A Rebuttal to Environmentalists' Claims That "Arctic Drilling Revenue Predictions Are ‘Way Off’"

Guest post by David Middleton

Why would anyone care what “environmentalists” have to say about potential Arctic oil revenue?  I only care because their “reasoning” is both fun and easy to ridicule.

Environmentalists Say Arctic Drilling Revenue Predictions ‘Way Off’


Conservation advocates believe opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, America’s largest swath of wilderness, isn’t likely to be the boon to federal coffers that President Donald Trump expects.

Opening up the wilderness region is a perennial issue; bipartisan bills are introduced each Congress to definitively label the area as “wilderness” while industry groups seek to gain access to a section of land that had been designated for oil and gas exploration. Plans have existed since 1980 to use less than 3 percent of the more than 19 million acres of wilderness refuge for oil and gas exploration — but conservation groups argue even that amount is too much.

It is possible for the House Natural Resources Committee to meet likely revenue targets from the House budget resolution by following Trump’s budget proposal to open up the wildlife refuge for onshore oil and gas exploration, advocates from The Wilderness Society and the Alaska Wilderness League noted on a press call Monday. But the organizations say the federal government is likely to get much less than the Trump budget suggests.

The White House budget calculates opening up the region to oil and gas exploration should bring in a total $3.5 billion in revenue, half of which would be going to the federal government. But Cameron Witten, budget specialist for The Wilderness Society, called the president’s revenue assumptions “way off the mark” because Alaska’s state constitution designates that 90 percent of revenue from public land leasing will go to the state, reducing the federal intake to $350 million.


Morning Consult

Notes to “Cameron Witten, budget specialist for The Wilderness Society”:

  1. ANWR is Federal acreage.  While the Federal government does generally share minerals revenues with the States, the Alaska constitution isn’t the operative document here.  Alaska generally receives 50% of the revenue from Federal lands and waters within the State and its OCS.
  2. The lease bonus and rental income will only be a tiny fraction of the revenue from ANWR.  The vast majority of the revenue (>99%) will come from royalty payments (usually at least 1/8 of the gross revenue from oil & gas production) and income taxes.
  3. “Maybe next time do a little research”…

Possible Federal Revenue from Oil Development of ANWR and Nearby Areas

June 23, 2008

Salvatore Lazzari

Specialist in Energy and Environmental Economics  Resources, Science, and Industry


Federal revenues would consist primarily of corporate income taxes on profits earned by oil producers from the production and sale of ANWR oil. As landowner, the federal government would also collect royalties from such production on federal lands, which are included in the estimates. If producers were able to recover 10.3 billion barrels of oil over the life of the properties — the United States Geological Survey has estimated there is a 50-50 chance that the ANWR coastal plain contains at least this amount of oil — and if oil prices are $125/barrel, then the federal government might be able to collect $191 billion in revenues over the production period, estimated to be at least 30 years once production commences. This estimate consists of nearly $132 billion in federal corporate income taxes, and about nearly $59 billion in federal royalties.


Congressional Research Service 

While oil prices are unlikely to be in the $125/bbl range anytime soon, most companies are basing decisions on $50/bbl with a modest escalation over time.  If 10 billion barrels of oil were produced from ANWR and the Federal government retained a 1/8 royalty, they would make a schistload of money, just from the royalties:

  • $50/bbl * 10,000,000,000 bbl =  $500,000,000,000 (that’s $500 billion).
  • 1/8 * $500,000,000,000 = $62,500,000,000

Now, that $62.5 billion would be paid out over 20-30 years and about half of the revenue would be shared with the State of Alaska; but the opening of ANWR could easily generate at least $3.5 billion/year in total revenue to the Alaskan and Federal governments.  And it would do this for at least 20-30 years.  Within a few years of opening up ANWR Area 1002, it could be producing 1.45 million barrels of oil per day.

  • 1,450,000 bbl/d * $50 = $72,500,000/d
  • $72,500,000/d * 365 d/y =  $26,462,500,000/yr
  • 1/8 * $26,462,500,000/yr =  $3,307,812,500/yr

Opening up ANWR is a no-brainer from every possible angle.  It’s literally right next door to the giant Prudhoe Bay oil fields:

ANWR Area 1002 is a strip of barren coastal tundra right next door to the Prudhoe Bay complex. It would essentially be a “step-out” development. (Image from: US House Committee on Natural Resources)


Opening less than 3% of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska for responsible energy production could create thousands of jobs, generate billions in new revenue and help reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

Small Area = Big Energy Potential

  • The North Slope of ANWR, known as “Area 1002”, was specifically set aside by Congress and President Carter in 1980 for oil and natural development. This area is not designated as Wilderness.
  • A plan developing 500,000 acres—less than three percent of ANWR’s acreage—would provide access to the majority of ANWR’s resources.

