• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: More Than ANWR

    Skyrocketing gas prices are rapidly changing Americans’ priorities. Voters routinely identify energy costs as either the second or third most important issue. Considering that any economist will tell you that high energy prices are a major cause of recent economic sluggishness, and that the economy has been the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds for some time, the cost of energy has quickly become a defining issue for the nation.

    High energy costs were a big reason why liberal efforts to institute a carbon tax failed earlier this month in the Senate. Now emboldened conservatives are moving to further help American consumers by pushing for the lifting of government bans on energy development. In April 2007 only 41% of Americans favored drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Today, 57% of Americans favor drilling in coastal and wilderness areas currently off limits.

    The typical liberal response to calls for more domestic oil production is that drilling will not help lower prices signifcantly. For example, Speaker Nancy Pelosi says, “Even by their own standards, drilling in ANWR by the year 2030 would save 1 penny off the price per gallon.” While the estimated 10 to 13 billion barrels of oil currently off limits in ANWR may not drive down the price of oil by itself, liberals are vastly underselling the potential domestic energy possibilities currently off limits thanks to federal bans. Just last week liberals in Congress rejected a proposal to allow drilling for oil 50 miles of the U.S. coast. The U.S. Minerals Management Service estimates that 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas can be found along the U.S. outer continental shelf.

    And there is also plenty of energy currently banned from production onshore, too. The Department of Interior estimates onshore energy in the West and Alaska contains 31 billion carrels of oil and 231 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That 31 billion barrels of oil represents U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia for 50 years and the 231 trillion cubc feet of natural gas is enoug to supply all of America’s households for 46 years.

    Then there is the granddaddy of them all: the oil shale in Green River Formation, which goes through Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. According to a RAND Corp. study, there are 1.5 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels worth of oil shale in the Green River Formation. That is more than triple the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. At $95 a barrel, it was not economically viable to develop these resources, but at $130 it definitely is. Furthermore, Shell Oil scientists have already conducted small-scale field tests that if replicated on a large scale would make developing the oil shale profitable at $20 a barrel. Are liberals in Congress anxious to see this oil help American consumers? No. Just last week they voted to extend their ban on oil shale development.

    The other liberal objection to increased domestic energy production is that the additional supplies will not affect prices for a decade. We will let Jay Leno respond: “Democrats said it would not do any good because it would not produce oil for 10 years. You know, same thing they said 10 years ago.”

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Morning Bell: More Than ANWR

    1. Edgarjjohn, Cincinna says:

      Please ask President Bush to show some leadership and enact the "Executive Order" to allow oil drillers to start exploring for oil in multiple known US reserves immediately. He has the power and the right to do this.

      Yes, it may create some legal debate, but we need leadership in Washington…and President Bush can go down in history as a "proactive" leader, as opposed to a "passive" observer of a failed Congress.

      This "Executive Order" will show leadership in Washington, and supersede Congress, which has voted against the last 10 bills before them to allow for exploration and refining of our US oil supply for the US market.

      Fact: During WWII we supplied about 60% of our needs from US oil fields, and another 25% from our Allies….and this was a key strategic reason why we won the war….however, today we source only about 7% of our needs… and we are exposed to severe economic crisis, if we encounter an oil embargo, or worse yet, any major political unrest in the Middle East.

      If President Bush would show leadership and enact the "Executive Order", we would see many speculators and hedge funds dumping their future's positions… in fear of the news of significant needed supply coming to the market from US oil fields.

      We have a crisis in the US… of huge economic and security dimensions…and we can not survive the next 10 years with our oil fields drying up and to soon to only supplying less than 5% of our own needs.

      Wake UP! This is economic war!

      President Bush could significantly improve his legacy by showing unprecedented Leadership in a time when all Americans are suffering….and he has no repercussions to worry about since he will be out of office soon. The next President will thank him immensely, if he changes the equilibrium point of supply and demand, and thus cause fear in the pocketbooks of all speculators.

      Ask everyone to send emails and make phone calls today asking for an "Executive Order" to trump Congress and their inability to solve a serious problem.

    2. James, UK says:

      Is President Bush so blind to see that the world doesn't want more oil, it NEEDS more oil to survive. Right now oil prices are crushing Europes economy because we get most of our oil from the middle east also, the problem is the USA takes most of the oil because you, the USA needs it and I fully understand that. But this means Europe is paying $10 a gallon for fuel, that is insane when there is near enough 2 trillion barrels of oil under the USA! Therefore I believe it is time to drill in Colorado and get that oil if the worlds economy has any hope in recovering anytime soon.

    3. Robert, Louisiana says:

      Republicans in congress need to make this issue theirs. Pelosi did in 2006 and what has her leadership done? NOTHING, their answer is always tax the evil oil companies for making their shareholders rich. Well I am a shareholder, through my company's 401K, in Exxon Mobile, Chevron, and Conoco Phillips and I certainly have not gotten rich. Between my wife and I we made just over 60K last year, not exactly "fat cat oil company stockholders" income, I think! If everybody that has a 401K through their company took the time to check they would see that they too are a "Fat Cat shareholder in these evil Oil companies" Sure glad they didn't pass that "windfall profits tax", that would've really hit me where it hurts! Government should have that windfall profit tax on themselves for the 15% they take from oil company profits. I will be writing my representatives to urge one of them to step up and lead the way to drilling here, and drilling now!!!

    4. Dan, Platteville CO says:

      http://WWW.AMERICANSOLUTIONS.COM

      "The other liberal objection to increased domestic energy production is that the additional supplies will not affect prices for a decade. We will let Jay Leno respond: “Democrats said it would not do any good because it would not produce oil for 10 years. You know, same thing they said 10 years ago.”

      Offshore drilling can start producing in less than 3 years from what I have heard.

      If you having already done so, sign the petition to start drilling now.

      DRILL HERE. DRILL NOW. PAY LESS. SIGN THE PETITION!

      http://WWW.AMERICANSOLUTIONS.COM

    5. Fred Atlanta says:

      We must drill in that new oil field in N.D. in AK TX and every other oil bearing area in the U.S. as well as offshore not to mention all the shale oil deposits. Its ludicrous to sit on this vast oil wealth and do nothing simply because a bunch of wackos say we can t disturb the enviroment. Go to http://www.american solutions.com to sign the petition to drill here drill now enough signitures will get their attention

    6. Darrell Mc Neill says:

      EdgarJJohn,Cincinnati?

      Bush could send out an Executive Order, however that would allow the next President to send out Executive Orders to stop drilling in other areas. Anyway, it's up to Congress to do the work and not to push it off on the President. It's Congress's fault for the whole problem. You and I and the rest of Americans need to start emailing, calling, and letter writting to the Congress to get off their duffs and change the law and allow drilling now!!!!! And I have email my Senator, of whom I wouldn't want to say his name, (Carl Levin). Darrell :)

    7. leequinn, los angele says:

      Both of the presidential candidates are against drilling in ANWR.

      Check out what they say about it:

      http://www.2008electionprocon.org/energynationalp

    8. Brook, Nashville says:

      I'm starting to wonder what has happened to my country! Politicians living completely outside the boundaries of reality are in control of my life, and I have had enough. I want the Pelosi's, the Reed's (who claims we are "giving the Earth a fever") out of my Congress. I want them banished to the rubber room they deserve.

    9. Pingback: $140 Oil going to $170 - Page 3 - Smart Car of America Forums

    10. Pingback: Morning Bell: Holding the Left Accountable on Energy Prices | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×