gurdisonA few caveats to your post.Approval was granted to start giving licenses to drilling the Atlantic shelf. This was screwed up by the BP disaster in the Gulf.The first permit to resume deep-sea drilling in the Gulf was made several weeks ago, so permitting is resuming if very slowly: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/01/nation/la-na-deepwat... You have to remember that the MMS was crucified for taking companies' word on EIS statements. What would you do after that?I whole heartily agree that ANWAR should be explored, but you don't know how much oil is there until it is brought in. For example, originally the favored drilling locality was thought to be in the eastern part of ANWR, but subsequent studies showed the reservoir rocks to have been heated too hot for oil to remain, and it is probably gone. This was also the caribou calving area so now they wouldn't be disturbed. Now the favored locality if farther west. Exploratory drilling would have minimal impact on ANWR. Companies are willing to drill in the winter using ice roads and ice drilling pads instead of gravel. They can whipstock many holes for miles in any direction from a single pad.A few words on caribou. In Prudhoe Bay (West of ANWR), the caribou like to walk on the roads because it keeps them out of the summer vegetation and the mosquitoes. They also like to stand next to the Alaskan pipeline in the winter to get the warmth generated by the flowing oil. I believe estimates are that the caribou heard in Prudhoe Bay are bigger than before development: http://www.anwr.org/features/pdfs/caribou-facts.pdf Although I am a "tree-hugger" environmentalist, I don't have to worry about trees in ANWR because there aren't any to "spoil" the view. I grant that Prudhoe Bay was sloppily developed, but AWNR would be much better regulated. I haven't been there, but pictures I have seen of ANWR look very much like some taken on the Moon.Incidentally, there is what is thought to be a moderate-sized oil field that butts up against ANWR called the Sourdough Field. A couple of holes were drilled many years ago with oil showings. If this field is developed, some oil will be withdrawn from under ANWR without drilling there. Development of this field was delayed because of an argument between Gov. Palin and Pres. Bush over how much royalties would go to the U.S. government for oil withdrawn from under ANWR. Subsequently it has become a big legal issue: www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?19+Alaska+L.+Rev.+393+pdfI have discussed some aspects of oil production in the U.S, under my pen name at: http://stopcontinentaldrift.blogspot.com/2010/03/bakken-form...brucedoe
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