Supplying America’s Families and Businesses with American Energy

  • According to U.S. Geological Survey estimates, the North Slope contains an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil.
    • This is more than the known oil reserves of entire countries that the U.S. currently imports oil from, including: Mexico, Angola, Azerbaijan, Norway, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Australia and New Zealand, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • At peak production, ANWR could supply up to 1.45 million barrels of oil per day.
    • This is more than the U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia every day.
    • Alternatively, 1.45 million barrels of oil per day is over one quarter of what the U.S. imports from OPEC countries each year.

Reducing the Debt, Generating New Federal Revenue

  • Developing ANWR’s resources could generate approximately $150 billion to $296 billion in new federal revenue – a substantial amount that would help pay down our Nation’s debt.
  • Total government revenue, including leases, royalties, and state local and federal taxes for the life of ANWR field production, could be as much as $440 billion.


US House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that a successful development of ANWR Area 1002 would generate a schistload of money for the Federal and Alaskan governments… Plus it would extend the life of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) for at least another 20-30 years.

Back to the environmentalists’ opinion about Arctic drilling:

Nevertheless, conservation advocates believe opening up the refuge is unlikely, as it has been a “widely unpopular policy on Capitol Hill” historically…

Bills to open up ANWR have generally been filibustered.  Congress did vote to open it up in 1995; President Clinton vetoed it.  Filibusters and vetoes are generally not required to block “widely unpopular policy on Capitol Hill”.

The environmentalists then resort to the “industry isn’t interested” canard…

Chevron, for one, dropped its plans to drill in Canadian waters in the Arctic Ocean in 2014, amid a steep fall in crude oil prices. During a Morning Consult interview with the company in April, a senior Chevron official appeared ambivalent about prospects for increased access to offshore drilling in the Arctic.

In a statement Monday, Chevron spokeswoman Brenda Cosola said the company supports “increased access to federal and private land for the responsible exploration and development of oil and natural gas resources, including the ANWR coastal plain.”

ConocoPhillips, Shell, ENI, Iona Energy, and other oil companies that have Arctic drilling experience did not respond to requests for comment.

Anyone else shocked that most oil companies “did not respond to requests for comment”?  The steep fall in crude oil prices certainly played a part in the decisions of Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips to shelve plans for drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.  However, regulatory malfeasance also played a major role:

Shell, in a statement, partly attributed its withdrawal to “the unpredictable federal regulatory environment” for offshore drilling, which the company said “made it difficult to operate efficiently.”


In October, the Interior Department canceled planned lease sales for parcels in the region, citing “low industry interest,” among other factors.


U.S. News

The funny thing is that most of these companies requested lease extensions so that they could possibly wait out the price crash and regulatory malfeasance.  These requests were denied and the Obama administration withdrew most of the Beaufort and all of the Chukchi OCS areas from leasing, due in part to “low industry interest.”

The “low industry interest” was on display in the first post-Obama lease sales…

‘Surprising’ Alaska oil-lease sale draws big bids

Alex DeMarban Published December 14, 2016

In the wake of two big oil discoveries in Alaska in the past year, exploration companies brushed aside concerns of low oil prices on Wednesday, bidding heavily in state and federal lease sales that were some of the largest in years.

Officials used words like “outstanding” and “surprising” as the bids were opened in state sales held in the Robert B. Atwood Building in downtown Anchorage early Wednesday morning. High bids totaled $17.8 million on tracts covering 633,000 acres on the North Slope and in the coastal Beaufort Sea.

Later in the day at the nearby federal building — where protesters held signs urging President Barack Obama to leave the oil in the ground — the Bureau of Land Management held what was the largest annual lease sale since 2004, when bids totaled $54 million.

Offering land in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the agency received 92 bids on 67 tracts, generating $18.8 million for 614,000 acres. The state receives half the revenue from the sale, or $9.4 million.

In its 2015 lease sale, BLM received just six bids worth $789,000.



