Alaska, Oil, and Energy (Powerpoint file)

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Alaska, Oil, and
Energy
April 2005
Ned Hettinger
1
An Energy Crisis?
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The Bush Administration’s Energy
Strategy Report stated: "America in the
year 2001 faces the most serious energy
shortage since the oil embargoes of the
1970's.”
Gas prices today (April 05) at $2.50
American imports over half of its oil
Drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge is supposed to be an
important part of nation’s response to
this crisis
2
Questions explored
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Is opening up the Arctic Refuge a step in
the right direction for U.S. energy policy,
for the State of Alaska, and for the
human and nonhuman communities
involved?
What do Alaskans think about drilling
and why?
Can there be environmentally-friendly
drilling for oil in the Refuge?
Are there better alternatives?
3
Alaska is by far the
largest state
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About 1/5 size of entire U.S.
375 million acres
4
Alaska’s Wild Beauty

Alaska’s size, remoteness,
mountains, glaciers, and wildlife
make it our country’s wilderness
treasure
6
Denali
7
8
Portage Glacier
9
Crow Pass and Raven
Glacier
10
History of Alaskan land
and oil policy
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Alaska statehood in 1958
State received right to select 104
million acres
State’s rights were contingent on
settling Natives’ land claims
AK Natives claimed virtually all of
AK’s 375 million acres as their own
11
Oil Discovery Led to
Native Settlement
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1968 oil discovered at Prudhoe
Bay
State wanted to build an 800 mile
pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to
Valdez, bisecting the state
Native Alaskans’ land claims made
it impossible to get the needed
rights of way
12
Pict of AK
13
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Alaska Native Claims
Settlement Act of
1970
Natives got 44 million
acres (12%) of AK
Included in ANCSA
was a provision to
withdraw 80 million
acres for
conservation lands
14
Battle Over AK Pipeline
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800 mile pipeline bisecting America’s last
great wilderness wasn’t going to get
build easily
Three env. groups (FOE, EDF, WS) and
5 Native Alaska villages sued
In 1973, Congress resolved the suit by
passing AK pipeline authorization act
Senate vote was 49 to 49, Nixon’s V.P.
Spiro Agnew casting the tie breaking
vote
15
Pipeline through AK
range
16
Battle Over Alaska
Conservation Lands
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How much of Alaska would be set aside
in conservation areas?
ANSCA deal was 80 million acres
Mo Udall (Pres. Carter’s Sec. of Interior)
wanted 123 million acres with 60 million
in wilderness
AK Senator Stevens wanted 60 million
acres with 12 million wilderness
Stalemate until Pres. Carter used
Antiquities Act to set aside 154 million
acres in National Monuments
AK went berserk
17
1980 Compromise
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Passage of the Alaska National Interests
Lands Conservation Act
President Carter signed just as he left
office.
104 million acres of new conservation
land in AK with 50 million of that
wilderness
This was a doubling of the total
wilderness acreage in the U.S.
Carter has said this was the most
important conservation legislation of 20th
century
18
1989 Exxon Valdez Oil
Spill
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11 million gallons
53rd biggest “spill”
11,000 miles of coastline oiled (470
direct miles; SC to DC)
Devastated Prince William Sound’s
wildlife and human communities
Destroyed subsistence way of life of
local people?
Huge wildlife losses (75% sea otters
killed; loons still not recovered)
20% of crude oil still was there 12 years
later
19
Animals affected by
Exxon Valdez Spill
20
22,000 carcasses of
common murres found
21
13,000 marbled
murrelets killed
22
Valdez Terminal
23
Kenai oil tanker in
Valdez
24
Columbia glacier
icebergs
25
Bligh Reef
26
Pipeline Club
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Will it happen again?
27
Tanker tied to tug
28
History of Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge
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Pres. Eisenhower—in response to a
campaign of Muries and Supreme Court
Justice William O Douglas set aside
Refuge in 1960
19.8 million acres in north east AK,
bordering Canada (slightly larger SC)
17.5 permanently off limits to
development (wilderness)
1.5 million acre coastal plain (1002 area)
Congress can open for oil/gas
development
29
Special Place?
