Focus Point - Real Energy ReformCommentary by Pete du Pont
November 30, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. One thing we've learned since September 11 is how precarious our energy supplies from the Middle East could be. One would hope that faced with that realization, congressional doubters, and naysayers would do the right thing and ok oil exploration of the tiny percentage of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.
How tiny? Try 12,000 of the refuge's 19 million acres. And how much oil? The lowball estimate is a little under 6 billion barrels of oil. The high end is 16 million. If the average estimate is right, we could replace all Persian Gulf oil imports for ten years.
So why the opposition? I think it's the name. "Wildlife Refuge" has this nice ring, when in fact the area in question is a desolate wasteland. Think I'm kidding? Check out a National Review article from a few months ago. It was called "Ugh, Wilderness." The no-drillers want it left alone on principle, as if the world will be a better place if a postage stamp-sized piece of frozen Alaskan tundra is left "pristine." Like a country without energy that's ground to a halt.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm pete du pont. Next time, misery, du Pont style.