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Alaskan governor on ANWR

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Cal

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An honest look at the facts surrounding ANWR drilling

By Frank H. Murkowski
Special to The Times


For more than a century, the economic vitality of Washington state and Alaska has been intertwined. From the Gold Rush to the oil boom, money and natural resources leaving Alaska have passed through Washington, creating tens of thousands of jobs. Seattle-based companies are key investors in Alaska's multibillion-dollar seafood, shipping, tourism and retail industries.

The benefits to Washington state's economy will continue to grow if Congress approves oil development in a small section of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Washington's five oil refineries process billions of dollars of Alaska crude, supplying consumers throughout the Northwest with energy. Washington alone consumes 18 million gallons of petroleum daily. Apparently, not everyone is traveling to their destinations on bicycles. If Alaska's crude oil were not available, Washington state would be getting its oil supply from Middle Eastern nations in foreign ships with foreign crews, built in foreign shipyards.

More than half of this country's oil comes from foreign sources, particularly OPEC. America needs American oil — to reduce our dependence on the foreign oil that threatens our national security. We must develop energy sources in America, for the American consumer, while safeguarding American security.

Alaska's environmental standards are the highest in the world, and yet Washington Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray — opponents of ANWR drilling — have repeatedly declined my invitations to visit ANWR and see firsthand this area of national importance.

Your senators would have witnessed that Alaska mandates the highest environmental standards in the world. Technological advances in environmentally friendly drilling, developed in Alaska, have been transferred to other locations around the globe, lifting the bar for the entire industry.

Protecting the environment is a global issue, not just an Alaskan issue. Stopping the exploration of ANWR only shifts oil production to other parts of the world where environmental standards are lower.

Advances in directional drilling make the footprint in ANWR extremely small. Use of only 2,000 acres for ANWR development is authorized in the House energy bill, yet ANWR is 19 million acres, about the size of Colorado.

Federal biologists began surveying the Central Arctic caribou herd in 1978, after the Alaska pipeline began operation. Since then, the herd has grown from 5,000 to over 32,000 animals. Alaska has proven it can be responsible; wildlife in ANWR will continue to coexist with cautious oil and gas exploration.

ANWR is not like other federal land. When it became a refuge in 1980, the enormous oil potential in the "1002 area" was already known. This small area of ANWR was given a special designation that allowed for oil drilling with authorization from Congress and the president's signature.

Critics falsely claim ANWR will only produce six months of oil. This incorrectly assumes ANWR would be the only oil field in operation in the world. In fact, ANWR oil will make significant contributions to the nation's energy supply for decades, replacing what we import from Saudi Arabia for the next 20 years. To bring this statistic home, ANWR alone would supply the state of Washington with all of its oil needs for 15 years.

Some estimates use the most pessimistic production figures by counting only 3.5 billion barrels of oil. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates between 12 billion and 32 billion barrels exist in the ANWR "1002 area," of which between 6 billion and 16 billion barrels are recoverable using current technology.

Some say ANWR will take at least seven years to begin production. That delay is because of the comprehensive environmental-impact study necessary to ensure that the environment is protected.

Like all Americans, I support research and technological development in alternative energies so that in the future we can reduce our energy dependence. But we must be realistic — right now the world moves on oil and that will be the case for years to come. Until the arrival of new energy technology, oil from ANWR can significantly help in easing our dependence on foreign imports.

Producing oil in Alaska means high-paying careers for American workers, not foreigners. Companies friendly to our country will profit, rather than governments that would prefer our demise.

We need an honest discussion of the facts and science regarding responsible ANWR oil production and its numerous benefits for America. Please encourage Washington state's two senators to actually visit the North Slope of Alaska and see what they are voting against at the expense of their own state, Alaska and America's national-security interests.

Frank H. Murkowski is the governor of Alaska.
 