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Defenders unique
geography makes it a
wildlife/wildland
treasure
Brooks Range
swings to within 40
miles of coast, range
of arctic ecosystems
in a small area
Interior Sec. Gale
Norton has called it a
flat white nothingness
“A Godforsaken
mosquito-infested
swamp shrouded in
frozen darkness ½
year”
30
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service says
"The Arctic Refuge is among the
most complete, pristine, and
undisturbed ecosystems on earth.
Here coastal lagoons, barrier
islands, arctic tundra, foothills,
mountains, and boreal forests
provide a combination of habitats,
climate, and geography unmatched
by any other northern conservation
area“
"This unique compression of
habitats concentrates the
occurrence of a wide variety of
wildlife and fish species.... In
fact, according to FWS, the
Arctic Refuge coastal plain
contains the greatest wildlife
diversity of any protected
area above the Arctic Circle."
Species in Refuge
• “The area's large mammals also include
grizzly bears, polar bears, Dall sheep,
wolves, moose, and a herd of rare
muskoxen. 135 species of birds are
known to use the 1002 area, including
large flocks of snow geese which feed on
the area's nutritious vegetation in the fall
in preparation for their long flight to their
wintering grounds in the Central Valley of
California. Other animal species of the
area include shorebirds, loons, songbirds,
and raptors, as well as fish such as the
Arctic char and Arctic grayling.
33
Caribou in Denali
34
Arguments against
ANWR drilling
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95% of Alaska’s Arctic Coastal
plain is already open to oil drilling
Prudhoe Bay’s poor env. record:
400 oil spills a year since 1996
Large amounts of air pollution
 Only one EPA worker on North
Slope

35
How much oil in ANWR?
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USGS 1998: 3.2 to 6.3 billion
barrels (7-13 month U.S. supply)
Proponents say 10-16 billion
barrels (2-3 year supply)
USGS says 5% chance of 16
billion
36
Conservation/Efficiency
Alternative
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Enhancing energy efficiency in
buildings and industry could easily
save us as much oil
37
V.P. Dick Cheney
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“Conservation may be a sign of
personal virtue, but it is not a
sufficient basis for a sound,
comprehensive energy policy.”
38
Cheney on Conservation
(continued)
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To think that “we could simply
conserve or ration our way out” of the
energy crisis is 1970's era thinking.
Supports energy efficiency only when
it does not reduce living standards or
negatively impact U.S. industry.
Opposes any energy conservation
measures based on the idea that
Americans now “live too well” or that
people should “do more with less.”
39
Fuel
Economy
Standards
(CAFÉ)
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Adopted in 1975, average rose from 14
to 27mpg by mid 80s
No significance increases in CAFÉ since
Because of the popularity of SUVs (only
required to average 20.7 mpg vs 27.5 for
cars), in 2002 average U.S. fuel
economy fell to its lowest level since
1980
China has proposed more stringent rules
Raising CAFÉ from 27 to 40 mpg would
save a billion barrels a year
40
Can there be Env.
Friendly Drilling in
ANWR?
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New drilling technologies cast
doubt on the claim that ANWR will
be as devastated as Prudhoe Bay
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Not clear that the Prudhoe Bay
oilfields a disaster for wildlife
41
New Drilling Technology
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Small well pads with drills branching out
4-5 miles underground
2000 acres of total disturbance out of 1.5
million acres?
Drilling mud, contaminated water, spilled
oil, and discarded chemicals formerly put
in waste pits can be ground into a slurry
and pumped underground
Gravel roads (mined from river beds)
spread all over fragile tundra can now be
built from ice that melts in spring
The maze of oil collecting pipelines can
be raised for animals to duck under and
elevated elbows lessen effects of spills
42
Oil Pad
43
Ice Road
44
Caribou under pipeline
45
Bear on Pipeline
46
New Survey Techniques
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The success rate raised from 1
producing well for each 10
exploratory wells to 5 in 10.
