 PM
House Budget Committee Passes FY 2007 Budget Resolution Without Arctic Refuge Drilling
Statement from William H. Meadows, President, The Wilderness Society
WASHINGTON, DC, March 29, 2006 -- The success of pro-conservation members of Congress in keeping Arctic Refuge drilling out of the House budget is a victory for the millions of Americans who believe that some lands are too special to drill. Those citizens are delivering a clear message to Capitol Hill this year: We want a clean Congress, not politicians who will bend the rules on behalf of Big Oil and the drilling lobby.
Today’s victory is also a testament to the principled efforts of Representatives from both parties who voiced their strong opposition to exploiting the budget process in order to drill America's Arctic Refuge.
Representatives committed to defending the Arctic Refuge must stay vigilant to ensure that drilling-obsessed politicians do not reinsert an Arctic Refuge drilling loophole as the Budget Resolution moves forward. Fortunately, the steadfast opposition of leaders from both parties will mean that Arctic Refuge drilling remains a poison pill for any budget bill in the House.
The desperate Arctic Refuge drilling obsession of a few politicians has distracted us long enough from finding real energy solutions. It’s time for our leaders in Washington to stop wasting time on a foolhardy plan that would sacrifice a national treasure in order to shave just one penny off gas prices, twenty years from now.
Unfortunately, the House Budget Resolution still mirrors the Administration’s budget, slashing overall funding for environmental conservation and public lands by 13 percent, including a 40.3 percent cut in the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This budget would once again fail to provide enough money to protect our National Parks, National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges and the National Landscape Conservation System.
Has anyone else noticed in the last few weeks a big change in the way this country feels about all that Bush is doing. What I'm talking about is not only the US House and Senate but the mainstream conservative view seems like it has had enough of all this BS. Just listen to conservative talk radio if you have the stomach and many, not all are slowly voicing an anti Bush message. Issues about global warming and it's effects on our world have started to be talked about on many of the conservative airways. A year ago Global warming was a bunch of enviro kooks and now even Southern Conservatives are saying we better change our ways. I'm hearing conservative congressmen from oil producing states saying we better start seriously thinking about all of us owning hybred cars. I'm reading about the growing Christian Right that believes that God made this earth and made us the caretakers. I will not get into all the other stuff like the war and immigration. But there is something happening out there and let us hope it continues for the betterment of our great nation. We will get this Nation back and she will be a land that much of the world looks up too again. But what do we do about the democrats they are a bunch of wimps I'm sorry to say.
03-30-2006, 11:39 PM
At the risk of getting the dander of many up, I must ask this question: Since we import so much oil from the middle east (many of whom such as Iran are not exactly friendly to us), doesn't it make sense from a US national security standpoint to have other energy sources developed to produce electricity to end our dependence on middle eastern oil?
Also, it seems to me that cellulosic ethanol might be a good thing to invest research in to produce an alternative to oil to fuel our cars and trucks? Perhaps there is also something out there that scientists have been working on for energy to fuel cars, trucks, busses, and airplanes which we have not heard of yet because it is not able to be produced economically yet. Just think of what cellulosic ethanol (produced from bacteria and insects eating celluose who produce ethanol as a result of their digestion of the celluose), bio diesel, and a possible new source of energy would mean. No more dependency on middle eastern oil, no more worries about oil embargoes, no more worries about rapid price increases. And then imagine all the tremendous economic gain that would occur as a result and the massive increase in economic growth and GDP.
Hybrids, maybe; but the battery packs are only gaurranteed for 8 years or 80,000 miles in most states, and 8 years or 150,000 miles in states with green car laws. Then the battery packs have to be replaced at a cost of $6,000.00 - $8,000.00. And unless you drive hybrids only in city traffic (which is where they run almost exclusively on electric motor), there is not very much difference in fuel milage with one. Hydrids, bio diesel, ethanol, or whatever other source we are not aware of yet I see as the future. However, I don't see hydrogen as the energy source for our vehicles because it takes more energy to produce it than you get back.
And once this happens, drilling in ANWR or other wilderness areas becomes a non-issue because there would be no need for the oil in them. I can dream can't I?
04-01-2006, 07:21 AM
I work for a Honda dealership and can tell you how the manufactures do things. They will keep on extending the warranty because they don't want the bad press. Also, in 8 years the price of that battery will be very low. Individual cells can be replaced furthering reducing the cost of replacement. In addition , gas will be close to if not $6 per gallon by then . It makes sense to by a Hybrid.