Liberty Belle

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Why do you suppose liberals are so opposed to drilling for oil on a tiny piece of tundra? Do they like paying mega-bucks at the pump? I just cannot see the rationale here. None of this makes sense to me.
 

ez now

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Oil Exports
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Contrary to his rhetoric about energy security, in 1995 Senator Murkowski actually led the effort to lift a two-decade-old ban on the export of Alaska North Slope (ANS) crude oil to foreign countries.

Senator Murkowski even went on a trade mission to China to peddle Alaska oil to Bejing. Since the ban was lifted in 1996, increasing quantities of ANS crude have been exported to China and other Asian countries. In fact, in 1999 27 million barrels of ANS crude were shipped overseas -- that's almost as much as President Clinton released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve the same year.
With British Petroleum's acquisition of Arco's West Coast refineries, the company has a new financial incentive to keep its oil in the U.S., and in recent months, its Alaska exports have been curtailed. However, the company (and Senator Murkowski) refuses to allow the North Slope oil export ban to be reinstated. That means any oil that might be found in the Arctic Refuge could be shipped to foreign countries, including China.
If Senator Murkowski really cared about our energy security, why did he personally lead the charge to lift the export ban on Alaska North Slope crude in the first place? In 1999, oil exports averaged about 75,200 bpd (0.0752 mm bpd), or approximately 7.1% of total ANS production (based on MARAD data). That oil was shipped in 24 tanker loadings (out of a total of 442 tankers that loaded at Valdez during 1999). Exported oil went to: Japan (9 tankers); Korea (5 tankers); Taiwan or China (10 tankers) 1
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[1] MARAD data supplied from Alaska Dept. of Revenue
 

Cal

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Let's carry this history lesson a little further, with this 1996 press release from Bill Clinton:

Presidential Statement on Alaska North Slope Oil Export
THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
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For Immediate Release April 28, 1996
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Today I am taking action that will allow, for the first time, exports of Alaska North Slope (ANS) crude oil. Permitting this oil to move freely in international commerce will contribute to economic growth, reduce dependence on imported oil, and create new jobs for American workers. It will not adversely affect oil supplies or gasoline prices on the West Coast, in Hawaii, or in the rest of the nation.

I am also announcing additional measures to address safety concerns relating to oil tankers and other commercial vessels in Puget Sound-area waters in Washington State.

I want to express my appreciation to Congress, led by the Alaska congressional delegation, for its bipartisan support of the legislation that has made exports possible. In addition, I want to express my appreciation to Alaska Governor Tony Knowles. It has been a pleasure to work with him to make ANS exports a reality.

After careful consideration, I have determined that ending the 23-year ban against exporting ANS oil is in the national interest, subject to four important conditions:

Tankers exporting ANS crude oil must remain outside of the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone. This will ensure that tankers in the ANS export trade remain far from the U.S. coastline and the environmentally sensitive areas along the Aleutian Islands.
ANS export tankers must be equipped with a satellite communications system to permit the Coast Guard to monitor the tankers' positions.
ANS export tankers must be inspected annually, in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard policies and procedures. This condition will ensure that the tankers are kept in safe working order.
ANS export tankers will be required to exchange their ballast water in deep ocean water prior to entering Alaska's Prince William Sound. Ship logs will record ballast exchanges and will be checked periodically by the Coast Guard. This condition will help prevent the introduction into Alaskan fisheries of non-indigenous, aquatic nuisance species.
These requirements, which will be applied to ANS oil exports as export license conditions, will protect Alaska's unique environment and abundant natural resources. A fifth requirement -- that exports be carried in U.S.-flag tankers, crewed by U.S. merchant seamen -- is already in place under PL 104-58, the oil export legislation I supported and signed into law last November. That law is also the source of the authority under which I am imposing the four additional export conditions.

By removing the ban that has prevented ANS oil from moving freely in international markets for more than two decades, we will be stimulating increased domestic oil production in Alaska and California, creating new jobs in the oil industry, and preserving jobs for America's merchant seamen.

