General Question

theloveprophet's avatar

So why don't we just drill in Alaska?

Asked by theloveprophet (347points) April 22nd, 2008

I hear we have oil reserves there, and also reserves in the Gulf of Mexico that would last a LONG time.
The only answer I’ve gotten as to why we can’t drill in Alaska is “It’s because of the Environmentalists.”

But it can’t be! Do they really have THAT much power? There’s gotta be something else. And if it is them, I’m angry at them because I hate paying so much for gas.

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26 Answers

adrianscott's avatar

Well I’ve got a 2-parter for you. The US is looking to perform their drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and if they go ahead with the plan the environmental damage will be quite severe. Essentially the question is, is the damage you guys do to the environment up there for the sake of drilling (money, power) enough to outweigh the damage that will be caused? Personally, I don’t think so.

The second thing I want to say is that the answer to the oil crisis isn’t to find and tap new reserves, it’s the reduction of need that is important. There should be much more focus in how to conserve energy and more money put toward alternate fuel resources (renewable in particular). Earth Day is a good excuse to bring that to attention to everyone!

theloveprophet's avatar

You know, if we can find a new fuel that will run with all of our cars today, that would be great.
But because the aggregate demand for oil is so high and isn’t going to go down any time soon, aggregate supply must catch up.

It would be nice if we could drive down AD for oil. I think that’s a little farfetched right now though to be honest.

adrianscott's avatar

@theloveprophet don’t get me wrong, I understand the difficulty with today’s automobiles. Perhaps a little bit of pressure from high demand and low supply would be enough to encourage the auto manufacturers to do even more than they already are to circumvent the requirement for petrol. That goes double for governments too.

It’ll be a gradual process to get away from using oil as a primary energy source… I’m just impatient. =)

theloveprophet's avatar

Yeah. I still gave you points for your answer because I agree that either that or drilling in Alaska should be the solution.

It will be an extremely difficult process if we do change over to something else though.

Zaku's avatar

The process looks “extremely difficult” largely because the oil/auto industry thinks it can make the most profit/power by prolonging the use of gasoline cars. There have been many proposals for alternative vehicle technologies which have been squelched (e.g. see Who Killed The Electric Car) or suppressed until recently, because the most influential decision-making elements in this choice are for-profit corporations stuck in close-minded logic about maximizing their market goals.

susanc's avatar

I don’t have a link for you because I’m lazy; but I remember reading in more than
one place that the oil we could get out of the Arctic Nat’l Wildlife Reserve would be
fairly small (I don’t know about volume coming out of the Gulf of Mex, but we’ve already been drilling there for decades). However, getting the oil out of ANWR
would be very, very expensive and complex because there’s no infrastructure. They’d
have to build a pipeline across permafrost, which tends to melt under the weight, which
means the pipes crack and sink and spill oil. Is it worth it? Depends on who’d profit
from the sale of the oil. Let’s see what happens when our executive branch is no longer made up of oil men. Other options might suddenly catch the attention of the

syz's avatar

The other thing that you must remember is that if you propose drilling as an answer to current gas prices, gasoline would not be available from the site in question for at least 10 years.

khelms01's avatar

US oil reserves would last for over 100 yrs, cut gas prices in half, and be an incredible stimulant to our economy. It is simply pee brained to say otherwise. Howsver no politician is going to be able to do anything about it for fear of losing support with misinformed environmental wackos.

syz's avatar

Environmental wackos? Nice

I hate to tell you this, but 100 years is not a very long time in the grand scheme of things. That’s a very short sighted viewpoint. But I guess that’s the point.

khelms01's avatar

why not use those 100 yrs of economic prosperity to create another form of energy, bc despite what all u wackos say its not gonna happen over night

khelms01's avatar

the demonization of oil in this country has gotten out of control, oil is what makes the whole economy go

khelms01's avatar

to just up and stop using it is simply ludacris

theloveprophet's avatar

yeah man. That economic prosperity would help to find another form of fuel… Oh well, I guess it’s never going to happen if it hasn’t already…

susanc's avatar

well that actually sounds like a good idea to me, and I am a TOTAL environmental
wacko. Except, except…. it will require massive resources to get that oil out of
ANWR. How bout if we (whoever that is) used exactly those resources to put some
other systems in place?

khelms01's avatar

bc if gas prices continue to rise at the rate they are now our economy will be in shambles by the time we find to the “alternative source of energy” its going to take decades if not centuries to stop using oil. We could cut prices NOW if we built more refineries

syz's avatar

Gee, if only we hadn’t spent THREE TRILLION DOLLARS on an unwinnable war…....

khelms01's avatar

You’re in denial. We are winnng that war.

susanc's avatar

khelms, give examples of this.

theloveprophet's avatar

The other day was the highest casualty rate for the war… 17 soldiers!
Now compare this to world war II and you question whether this should even be called a war or not…

susanc's avatar

Lovey, what else would you call it?

susanc's avatar

Honey, a skirmish isn’t a five-year-long engagement. Think of another word. Define “war”, too.

theloveprophet's avatar

War: a bloody, ruthless conflict over something that yields thousands of deaths a day.

Lol I guess by that logic abortion is a war…

Jasohhh's avatar

War: the waging of armed conflict against an enemy. Sounds like that’s what we’re in. I don’t see how we are winning, when a mish-mash of untrained bandits with explosives are being such a thorn in the military’s side. 2 guys with Ak47s and RPGs should not equal two platoons and Apache response.

And if you’re sick of paying so much for gas, find another source of fuel. Are you in love with the fuel or what you put it in? High gas prices are the best thing to happen to this country; people seem to finally realize all the eggs we’re keeping in one basket. SUV sales are suffering, food prices are going up. Now, demand is going down. Gas prices may fall yet. Besides, you can get places lots of different ways, public transportation, bicycling, walking and ride-sharing.

asmonet's avatar

It’s a band-aid on a bullet hole. That’s why.

observer's avatar

First, our liberty and prosperity are to be deprived by government intrusion into every aspect of our lives. Then, the ‘administration’ collapses our economy and a global government/banking system is instituted. Lack of energy independence is just one piece of the puzzle required to achieve this goal. How’s that for change?

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