Dynamite no longer used, but
vibrating 10-ton “thumper trucks”
crisscross tundra in an intensive
way leaving scars disrupting
wildlife
2000 acre figure doesn’t include
this
47
Thumper Truck
48
Damage from Thumper
Truck (in Utah)
49
1984 track from seismic
exploration
50
Same track in 1999 (15
years later)
51
Critics Aren’t Impressed
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“Once the work shifts from
exploration to extraction of oil, the
result is always a sprawl of
pipelines, roads, crew quarters,
and fuel depots: In the end, even
with all this technology, you’ve got
a massive industrial complex.”
Alaska’s Oil Addiction
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78% of state budget is funded by North
Slope oil revenue
Alaskans pay no state income or sales
taxes
Each Alaskan receives yearly check from
state oil revenues; Typically it is $1000 to
$2,000.
Oil from Prudhoe Bay is running out
(From 19 billion barrels to 6.4 now);
Pipeline flow down 50%.
No wonder 75% of Alaskans support
drilling in the arctic.
53
Natives’ perspective
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Inupiat Eskimos who live in ANWR next
to 1002 support it; 78% in Kaktovik
Own oil/gas rights in ANWR which can’t
be leased unless ANWR opened up
Do not live a subsistence lifestyle but are
part of the modern cash economy
One of the US’s wealthiest Native groups
Oppose offshore oil development fearing
it would harm bowhead whale hunt
important to their cultural identity
54
Inupiat Eskimos of
Kaktovic
55
Gwich’in Indians oppose
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Fear it will harm Porcupine Caribou herd
Don’t live in ANWR but hunt caribou that
migrate there.
Live (mostly) a subsistence lifestyle;
Caribou meat 80% of tribal diet
Ethic of hunters sharing caribou meat
essential to their culture
1002: “Sacred birthing ground of caribou
and ultimately of Gwich’in people”
56
Gwich’in
Indians
57
Effects on Porcupine
Caribou herd?
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150,000 animals migrate to coastal plain
in summer for foraging, protection from
predators and insect, and to calve
Canadian estimate: Drilling could cause
40% decline in birthrate
Central Artic herd near Prudhoe bay:
“Thriving” (oil industry) or “calving near
Prudhoe Bay nearly ceased”(Canadians)
Porcupine herd has no where to move
58
Caribou and Oil Rig
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One study: “Wildlife adapted well
to oil drilling.”
59
Tentative conclusions
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Should not risk cultural genocide
Even “environmentally-friendly” oil
development would ruin the Arctic
Refuge’s pristine character
60
Should not risk cultural
genocide
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Gwich’in spokesperson Faith Gemmil:
“Don’t’ sacrifice our way of life for short
term economic gain.”
Some impact on Porcupine Herd likely;
but probably not enough to undermine
the Gwich’in subsistence hunt and way
of life
But even a tiny chance of causing
cultural genocide should prevent drilling
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Especially given our the history of our
treatment of Natives Americans
61
Oil development would
ruin the Arctic Refuge’s
pristine nature
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A significant part of the value of this
place is that it is untouched by modern
human industrial desire
The pristine, virginal character of places
like the Arctic Refuge are necessarily
spoiled even by environmentally careful
petro development
Temporary McDonalds in Louvre?
Sexual assault while sedated?
62
Current politics of
ANWR (April 2005)
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On March 18, Senate voted 51-49 to include
revenue from drilling in the Refuge in the federal
budget
This means that opponents of drilling cannot use
a filibuster to block oil development in the Refuge
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A filibuster can only be broken by 60 votes,
something drilling proponents don’t have
Last year a federal budget was not passed, and
so drilling opponents have some hope this will
occur again
They also hope that the drilling provision will be
taken out of the budget in future votes
63
64
Alaska, Oil, and
Energy
Ned Hettinger
65
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