Over the last several months, my Administration has conducted an extensive interagency review of the environmental, economic, and energy aspects of lifting the ban. Led by the National Economic Council and the Council on Environmental Quality, the interagency review team confirmed the Department of Energy's 1994 findings that lifting the export ban would provide important benefits to the economy. Permitting exports will generate up to 25,000 more jobs, particularly for American workers in California and Alaska, but also in states that produce oil industry supplies and equipment. Additional oil production of about 100,000 barrels per day is expected, according to DOE projections, and Alaska, California, and the federal government will also benefit from up to $2 billion in additional federal, state, and local royalty and tax payments.

The review group identified an additional benefit of exports. It determined that overall tanker movements along the West Coast will decline. Because of the ban, the ANS oil that exceeds the West Coast's needs currently must be shipped down the West Coast anyway. Without the ban, that "surplus" oil -- which has been suppressing Alaska and California producer prices below U.S. market levels -- can now be exported.

While the review group found no likelihood of adverse impacts from ANS exports on Washington State's consumers, refiners, or environment, concern is clearly rising in that State about the increasing volume of vessel traffic projected to occur as a result of other factors. For example, the growing international trade between Washington State and Pacific Rim nations, while clearly a boon to the State's economy, is prompting debate over the adequacy of current vessel safety procedures and resources.

I share those concerns. Accordingly, I am requesting the Coast Guard to prepare, by no later than 120 days from today, a status report on its plan for a private-sector vessel assistance system. I am also asking the Coast Guard to accelerate completion of the plan, which will be submitted to Congress, and to offer its assistance to any serious private-sector efforts to improve vessel safety. The plan is required under a provision of the ANS export law authored by Sen. Patty Murray, who has been at the forefront of efforts to safeguard her state's waterways. To further support those efforts, I am asking the Secretary of Transportation to determine, by the end of this year, the need for additional, cost-effective measures to protect the marine environment, and to prevent shipping accidents, in Washington State.

Finally, I wish to emphasize that in permitting ANS oil to be exported, I am in no way diminishing my authority under various laws to impose new export restrictions if necessary to respond to a national emergency, or to deal with severe oil supply shortages.

-30-30-30-
 

ez now

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Im glad we all learnt something on this history lesson, The point is, If we drill the oil in Alaska, It most likely will be exported and have little to none to do with reducing the price of oil in this country. Its all about the dollar and big business.
 

Cal

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ez now said:
Im glad we all learnt something on this history lesson, The point is, If we drill the oil in Alaska, It most likely will be exported and have little to none to do with reducing the price of oil in this country. Its all about the dollar and big business.

I haven't found any information that would indicate that any more than small single digit percentages of production were exported. Do you prefer getting oil from OPEC?

p.s.-"learnt" isn't really a word.
 

Hanta Yo

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Cal, true, "learnt" isn't a word. Had to laugh at that. I would hope we can get past the environmentalists to be able to drill for oil to be used in USA. The potential is there...

I don't like getting into these discussions, but I am so angry that we think we are literally disallowed to develop oil because of the environmentalists. It makes me seethe to think maybe we have put ourselves in a corner trying to " placate" environmentalists. Because of "them" I think we are putting ourselves at risk....
 

ez now

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Thats right, I forgot, Lack of refineries during GHB, Clinton must have built a bunch of them, And now we are lacking again.
See, I learnt something again.
 

Cal

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ez now said:
And now we are lacking again.
See, I learnt something again.

