Monday, August 07, 2006

Alaska Oil Shutdown Proves US Vulnerable

Nothing threatens the security and economic stability of the United States more than our dependence on oil. It has been estimated that if our access to oil was reduced by 20% we would experience economic collapse.

When the Alaska oil pipeline was closed down yesterday because of leakage cause by corrosion, we lost 8% of our oil supply in an instant.

We currently depend on foreign oil for 70% of our daily supply. (You can find statistical support here).

It seems that this vulnerability should force us to take another look at the prosepects of drilling for oil in ANWAR.

It is estimated that a median estimate of oil available from ANWAR would decrease our dependence on foreign oil by 4% and increase our domestic oil production by 12%.

This increase would take place at about the same time our current flow of North Slope Alaskan oil begins to decrease to the level where it may become economically unfeasable to continue the maintainance and use of the Alaskan pipeline at all.

Personally, I am one who believes that the environmental impact will be small and more than offset by the economic safety-net that would be strengthened by the additional domestic source of oil that would be opened up to development.

If you have not yet gotten to the hand-wringing "woe is me" feeling over our fragile economic situation re oil then perhaps you should read some of the articles already written today.

The following were cut and pasted from the Drudge Report this afternoon.

BP: Pipeline Closing May Last for Months...
BP Shuts Down Largest U.S. Oil Field...
Energy Dept. Ready to Tap Emergency Supplies...

Note: By the way, I am not surprised that the Democrats in Congress want to investigate this breakdown. It means that an issue that they thought they had killed and buried last year will be raising its head once again at a critical moment threatening stability in the Middle East and just before national elections! Ouch!

It should be clear, however, that the national interest should ALWAYS take precedence over the interests of any one political party. I can only hope that the Democrats and Republicans can reconcile their differences on the need for a coherent and realistic energy policy.

ANWAR oil, if developed, must only be viewed as "buying time." Nuclear and other alternative sources for energy must be developed according to a planned long-term schedule much as we planned out the manned landing on the moon back in the 1960s.

We have the technology.

We have the resources.

Do we have the will?

It will, one day soon, be a matter of economic life or death to find that will.

Do not support any politician that does not take this matter seriously!