RE: Artic National Wildlife Refuge - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-14-2005   #1
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,074
RE: Artic National Wildlife Refuge

This is well worth a look:


It's time (again) to fight for the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.

No one voted on Election Day to destroy the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
But President Bush is now claiming a mandate to do exactly that.
If you are a Bush supporter, please realize this is a monumentous vote that has nothing to do with right or is about saving pristine wilderness!

PLEASE read below and join me in the simple task of clicking on the link below to send a
message to your Representatives to urge them to protect OUR wilderness.

Thank you!


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Redford [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 3:31 PM
Subject: A message from Robert Redford about the Arctic Refuge

Dear NRDC Action Fund Supporter,

No one voted on Election Day to destroy the Arctic National Wildlife
But President Bush is now claiming a mandate to do exactly that.

Congressional leaders are pushing for a quick vote that would turn
America's greatest sanctuary for Arctic wildlife into a vast, polluted
oil field.

Even worse, they are planning to avoid public debate on this devastating
measure by hiding it in a must-pass budget bill.

Please go to
right now and send a message telling your U.S. senators and
representative to reject this sneak attack on the Arctic Refuge.

And please forward my message to your friends, family and colleagues. We
must mobilize millions of Americans in opposition as quickly as

Don't believe for a second that the president is targeting the Arctic
Refuge for the sake of America's energy security or to lower gas prices
at the pump.

President Bush knows full well that oil drilled in the Arctic Refuge
would take ten years to get to market and would never equal more than a
paltry one or two percent of our nation's daily consumption. Simply put,
sacrificing the crown jewel of our wildlife heritage would do nothing to
reduce gas prices or break our addiction to Persian Gulf oil.

But if the raid on the Arctic Refuge isn't really about gas prices or
energy security, then what is it about?

It's the symbolism.

The Arctic Refuge represents everything spectacular and everything
endangered about America's natural heritage. It embodies a million years
of ecological serenity . . . a vast stretch of pristine wilderness . . .
an irreplaceable birthing ground for polar bears, caribou and white

It is the greatest living reminder that conserving nature in its wild
state is a core American value. It stands for every remnant of
wilderness that we, as a people, have wisely chosen to protect from the
relentless march of bulldozers, chain saws and oil rigs.

And that's why the Bush administration is dead set on destroying it.

By unlocking the Arctic Refuge, they hope to open the door for oil, gas
and coal giants to invade our last and best wild places: our western
canyonlands, our ancient forests, our coastal waters, even our national

This is the real agenda behind the raid on the Arctic Refuge and the
entire Bush-Cheney energy plan: to transfer our public estate into
corporate hands so it can be liquidated for a quick buck.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) admitted as much when he said
this battle over the Arctic Refuge is really a fight over whether energy
exploration will be allowed in similarly sensitive areas in the future.
"It's about precedent," Rep. DeLay said.

I take him at his word. If we let the president and Congress plunder the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the sake of oil company profits,
then no piece of our natural heritage will be safe from wholesale

Please go to
and tell your senators and representative they have no mandate to
destroy the Arctic Refuge. Then please be sure to forward this message
to as many people as you can.

And thank you for speaking out at this critical time.


Robert Redford
NRDC Action Fund

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Old 01-14-2005   #2
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 89
I am an environmentalist, a 110% Bush hater, and I work in the oil industry.

I don't understand why people think oil drilling will destroy ANWR.

Oil drilling is not that environmentally destructive. The current extensive oil activities on the North Slope have had little effect on wildlife.

Yea, the roads and the occaisional drill rig will detract from the scenery of the tundra, but there's noone there to see it. Noone lives there and this is not a tourist destination. The animals don't seem to mind based on the experience in the North Slope.

I think the problem is that people seem to think that oil drilling leaves a big oily mess. This just isn't true. Except for the roads, oil drilling does not scar the landscape. And there aren't that many roads.

The big counter argument to this is what about a screw-up such as a spill--the best example being the Exxon Valdez. This is definitely something to consider. The biggest danger is at the oil juncture points where much oil flows through, such as the shipping terminals and the pipeline. Can another Exxon Valdez happen?

Since oil from ANWR will go through the pipeline and the potential problems will be at the same risk and at the same places as it is now, if we allow oil from the current North Slope, why not allow it from ANWR?

The huge cost that Exxon paid for the Valdez serves as a large incentive to avoid problems in the future. So much effort now goes into avoiding catastrophes. You probably pay 30% more for you gas because of these safeguards. There are quite a few checks in the system.