ANWR is not going to solve the problem like those that want to drill there think it will. Just my .02 FishHawk
04-01-2006, 08:49 PM
And then imagine all the tremendous economic gain that would occur as a result and the massive increase in economic growth and GDP.
If Bush were the president in 1879 he would have sited with candle companies against Thomas Edison's incandescent, electric light…….
He signed up his “famous “energy bill giving oil companies big chunk of 14 billions tax brakes instead diverting this money into research for new energy sources.
He and his outlaws( including right-wing Republicans in Congress, who have nothing to do with old-fashion Republicans) responds only to the highest bitters……
I don't see hydrogen as the energy source for our vehicles because it takes more energy to produce it than you get back.
The only way to practically use hydrogen is to find an effective of capture solar energy, which in turn could be use to hydrolyzed water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Until this will happen, Bush slogan about hydrogen cars are simple smokescreen to cover up his resistance to imposed higher fuel standard on SUV and tracks.
4 years ago he argued that such standard would cost jobs.
Now, for the same reason ,GM and Ford are cutting over 40 k people , b/c they were relying to much on SUV, which are less efficient the Japanese tracks.
“W” and his team will be remember as a most TOXIC president of the great USA.
04-02-2006, 12:33 AM
Then what are the monies for research into alternative fuels and/or vehicles that use alternatives to gasoline or diesel in the Bush budget? Are they just a smokescreen to keep the general public in the dark about how big oil runs the Bush administration?
Since Bush's budget includes monies for celluosic ethanol and grants to help build biodiesel and celluosic ethanol plants, I suppose this is an indication that the administration cares nothing about the oil problem and only cares about helping big oil make more money.
And since the US has huge coal reserves (and yes I am very aware of the environmental problems coal has produced in the past, especially since I grew up in northern Apallacia in coal mining country), why should we not use it to produce electricity? Afterall, as has already been mentioned in a post by someone else, modern scrubbing technology is very effective at cleaning up the smokestack pollution of coal burning.
04-02-2006, 08:18 AM
The next week after Bush Speech of the Union, the Energy Department was cutting 15% of research stuff working in National Institute of Renewable Energy !!!!!!
When Bush was visiting this Institute few weeks later all those employees were reinstated and Bush blamed mixed messages!!!!!!:confused:
The above cased was cover very well in national media.
He and his outlaws are all “ mixed messages “ since 2001
BTW, his money in 2007 budget are drop in the bucket to what is needed and what he gave to oil companies.
Many former Republicans like James Backer ( Bush Sr. Secretary of State), national security advisors for Reagan, Bush Sr and many more high rank politicians from Clinton Adm. Are calling for serious action, BIG $ for research ( like Apollo project), big increase in fuel standards for tracks ( not 1-2 gallon recently announced)
So far noting has happened, what could hurt profit of oil companies.
What about the nation, positive impact on environment, national security, economic growth.
Until we have the administration, which is the steward of the nation not logging and oil companies noting will change.
Look what Rumsfeld is still doing in his administration?
This incompetent secretary, like Cheney has never been in the army, he override the generals opinion and wanted to occupied Iraq with 30 k troops one year after invasion!!!!!!!!! :Eyecrazy:
From the war to environment and economic policies W and his team are bunch of incompetent people who respond only to the highest bitter at the moment!!!!!!
The above are facts !
04-03-2006, 03:21 PM
Please provide the specifics of what he gave to the oil companies, since you mentioned it.
And since the 15% the Energy Dept. cut out of research was reinstated, I fail to see how there was a cut.
On the question of whether there should be government imposed fuel economy standards, I completely disagree with you. I don't think the government should be imposing fuel economy standards at all, especially since the EPA itself has admitted last fall that its method for determining fuel economy is flawed and that its method for determining fuel economy inflates what small, low horsepower and hybrid vehicles get by 15%-25% and that it underestimates what largerm higher horsepower vehicles get by 15%-20%. In my opinion, the market will decide what level of fuel economy people will live with. When people decide they need more fuel economy, they buy more vehicles with higher fuel economy. I don't know about you; but I'd hate to have a pickup truck rated to tow a trailer of 8,000 pounds not have enough power to make it up any hill without having to drop down several gears to do so.
