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Oil from ANWR shot down again

Gas pump prices are causing us to gasp. We’re laying out 33 percent more at the supermarket checkout. The rising cost of everything petroleum-based is sucking the life out of our discretionary income. Our economy is seriously stumbling. So, it’s time for Congress to take action! And last week it did . . . it screwed up as usual!

Once again the House Natural Resources Committee, specifically the Democrats on the Committee, demonstrated their affinity for kissing the butts of extreme environmentalists. Apparently, these Dems prefer to watch us all struggle rather than adopt a reasonable program to develop our largest untapped oil field under the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

There are more than 10 billion barrels of oil under ANWR in Alaska’s coastal arctic region. ANWR is huge, covering 19 million acres. Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) proposed an amendment that would have allowed for oil exploration in just a minuscule 2,000-acre section of ANWR. Check it out: that’s only 2000 acres out of 19.6 million!

What’s more, with today’s advanced, environmentally safe drilling technology, massive amounts of this crude could be extracted from such a tiny area of access. So, who in his right mind could object to that, especially in light of our current energy dilemma? Answer: the Democrats in Congress!  For the record, every Democrat in attendance voted against ANWR oil production except for Rep. Solomon Ortiz of Texas. Conversely, every Republican in attendance voted for the amendment. It lost 12-18, however.

Democratic opposition to drilling in ANWR goes back to ’95 when President Bill Clinton vetoed a bill that allowed for oil production in ANWR.  If Clinton hadn’t vetoed that bill, ANWR would now be supplying us with more than one million barrels of oil per day. Moreover, it’s estimated ANWR could supply that amount for nearly 30 years!

I remember when the Democrats took control of Congress in January, 2007. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, promised the new Democrat majority would fix the rising gas prices. Now to be fair, she didn’t exactly say when they’d do that – so we’re still waiting. And, she said that gas prices have increased more than $1.25/gallon. 

How depressing it is to witness partisan party politics deny us needed access to our nation’s largest untapped oil field. It makes me think there could be some real wisdom in the title of Ann Coulter’s book: “If Democrats had Any Brains, They’d be Republicans.”



26 comments on “Oil from ANWR shot down again

  1. Chuck Burns

    Suppose the only oil available was right under your boat slip – what would your position be then – and don’t tell us that today’s “advanced…technology” is foolproof – look at the results from Exxon Valdez and you will see why the caution.

    I vote with the Dems for standing up for what is right for the future of the whole world, and not caving in to “instant gratification” .

  2. Larry Tague

    I have to think you are right on the money with your trhoughts about Alaska, BUT the problem goes a lot deeper, For years our congress has allowed the oil companies to buy up each other producing a very SMALL group that owns most or all the refineries & oil companies in the USA. NO COMPETITION !!! They have also not built a refinery in over 30 years, more over all they have done was close most of the ones they had.
    I FIGURE THERE IS ENOUGH BLAME TO GO AROUND ON THIS ISSUE, But It is Clearly a issue that Washington does not want to tackle !!!!! I don’t think anyone in DC has the guts to stand up to anyone without some MONEY under the table.

  3. Tim

    The political correctness of all our politicans….Rep and Dem makes me sick. I nor anybody I know wants us to make our planet a polluted mess. I have to vote for McCain, but if he keeps saying things like “drilling in AWNR would be like drilling in the grand canyon” is he will lose because long time republicans like me are totally disgusted with all of them. Boy does Bill Clinton look like an even bigger idiot now! That veto is costing us all…big time. Where is the disconnect between the “common good and common sense” when it comes to our politicans! I believe in term limits. Get these long timer’s out of here. Power makes them drunk and stupid! Norm your right on!

  4. Wade N. D'Waters

    They won’t allow drilling in the Gulf of Mexico either but not to worry The Cuban government has contracted with Chinese exploration & drilling firms to drill within 50 miles of the Florida Keys. We are our worst enemies. But that aside the average price in Canada is $4.62 US per gallon. In Europe it is much much more even after you do the currency conversion. The rest of the world continues to look at us as the spoiled winny kid on the block who still are pay less than most other countries for energy & food.
    With all the green crap going around I’m suprised an outbourd motor manufacturer hasn’t lead a campaign to put a bounty on trading in those old 2 stroke carb motors in on the new efficent & reliable power that todays motors are bring to market.
    As far as the Democrats go. I’m feeling like the Jimmy Carter years are just around the corner- lets hope not.