I use to have a negative view of oil drilling until I visited drilling rigs and visited old drilling pads after the rigs left. It was like, WOW, are you sure there was an oil well here? All I saw was a clean pipe coming out of the ground, a valve, and the pipe going back into the ground.

And I thought all the safety and environmental regulations were overboard. Gosh, I thought I was a safe boater, but those guys in the oil industry really cover their bases. I wish our cities had as many environmental regulations as they do on the oil rigs.

Yea, I agree about protecting the environment and I'm happy to pay for it. But, let's make decisions based on reality and fact, not emotion.

I really, really hate it when Bush is right. Too often he ignores reality. Are we the ones ignoring reality here instead of Bush?

Robert Redford's letter about oil drilling destoying habitat ("irreplaceable birthing ground") for polar bears, caribou and wolves is just baloney. Pick your battles.
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Old 01-14-2005   #3
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
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Your reply was rather emotional as well my friend and, in all fairness, Don only said that it was worth a look.

I am too tired to get into a full-scale heated debate and I most likely don't have enough facts to win one. I also have a feeling that we see eye to eye on many things. I loathe Mr Bush. I also dislike limousine liberals like Mr. Redford. It takes the opposite ends of the spectrum like these tools to provide equilibrium. I also know that on environmental issues I prefer to err on the safe side. Regardless, of how environmentally aware the petroleum industry is, they will be introducing human factors into areas that otherwise wouldn't have to withstand them. That is change and change has seen and unseen effects. There are very few unspoiled places on the planet and no one should be in a rush to spoil them. I for one will resist any change where the potential "gain" does not, without a doubt, outweigh the potential loss. I have sent my email. I think that the burden is now on the powers-that-be to convince me that there are irresistible gains to be made.
...Not that the administration won't figure out some way to scare us sheep into thinking that Arctic drilling is essential to America and if we don't do it the terrorists will have won... damn and I was being so non-partisan!
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Old 01-14-2005   #4
latenightjoneser's Avatar
steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Noone lives in ANWR?

tell that to the animals

The type of people who say that will never understand. . .

Just because people haven't moved in yet and ruined the place doesn't mean they should now!
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Old 01-14-2005   #5
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Stiff, I appreciate your comments.

I am also an environmentalist, and work in the oil industry, including on the North Slope.

I am an Alaskan.

I am also opposed to drilling in ANWR.

Stiff is incorrect in stating that ANWR is not a tourist destination. ANWR is home to some of the wildest rivers on the planet, including the Firth, the Hula Hula, and the Canning amongst others. These are all wilderness river journeys of epic proportions - incredibly difficult and expensive to organize and carry out, and also incredibly rewarding.

It's unfortunate that it has to be Big Oil that is being singled out here, because as Stiff says, oil development is not what it is pictured to be. Prudhoe Bay is a good example of a neat and clean oil field. It has problems, but the engineering and environmental attention are the best that is available.

But ANWR represents a place where I can run several 200+ mile long river trips without ever crossing a road. There's not many places in the world you can do that still without checking in at Phantom on day 12. And do we give all of them up so that we can keep gas under $2? So that my yearly income will go up 20%?

And it's not just river runners who benefit from ANWR. Adventure travelers have skied through the area for years. It is a well-known hunting destination. The char and burbot fishing is world class.

Stiff, I suggest you do some google searches for ANWR images - it's an incredibly beautiful, spectacular place, even the oft-derided coastal plain. And I invite you to come with me, and check the place out sometime. I think you might like it. Keep in mind that the desert Southwest was considered a barren wasteland for a lot of years...

I have picked my battle. I've picked it on the basis that I've found something I really like, and it's being threatened. You protect what you've got, and I'll do the same.

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Old 01-14-2005   #6
Join Date: May 2004
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Sounds like you have more first-hand experience than I do. I agree ANWR is pretty and unique. I'm jealous you can visit it.

Ok, some people visit it. But how many? I agree it is cool to float for 12 days without any sign of man, but I'm not sure how to balance that

ANWR is big. Is it half the size of Colorado? Drill rigs won't be everywhere, but only in a few places.

If the only people who will make money off ANWR are the oil companies, I would agree with why bother opening it up. But, the government is pretty good about getting dollar value for the rights to drill. The government may make $1-5 billion dollars off it, not to mention the value of the salaries earned by the people working it, which will be more than the government makes off the drilling rights.

