By Gary P Jackson
For most of my five plus decades on this earth I have heard politicians and naysayers use the excuse that drilling in this spot, or that spot, won’t help because it “will take 10 years for any oil to be produced.” It’s always 10 years with these people. Considering the earth is billions of years old, 10 years is like a nanosecond in time.
Successful nations don’t just plan 10 years ahead, they plan 100 years ahead, or so we are told.
First, the notion that it would take 10 years for known resources to come to market is laughable and untrue, but even if you fall for that narrative, don’t we all expect to be here at least 10 years into the future? Won’t we see actual benefit from our actions today, at least some time in the future?
Ever since Richard Nixon established the Federal Energy Office, which Jimmy Carter turned into the Department of Energy, we’ve had an agency that has supposedly been dedicated to America’s energy independence. Like pretty much everything government does, this has been a complete and total failure. Instead we are more dependent of foreign sources of energy than at any time in our nation’s history.
The Heritage Foundation reminds us what a failure our energy policies are, as well as how pathetic democrats and their continued false narratives are, by reminding us that on this date, 10 years ago, the democrats were yelping that it would take 10 years for ANWR to produce oil. Well, with gas almost $4 a gallon, it seems we could have used that oil in ANWR, huh.
On April 17 and 18, 2002, a number of Senators took to the floor of the upper chamber to decry efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fossil fuel exploration and development.
Their objections voiced a common concern: ANWR wouldn’t begin to produce oil for up to ten years. Here’s what some of the Senators had to say:
“There would be no production out of [ANWR] for at least 7 years.” -Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)
“Oil extracted from [ANWR] would not reach refineries for seven to ten years.” -Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
“No oil will flow from ANWR…until from 7 to 10 years from now.” -Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
“Oil exploration in ANWR will not actually start producing oil for as many as 10 years.” -Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
“Even if we started drilling [in ANWR] tomorrow, the first barrel of crude oil would not make it to the market for at least 10 years.” -Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Ten years later, oil and gas production on federal lands is at a nine-year low, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline costs an average $3.90, and the president is busy blaming “speculators” for high oil prices – a scapegoat that even a former Democratic Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner rejects. Heritage’s David Kreutzer also debunked that argument.
The president’s continued refusal to expand domestic energy production, which would be an economic boon and raise significant federal revenue without hiking taxes, recently made Heritage’s list of the administration’s ten worst energy policy decisions.
Meanwhile, the excuses offered in opposition to an energy policy that values domestic fossil fuel production look thinner by the day.
Environmentalists argue that drilling in ANWR would destroy “pristine lands” which we all know is a lie. Sarah Palin took Fox’s Greta Van Susteren on a trip to ANWR, and as you can see in that special here, the coastal plains, where the oil is, is a mosquito infested wasteland. That’s in the summer, in the winter, it’s frozen tundra.
ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve is about the size of the state of South Carolina. Roughly 1.5 million acres. The area where the oil is, is about 2000 acres. It’s been described as putting a postage stamp in the middle of a football field. It’s also been described as the size of a small airport. To put in further perspective, Dallas/Ft Worth International Airport [DFW] is 17,207 acres, or more than 8 times the size of the area where drilling would take place in ANWR!
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There is no legitimate excuse for not drilling in ANWR, or anywhere else. Had we drilled 10 years ago, we would have been enjoying the fruits of that labor for some time already. It’s time to stop the insanity, and get serious about energy independence.
**Hat Tip: Whitney Pitcher