04-03-2006, 07:56 PM
The detals of Energy bill signed by Bush last year should be available on the web site of the Energy Dep. ( public knoowlage)
Few Details: 6 billion of tax brake for oil companies. They don't have to pay leases even at current price what means Tresaury will LOSE over 20 BILLIONS over the next 20 years. Companies who build nuclear plants will get loans guarantee ( if they mess up we pay!!) etc. Only small portions goes into renewable energy.
And he calls it Energy bill of 21-st Century!!!???:whoa:
But Energy bill itself is a small gift .
G.A.O. ( Government Accountability Office) Sees Loss in Oil Royalties of at Least $20 Billion
FlyTyer, please note that during Clinton presidency the price of oil was by average $20, and at that time waver for leases was only up to $36 per barrel.
It was Bush Interior Dep. which gave them green light all the way, regardless of oil price.
During 90’s oil companies, had no incentive to drill in Gulf of Mexico.
Now, why they NEED FREE LEASES???
All these lost money could go into research in the area of renewable energy and solar power!!!
I guess we agree here…….
By EDMUND L. ANDREWS
Published: March 29, 2006
WASHINGTON, March 28 — Incentives for oil and gas companies that drill in the Gulf of Mexico will cost the federal government at least $20 billion over the next 25 years, according to the draft of a Congressional report obtained on Tuesday.
G.A.O. Draft Report (pdf)
The new estimates, prepared by the Government Accountability Office, also warn that $80 billion in revenue could be lost over the same period if oil and gas companies won a new lawsuit that seeks a further reduction in their royalty payments.
The report, delivered in a private briefing late Monday to House and Senate staff members, startled some of the program's longtime supporters and infuriated some critics.
The report is the first attempt by a government agency to calculate the soaring costs of a 10-year-old program that was created to encourage deepwater drilling when energy prices were low.
The program, known as royalty relief, allows companies to avoid paying the government royalties on much of what they produce from federal leases in deepwater areas of the gulf.
The Interior Department acknowledged last month that it would forgo about $7 billion in royalties over the next five years — even though it expected energy prices to remain near record highs.
The G.A.O., the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, came up with much higher cost estimates but over a longer stretch of time.
On a related matter, the agency's investigators cautiously endorsed the Interior Department's explanation about why royalty collections for natural gas had climbed far more slowly than market prices.
Such royalties were almost no higher in 2005, when gas prices reached records, than in 2001.
The New York Times reported in January that the main reason appeared to be a widening gap between the sales prices that companies were reporting to the government and the prices they were reporting to their own shareholders.
The G.A.O. disputed that, saying that the weak revenue collections last year appeared to result primarily from a decline in gas production that was more severe than the drop indicated in the Interior Department's published statistics.
The G.A.O. said the Interior Department's explanation was "quick and reasonable," and that royalties in 2005 had been held down by both a general decline in offshore production and the damage wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
But the Congressional office cautioned that its analysis was based on a reshuffling by the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service of its published royalty statistics.
"We conducted limited verification of M.M.S. data and did not audit the accuracy of underlying M.M.S. records," the G.A.O. said.
On the larger question of the overall cost of royalty relief, the G.A.O. noted that the Interior Department, which runs the offshore leasing program, had never carried out a "robust" cost-benefit analysis of the original program or of incentives added in the last five years.
In what the G.A.O. said was a preliminary analysis, it estimated that the government would lose about $20 billion as a result of leases already signed.
But that loss would quadruple to $80 billion if the suit by energy companies succeeded.
In the lawsuit, filed by Kerr-McGee Exploration and Production the company argues that the Interior Department does not have the authority to suspend the royalty incentives if prices for oil and gas climb above certain "threshold" levels.
Members of Congress, including some who have supported the energy industry, said the G.A.O. figures raised new questions about the royalty relief program.
"I am extremely concerned about information that has recently come to light," Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, the ranking minority member of the Senate Energy Committee, wrote in a letter on Tuesday to the departing interior secretary, Gale A. Norton.
"I write to inquire as to what you plan to do to address this situation and these significant potential losses to the taxpayers of our nation."
Critics of the program said they were infuriated.
"Every day, the news for taxpayers gets unbelievably worse," said Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, who has assailed the royalty-collection program for years. "When will we put a stop to this?"
The actual cost of such royalty relief has been shrouded in mystery almost since its inception.
Last month, the Interior Department confirmed that the costs were about to soar as a result of leasing blunders in the late 1990's and a court decision in 2003.
The G.A.O.'s most optimistic prediction calls for a loss to the government of $20 billion in royalties, even though this assumes that energy prices will be above the "threshold levels" over the next 25 years.