Realistically, the question is not whether to drill ANWR but when. I agree that now may not be the best time. It's not going anywhere.......
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Old 01-14-2005   #7
Parker, Colorado
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Send a message via Yahoo to wcrocket

As a former Petroleum Engineer and now Oil & Gas Software Consultant that has 30 years in the Oil and Gas Industry and has worked in Oil Fields in the Gulf Coast, Rocky Mountains, California, Angola, and the United Arab Emirates. I have to also challenge the suggestion that Drilling and Producing Oil and Gas will destroy ANWAR.

I know most who post here do not like places like South Louisiana and also feel that the Oil Industry has destroyed that area. But the majority of the Cajuns would disagree. The best place to catch fish in the Louisiana wetlands and the Gulf of Mexico is around the Oil and Gas facilities. Those structures actually create an environment that provides food for fish. Enough of that because I know the majority of the people reading will never accept that the people working for Oil Companies care about the environment and I do get your point that ANWR should be closed to all humans because we pollute the land. So lets close it to everyone not just the oil and gas industry.

Do I think we drill in ANWR? I think not this year. I would like to save that oil for the day when we have no other place to get it. But if you object to ever going in there you should not be burning fossil fuels or using products derived from them because you are consuming the products while restricting the feedstock. Anyone who feels differently should either stop using fossil fuels and all products derived from them or be willing to pay 2 to 3 times the current price. There will be a severe shortage of Oil and Gas in the Rocky Mountains in the next 5 to 10 years and we will pay much more for gasoline and other refined products than those folks that live close to oil terminals that can bring in Oil from overseas.

As the price of oil goes up so does inflation that means we get to blame the Republicans for destroying the economy. It also makes existing Oil and Gas reserves more profitable so the smaller Oil and Gas Companies and employees make more money right here in the lower 48. When that happens someone will post right here on the Mountain Buzz that those corrupt Oil Companies are ripping us off.
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Old 01-14-2005   #8
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Sounds like you have more first-hand experience than I do. I agree ANWR is pretty and unique. I'm jealous you can visit it.
Then c'mon up and get out there. Like you said, it's not going anywhere.

Ok, some people visit it. But how many?
Last year, I personally knew three groups of 6 or more people who ran the Hula Hula. That probably means 100 people or so floated the Hula last year. The Canning sees a little more traffic than that. The Firth is limited to 100 private parties, and probably sees 500-750 people per year.

Remember, all three of these drainages support regularly scheduled commercial trips, not to mention the charter trips. Lots of people make their living doing this.

So for those three drainages, we're talking well over 1000 people per year. Contrast that with traffic down the Grand Canyon in the 50s...the 60s...and realize that Alaska is 50 years behind. Now aren't we glad we didn't put in the Marble Canyon Dam?

ANWR is big. Is it half the size of Colorado? Drill rigs won't be everywhere, but only in a few places.
You know oil field. The roads snake forever. Unless they do a roadless unit, similar to Badami, there will be access roads. And if there are not, there will be a whole bunch of plane traffic anyway. This in a place that doesn't have any of that right now. No roads, no plane traffic, etc. Why mess with it?

Also, Prudhoe was small. But once it was in, here comes Kaparuk. And Alpine. And Badami. And all of the other satellite field. Sure, they are all responsibly developed. But you put all of them together, and you get one big ass oil field.

We could go into the need for the oil field, but you're in the business, I imagine you understand how un-needed this development is, EXCEPT to the government of Alaska, and the oil trash (like myself) who depend on development for their living. As an Alaskan, I think the government needs to diversify anyway - it's going to have to happen someday. Why not now, before we've spent all of our credits?

And it's MY salary that will be made with the opening of ANWR. Understand that is what I do - I do oil field development. It would be my what. Man, my career can be anywhere, mostly without near as much impact as it will have in ANWR. Yeah, if we develop it, I'll work up there, partly because that's what that's what I do, and partly just to get a chance to go up there. But there are a lot of ways to make money in this world. Is there nothing that is worth more than my wages?

I truly believe in community and I truly believe that the best thing for my community - of river runners, oil trash, skiers, Americans, and human beings - is to leave the goddam place alone. Jesus, why is that so hard? Why must we put our grubby little fingers into everything? Are we that greedy? Are we truly a cancer, with no means of stopping our own growth besides famine, war, and mass disease? Or finally killing our host?