Alas, I fear you haven't. The last refinery was built in 1976, besides that there are many different blends required by EPA that also slow plant efficiency. The question is, do we want to develop our own resources or rely on OPEC? The libs are the ones claiming the "blood for oil" nonsense. So which way should it be? Unless you got a really big kick out of Little House on the Prairie.
 

ez now

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katrina said:
EZ, There hasn't been any refineries built for 30 years. SMARTASS... :p
Exactly, SMARTASS, Now explain the difference in the price of oil and gas
 

Cal

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ez now said:
katrina said:
EZ, There hasn't been any refineries built for 30 years. SMARTASS... :p
Exactly, SMARTASS, Now explain the difference in the price of oil and gas

Are you possibly enrolled in your wife's kindergarten class? You can't figure out a relationship between crude oil prices and gasoline prices?
 

katrina

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Cal, Just as well give up, because I think we are wasting our time. Who said something about a few fries short of a happy meal????
Got your spring grains in??? Spreading fertilizer on our winter wheat now and working some ground... Got a load of fertilizer from the coop from winner and it had a bunch of wheat in it. And you wonder why we don't depend on others.....The man was POed.......
 

ez now

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Cal said:
ez now said:
katrina said:
EZ, There hasn't been any refineries built for 30 years. SMARTASS... :p
Exactly, SMARTASS, Now explain the difference in the price of oil and gas

Are you possibly enrolled in your wife's kindergarten class? You can't figure out a relationship between crude oil prices and gasoline prices?
From what I can remember when the price of oil went up, So did gas, Maybe not all the kindergardners could see a relationship here, But I bet most, or all the first graders could.
 

Silver

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ez now said:
Cal said:
ez now said:
Exactly, SMARTASS, Now explain the difference in the price of oil and gas

Are you possibly enrolled in your wife's kindergarten class? You can't figure out a relationship between crude oil prices and gasoline prices?
From what I can remember when the price of oil went up, So did gas, Maybe not all the kindergardners could see a relationship here, But I bet most, or all the first graders could.

The two are definetly related, but its not a fixed relationship. There can be lots of crude production, and the price of gas will remain high if inventories of gas are low. Because both oil and gas are traded as commodities, current inventories play just as big a role as the market price of crude in the price of gas.
So.... some kindergarten kids probably know that.
 

Steve

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Silver; The two are definetly related, but its not a fixed relationship. There can be lots of crude production, and the price of gas will remain high if inventories of gas are low. Because both oil and gas are traded as commodities, current inventories play just as big a role as the market price of crude in the price of gas.

Add in the violatal futures market and the Supply demand rules get bent, thus forcing equaliberian price up.....

Could the reasoning behind selling Alaska crude oil on the world market is because Crude production was in excess of refineries on the west coasts capabilities? if so storing the additional crude itself would cause additional costs, raiseing refined gas prices.

Until this country is willing and able to build new refineries and switch to blended ethonal, we will continue to have regional shortages forcing up the price of gas at the pump, because taking the refineries off line to add oxigenated fuel just cuts the refineries capabilities...
 

Cal

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katrina said:
Cal, Just as well give up, because I think we are wasting our time. Who said something about a few fries short of a happy meal????
Got your spring grains in??? Spreading fertilizer on our winter wheat now and working some ground... Got a load of fertilizer from the coop from winner and it had a bunch of wheat in it. And you wonder why we don't depend on others.....The man was POed.......

Hi katrina, just got back from a meeting (yawn). Calving's winding down (probably getting in high gear for you guys), Not putting any Spring Wheat in, WW looks OK, but will plant a bunch of Golden German later on. Hope to buy another bigger nurse tank and trailer tomorrow. I would have been POed too, especially with all of the Jointed Goat Grass and other noxious weeds around. You all take care and don't be afraid to stop by and have coffee with us if you end up around here.

p.s.--You're working ground?! (GASP!!) I thought for sure you would do no-till! (remember the earthworms?) LOL
 

katrina

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.Cal,


--You're working ground?! (GASP!!) I thought for sure you would do no-till! (remember the earthworms?) LOL

Yes... We have a new tiller thing. That leaves the trash on top. We had a great winter wheat crop grow back from last year. Hey.... There is some truth to the earthworm thing....Only ours have to be part camel, cuz there is no moisture. :D I looked at an earthworm the other day, and he had one of those little canteens strapped to him... :wink:
 

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