Half of that stems from a blunder during the Clinton administration, when officials omitted the price-threshold restriction from all offshore leases signed in 1998 and 1999.
The other half results from the legal victory by energy companies in 2003, which more than doubled the amount of royalty-free oil and gas they could produce.
But those costs would be eclipsed if Kerr-McGee won its new lawsuit against the Bush administration. The G.A.O. estimated that a Kerr-McGee victory would cost $60 billion over 25 years, on top of the $20 billion the government is already expected to give up.
The G.A.O. said it based its estimate on the assumption that crude oil would sell for about $45 a barrel, a level well below the $66.07 next-month futures price in New York on Tuesday, and that oil and gas prices would climb 2.1 percent a year.
Here is some interesting reading:
Bush taking aggressive measures to drill for oil
Local residents will no longer be consulted every time wells are proposed
Updated: 8:38 p.m. ET Oct. 18, 2005
WASHINGTON - In an aggressive push by the Bush administration to open more public land to oil and gas production, the Interior Department has quit conducting environmental reviews and seeking comments from local residents every time drilling companies propose new wells.
Field officials have been told to begin looking at issuing permits based on past studies of an entire project, even though some of those assessments may be outdated. The instructions are in a directive from the department’s Bureau of Land Management expected to cover hundreds of anticipated new drilling applications.
President Bush and Congress authorized the streamlining as part of a 1,724-page energy bill signed into law in August. BLM officials, saying the need for energy supplies is immediate, showed unusual speed implementing it. Kathleen Clarke, the agency’s director, sent out the new guidance Sept. 30.
Story continues below ?
“Yes, it is a priority of the White House,” BLM Deputy Director Jim Hughes said in an interview. “We are moving expeditiously to implement the law. We think all these items will increase the supply this winter. However, everyone is saying it won’t be enough to wipe out the impact of the hurricanes and all that.”
The energy bill created new “categorical exclusions” under the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act for allowing new oil, gas and geothermal wells without first conducting environmental studies or soliciting public comment on them. The exclusions from normal permit requirements cover instances when less than 150 acres and no more than five acres in any one spot are disturbed and where nearby drilling has occurred in the past five years.
“We don’t think there will be any environmental degradation,” Hughes said. “It’s basically going into areas where you’ve already got stuff happening, where you’ve got existing NEPA work that had been completed. We think in many cases this is just duplicative work.”
Energy producers would still be required to comply with other environmental laws, such as those intended to protect endangered species, air and water quality and cultural artifacts.
Rocky Mountains expected to be drilled
So far, no new permits have been issued under the new guidance. But Interior officials expect it to spur more drilling on open ranges and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Those include Powder River Basin of Wyoming, the Uintah Basin of Utah and the San Juan Basin of New Mexico and Colorado, all areas where drilling has already boomed in recent years.
Other areas ripe for the expedited permits are near parkland, such as Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, though not within national parks or wilderness areas.
Last year, the bureau approved 6,052 drilling permits from about 7,000 applications submitted — a 60 percent jump in new permits over those issued in 2003. This year, BLM expects it will approve 7,000 of the 8,000 new applications, Hughes said.
Environmentalists say they will continue to insist that environmental reviews are up-to-date.
“They have to have a fairly recent analysis of the impacts before they can apply these categorical exclusions,” said Dave Alberswerth, public lands director for The Wilderness Society. “If they’re planning to improperly apply these exemptions ... in places where there are old land use plans that are out of date, then they are asking for legal trouble.”
More land to drill
The government had 55,385 square miles of public lands leased out for oil and natural gas production last year, but only a third of it — 18,236 square miles — was involved in actual energy production. Nearly all the leases BLM considered nonproducing have never had an exploratory well drilled, or even a single application for a permit to drill filed with BLM.
“If you look at the actual facts on the ground, they have thousands of more drilling permits in their pockets than they can even drill on,” Alberswerth said. “So why is Congress or the administration always looking for ways to exempt the wealthiest companies in the world from their environmental responsibilities?”
Lee Fuller, a spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said environmental groups have misused the law to delay drilling permits. But Fuller also said the administration’s hoped-for boost in energy production might not occur until later.
“It’s hard to judge anything in terms of what might happen this winter,” he said. “I don’t think anybody has a clear sense of things. But whether it happens this winter, or it’s available next spring or summer when there’s also a demand for it, you have to be ready.”