  5. Mike Piasecki

    Just by virtue of the fact that there are no other posts, we can see where the problem is. We are all so lethargic and complacent about the general state of the leadership (or lack of) for this once great nation, that we will all continue to just take it on the chin until it’s too late!

    Maybe not, we DO still have at least one last chance to get these liberal bums out of office next election day. But in order to do that we need a LEADER, someone to take the reins and get this horse going again. It sure isn’t O’Bama, or Hillary. It doesn’t seem like McCain’s got it in him either.

    Hopefully we’ve got a pleasent suprise coming by way of McCain’s running mate. Whoever it is, they are our only last chance.

  6. David Roberts

    Gas prices, which will continue to rise, have nothing to do with ANWAR and everything to do with the war in Iraq, the threatened attack on Iran, and the Bush Administration’s contempt for the American people and their need for alternatives to fossil fuels.

    Interestingly, Iraq’s current oil production remains 900,000 BBL/day below prewar levels.
    There it is, as we used to say in Nam.

    It’s called Peak Oil. Supply and demand. Oil production is dropping throughout the world, and demand is still rising. ANWAR won’t make a dent in it.

    However, this is an opportunity, not a disaster. Time to turn to alternative fuels, to sail, and to new low-HP designs. Electric boats work particularly well. A survey of my clients tell me that they will continue to purchase boats and go boating at gas prices up to $10/gallon.

  7. Jac

    I’m glad to see you at least acknowledge there is a controversy here. The link above will take the interested individual to an MSNBC report from the Associated Press that discusses the ANWR situation.
    So when I save pennies in 2020-something on fuel because we drilled in ANWR, well, I would wonder why we bothered drilling. A lot of oil or a little to drill for, its ‘when’ we will begin to see the savings your article touts that should be considered. Each person will have to decide for themselves where they want to be on this issue.

  8. Jac

    I’m sorry, one more thing. I realize that there is a considerable amount of politics in our business but is a marine trade e-zine the place to reference Ann Coulter? Ann Coulter!?

  9. Jeff Grigg

    I can’t believe you actually believe what you wrote. There is no oil crisis, there is no shortage of oil, never was and won’t be for the foreseeable future. The problem plain and simple is the institutional speculation in oil. Hugo Chaves, the despot of Venezuela even went on record over a year ago stating he would do everything to push oil to over $100 a barrel. The Saudi’s said oil at $28 a barrel was fine with them.
    Every time there is a hurricane, a refinery partially shuts down, or a tanker truck crashes the oil speculators jump the price, even when the vast majority of “reasons” are only perceived problems, never happen.
    Refineries are running under capacity, why do you think that is? Funny how the refiners cry there hasn’t been any new refineries but fail to point out the tremendous increase in output by revamping the old refineries!
    American produced oil is at the $127 mark, why do you think that is? It has nothing to do with ANWR.
    Again there is no shortage of oil, just speculators pushing the values up, and making a killing at it. Until they are reigned in, the price will not fall.

  10. William Simon

    Norm needs to make the giant popping sound — and get the name of the area proposed for exploration correct. We’re not talking about proven reserves here, just “probabilities”. Drilling ANWR would have very little effect on the pump price of gas because it is mainly driven by commodity speculation, not ex-oil-field prices. In fact, the bulk of the oil already pumped from the North Slope goes to Asia, not to domestic refineries.

    Instead, I’d suggest the industry needs to realize that “go-fast” boats are dinosaurs, and get on with inventing the (energy efficient) marine recreational products of tomorrow.

  11. Carl T. Huffman

    This is exactly why I will never vote for any Democrat for any office. They speak with forked tongue. When running for office, all they can do is speak evil against any Republican in office, yet when they do get in office, they do nothing for the American public.

    Unfortunately, the American public does not seem to be smart enough to vote out these crooks in Washington and continue to vote in more each election.

    Also, it is the Congress and Senate that make all the decisions. Not the President. Yet, since the Democrats took back both houses in 2006, nothing has changed for the better and they are still blaming President Bush for all that goes wrong.

    My question is when will those in Washington, regardless of party, start voting for bills to benefit the American public?