Sorry to get emotional. I have a few pet causes, and you chose one.
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Old 01-14-2005   #9
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I have to also challenge the suggestion that Drilling and Producing Oil and Gas will destroy ANWAR.
I agree with you. Anyone that says drilling and producing will destroy ANWR does not know the oil business or the geography of ANWR. BUT, drilling and producing oil will change the ANWR coastal plain in a big way.

Enough of that because I know the majority of the people reading will never accept that the people working for Oil Companies care about the environment
So you really think that? At least up here in Alaska, most of the people I know in the oil industry are incredibly concerned with the environment. Perhaps it's because I'm younger, but I feel that the majority of project level professionals that I work with care strongly for environmental causes.

and I do get your point that ANWR should be closed to all humans because we pollute the land. So lets close it to everyone not just the oil and gas industry.
You know, it seems mighty nice the way it is now - tough to reach, not much pressure. Why mess with it? Are we trying to be fair? If we allow access for anyone, then everyone should have access? If you don't let me in, then I take my ball and go home?

...or be willing to pay 2 to 3 times the current price.
This is exactly my point. We in the USA enjoy an incredible break on petroleum costs, compared to nearly everyone else. Wcrocket, I have decided that it is worth me paying more for oil and making less as a geophysicist to protect a place that is in a pretty good state right now.

Especially when I read nearly every analysis that comes out of the ANWR predictions...I'm not convinced that ANWR in particular will do much for our current oil we have another Badami on our hands? (that one is for industry people).

All that I'm asking is that everyone make a choice - is it worth it? Or not. And if it's not, try and find your limits. That's the exercise I went through, and lo and behold, that very exercise led me to this point.

Thanks everyone,

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Old 01-14-2005   #10
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in a van down by the river, Arizona
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Wildlife Refuge - not oil exploration/drilling cites

There is no way to estimate the costs of changing a wild place into an oil pumping station.
The once completely pristine coastal plains of Northern Alaska have been under attack from the oil industry for over 50 years.
The proposal to drill for oil in ANWAR represents 10 years of effort for less than one year of North American energy output.
When congress relented in the 1950s, 20 million acres were designated for oil drilling and exploration on Alaska's North Slope. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge got less than half that number of acres for the designation and protection of it unique wilderness character. What does the North Slope have to show for it? They have diesel polluted lands, water contamination, contaminated garbage, scrap metal piles, slag ponds and lots of back oil laying in surface pools that should be in the ground. Not exactly "low impact".
I think its great that the oil industry guys have really stepped up in the MtnBuzz forum, after all, who else would try to tell us that oil driling has so little impact? But what do you guys know about wildlife habitat fragmentation effects upon breeding herds of Muskoxen or Caribou? What do you know of Gale Norton ignoring sound science to push the oil agenda? You guys see the act of taking public lands that are DESIGNATED as wildlife refuge and turning them into multinational corporation profit centers as "not that bad". Gimme a freakin break! Its bad alright! Its so bad, its criminal the profits that are being made after sticking it to the public lands.
If you take the time to learn about the plant and animal biology of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, you develop respect for Caribou breeding herd sensitivity, you begin to understand the threats that have been brought upon the Muskoxen, you see the real fragile nature of the Arctic Serengeti.
We have seen the hundreds of millions of dollars that the oil pipeline takes to run. We have seen the spills, the poisoning of the watersheds, the dumping of sludge, the accidents, the earthquakes and for what?! For a FINITE supply of dead dinosaurs at the price of our public lands and the future of many species in decline.
Now that Gale Norton has fired all the USGS guys whom would report the truth on Caribou breeding in 1002 Area does not mean that the gubment has got it right now.
For 10 years of efforts to put in pipelines, oil sludge pits, drill holes, roads, platforms and lots of human and industrial waste to FOREVER alter a WILDLIFE REFUGE, and to then pull out a MAXIMUM one years worth of US energy demands... IT AINT WORTH IT.
The REAL focus needs to be toward the future of the world energy supply. What are we going to do when the dinosaur bones run out? The time is coming soon when we will need real leadership that actually puts money and real research into alternative fuel cells and renewable energy sources.
Doesn't it seem backwards that we are trying to defend an area already designated as a WILDLIFE REFUGE?!!
HANDS OFF the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! No slippery slope, no arguement. No more oil industry reps yakking about how little of an effect it will be to RUIN our public lands for corporate profit. Take off!
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