  12. mike webster

    Too much dedicated in this piece ranting and raving about a political party and not enough about the drilling impacts.Extraction activity on land often proves too disruptive. Our indusrty is really about recreation-we are joined at the hip with recreational interests….and ultimately the federation of main stream conservation interests.Hey- there is recent drilling activity in Wyoming, with a ‘tiny’ foot print on the landscape and plenty of antelope but the popularity of the antelope hunts in the affected areas has declined. Look at how our our fellow recreationists are dealing with impacts to Colorado’s Roan Plateau- all done under the guise of ‘reasonable,light foot print”.
    I believe we will see increased ocean bottom extraction-particularly,as in Florida’s case, the rigs are well offshore,out of sight to most.
    Norm, I suspect your on the ground awareness of our nation’s conservatist/environmental constituency is lacking.Be reasonable: see it my way!! LOL

  13. Anonymous Bob


    Partisan politics are practiced as heartily by Republicans as they are by Democrats. And, to even refer to Ann Coulter as any source of credible information is truly a slight on your typically “normal” posts.

    Do not forget that we have a petroleum lovin’ President and Vice-President in office who’ve gotten us into much more trouble than the lack of drilling in the ANWR. The W administration has dug such a deep financial hole for this country that the next 3 generations of our kids will still be paying for his foray into Iraq – all to control oil supplies in that area. Sure, Dubya said Saddam was responsible for 9/11, but reports have proven that to be wrong. The true mastermind behind 9/11 is Bin Laden, yet he still is holed up somewhere in Afghanistan. Didn’t Dubya’s daddy fall in love with Bin Laden and supply him with all kinds of weapons to fight against Saddam? Must be the reason Bin Laden is still alive…

    Discretionary income has disappeared from a lot of pocketbooks because of the happy-go-lucky, greedy financial markets that had no qualms with giving all kinds of subprime loans to people who had no right buying $500k houses on a $35k salary. Did Dubya have the gumption to attempt oversight of those markets?! Not at all because his buddies were reaping tons of $$ for their bloated bank accounts. So, speculators drove up housing prices, which allowed city and county governments to jack up taxes. When taxes triple and incomes don’t, guess where the discretionary income goes?

    Don’t blame all this on the Democrats because all members of Congress and especially the Prez and VP don’t really care about us constituents. They like our lobbyists, but they really couldn’t care less about us. If we have gobs of $$ to donate, they’ll talk to us. Otherwise, we’re merely bumps in the road.

    Let’s talk about ethanol instead of oil. W pushed for ethanol production as the be-all, end-all substitute for oil dependency. Now, all of our grocery prices have risen drastically because the farmers have jumped on the ethanol subsidy gravy train and have quit growing other foods. And, now that the corn is destined for ethanol production, grain prices have risen tremendously. Have you forgotten what ethanol does to a boat’s fuel system?? Have you also forgotten how inefficient ethanol is to produce and how inefficient it is in use?

    Anyway, Norm, you’ve done quite a disservice to readers of your blog by stooping to partisan politics. If I wanted more crap to read, I would pick up the local paper. I will now read your posts with great suspicion as to your true motive. I used to think you had the industry’s best interests at heart with your thoughts, but I see you’ve digressed to personal agendas. This post would have best been served by hitting the “delete” key instead of “send”. Oh well…

    Anonymous Bob

  14. Allen

    News Item – WASHINGTON – Opening an Alaska wildlife refuge to oil development would only slightly reduce America’s dependence on imports and would lower oil prices by less than 50 cents a barrel, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Energy Department. The report, issued by the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, said that if Congress gave the go-ahead to pump oil from Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the crude could begin flowing by 2013 and reach a peak of 876,000 barrels a day by 2025.

    Curse the Democrats and quote Ann Coulter!!?? I must assume you are a supporter of our current President, he tends to ignore facts that do not favor his opinions quite regularly.

  15. P. Owed

    You are very quick to blame a specific party for the oil drilling dilema in Alaska. You must have forgotten that the Republicans were in control until 18 months ago. Why didn’t they approve it then. What makes you think that if we started drilling tomorrow that oil would be availabe the next day? That is really an ignorant statement. I’ve been in this business longer than you and I am not retired sitting on my pompous ass blaming the other guy for what their predecessor did or didn’t do. That’s what is wrong with this whole society, no one wants to stand up and admit they made a mistake.
    I haven’t belonged to any of our marine related associations because, with people like you, it’s way too political.
    Lastly, you are supposed to be writing about the marine industry and not forcing your political opinion on the readers of Trade Only. And to referance that radical nut case Ann Coulter shows that your head is someplace other than on your shoulders.

  16. Doug Reimel

    Would it be absolutly refreshing to see or hear a politician take a stand on any issue and become a leader.Yes LEADERSHIP, which is the key to solving any issue. I believe we need to develope alternative energy sources as fast as technology will allow this to happen. Until then I would like the President to declare as a National Security Measure the mandated drilling in the Anwar Pennisula. The mere threat of drilling will cause the price of a barrell of crude oil to drop. As the President said before. We should take a closed military base or one we are going to close and build another refinery on that property with national security in mind and fast track the red tape for building on government land that is already technically contaminated. After all on ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover every Sunday Night the network can tear down an existing Home and totally rebuild one in a WEEK. This should be timed to be anounced when it cannot help nor hurt either presidential candidates chances of being elected nor hurt either candidates electability. I for one love nature and selling boats is a great way to enjoy nature. We as a nation have made great strides in clean technology engines that are good for all. That proof is in the engine brochures we all sell everyday. yet some eliteist won’t be happy until nature is preserved so well that we can only view it on Television and Video Games so we don’t hurt the animals that God has entrusted us to take care of and manage for ou well being. Recreation should be with in reach of all Americans not just the elite. After all I am an American. I have the right to pursue what makes me happy. I for one prefere my LEADERS to LEAD by EXAMPLE, not do as they think I should. Please were is the Leadership. A scarecrow is a scarecrow and yet the scarecrow will stay in the fields and relentlessly doing what the scarecrow does best.

  17. Jim

    So there you have it after 17 or so comments. Most of our industry leans left while making their livings as capitalists. Elitists run our country, and, so it seems, our industry. The problem is greed, pure and simple; and you are all guilty to some degree. Until the entire populace of the world gets over its greed, there will be no solution. There is plenty of oil. There is plenty of gasoline and diesel.
    There is plenty of gold, platinum, aluminum, etc., ad infinitum. Greed, paint it any way you will; it is greed. Record profits to the gasoline industry speaks for itself. Our gov’t regulates electricity, nuclear energy, coal production, not to mention our very souls—it’s time the oil and gas companies had a taste as well. Oil is the blood by which our country functions, and if it is not affordable, we perish as a country. Re-read the rise and fall of the Roman Empire–we are almost there. Doom and gloom you say? Agreed, but doom and gloom it is unless we rid ourselves of the same greed that caused us to leave our home in England years ago. The question becomes, what are we as a nation prepared to do about it?

  18. mike webster

    The theme that has emerged in the majority of these posts is refreshing.We don’t lean “left”- we stand upright in favor of the resource and true conservatism.



  20. dave boso

    his was part of a bill that put the polar bear on the protected list. ” I would drill though the head of a polar bear to get oil”

  21. Ed Donlin

    The lack of foresight by the last several administrations is mind boggling but the greed of the current administrations freinds has allowed the oil and gas industry the highest profits while STILL receiving subsidies. We haven’t shown one bit of back bone to the world oil producers or the speculators whose only cry is ‘make it go up and up and up!’ We can’t fix boating until we fix the automobile. First step is the 55 mph speed limit, second lowering the weight of all vehicles by 1/3 thru composites, 3rd is plug in hybrids and the rest is smarter use of renewable energy NOT from corn ethanol! Go to and read the ways to win the oil end game and make money! But what politician has adopted these off-the-shelf solutions, not Dems or Repubs?

  22. James Sireci

    Norm, stick this one in your pipe!

    Kennedy on His Feet After Surgery

    One day after undergoing surgery for a malignant brain tumor, Senator Edward M. Kennedy is up and walking the hallways of his hospital while spending time with his family, his aides said in a statement.

    Mr. Kennedy, 76, underwent surgery on Monday at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. He had a chunk of brain the size of a grapefruit removed in the procedure. It was announced in a press conference today that Senator Kennedy now supports new Arctic oil exploration, elimination of the minimum wage and social security, removal of all gun control laws, extension of tax cuts for the rich while rejecting the theories of global warming, evolution and affirmative action. He also announced that he will join the Republican party. Just proves that if you remove enough gray matter you end up with GOP ideals.


  23. Gene Barbour

    Sounds Like you all are onto it in many ways. Many good points and as Americans keeping the debate alive is so important. Out of all this will be answers because of who we are and the freedom top debate this and other issues we enjoy.

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