Environmentalists’ opinions notwithstanding, Arctic drilling revenue predictions can only be “way off” if the industry is not allowed to exploit ANWR and the Alaska OCS.

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Tom Halla
June 20, 2017 2:06 pm

The green blob wants high energy prices (to encourage “conservation”), and will do nearly anything to meet that goal.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Halla
June 20, 2017 2:20 pm

Funny thing is, Conservation (Oil remaining in the ground) stays more drilling when the price of oil is lower making it uneconomical to produce the oil. Oil that costs $50 per barrel to produce isn’t recovered during a time that Oil is valued at $25 per barrel

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 20, 2017 2:46 pm

Yes they will. They know the masses can’t afford to use energy if the prices are high. That translates into more deaths during heat waves, extreme cold, and famine, which they will blame on climate change. High energy prices also serve to limit resources by limiting the production and transportation of those resources. Scarce resources serve to limit and eventually reduce the population. Reducing the population has always been their ultimate goal. Climate change is just another means to that end. If they can’t ban fossil fuels outright, they at least want to raise prices sky high. What’s not to love about high energy prices if you are a rich, self-hating environmentalist who thinks that humans are a mistake of evolution and would like to see 90% of us go extinct?

Reply to  Louis
June 21, 2017 6:42 am

They want there to be just enough serfs to full staff their luxury hotels. But no more.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 21, 2017 2:26 am

Delete “nearly”.

Mike Williams
June 20, 2017 2:10 pm

And that oil will keep the TAPS from shutting down due to low oil flows.

Greg in Houston
June 20, 2017 2:11 pm

Whatever amount goes to the government’s tills is an amount that does not go to support regimes in the Middle East or Venezuela.

Bryan A
Reply to  Greg in Houston
June 20, 2017 2:21 pm

+1B bbl

Dr Dave
June 20, 2017 2:21 pm

Ah, those heady days when the IPCC’s Rajendra Pachauri was making a few extra bucks acting in GEICO commercials…

June 20, 2017 2:28 pm

David, I really like your posts…..better than the news! thanks

John Leggett
June 20, 2017 2:31 pm

While I think leasing and drilling is a good idea. I do not think false predictions of revenue do the argument any good. If I understand royalty payments correctly. Any revenue projections need to be $50/bbl(price per barrel) less Cost Of Production COP. Using Canadian tar sands price of production.(because I found the cost but put any figure you want in)
$50/bbl less $40 cop * 10,000,000,000 bbl = $100,000,000,000 (that’s $100 billion).
1/8 * $100,000,000,000 = $12,500,000,000
“While oil prices are unlikely to be in the $125/bbl range anytime soon, most companies are basing decisions on $50/bbl with a modest escalation over time. If 10 billion barrels of oil were produced from ANWR and the Federal government retained a 1/8 royalty, they would make a schistload of money, just from the royalties:
$50/bbl * 10,000,000,000 bbl = $500,000,000,000 (that’s $500 billion).
1/8 * $500,000,000,000 = $62,500,000,000”

Shawn Head
Reply to  John Leggett
June 20, 2017 3:53 pm

Canadian OIL sands if you please. There is no tar in the oil sands.

Reply to  Shawn Head
June 21, 2017 8:51 am

Bitumen- down Texas way its pronounced ‘bitchamen’.

Jim Carlyle
Reply to  Shawn Head
June 22, 2017 12:46 pm

Bitumen is classified as a Tar or asphalt. Where are the Oil Sands?

Jim Carlyle
Reply to  John Leggett
June 22, 2017 1:08 pm

Last time I heard the processing cost for Canadian Oil Sands product it was around $120/bbl. It has been produced at a loss for a number of years. I am not sure you can produce oil from ANWR for that. ANWR is a fracture zone-at least the 1/2 that they-USGS- think oil exists-it is in multiple smaller pools not one contiguous reservoir as Prudhoe Bay Sadlerochit-largest pool being 1 billion bbls-most about 250K bbls-tough to find and will take a lot of wells to produce 1.4MM/day. Interested to hear some real, current estimates. We drilled a lot of wells in that fracture zone with only marginal results.

Shawnfrom High River
Reply to  John Leggett
June 23, 2017 9:44 am

Davis Middleton -Thoseof us in the industry just prefer to use the preferred terminology when referring to the oil sands. You would call your car a tank.
Jim Carlyle – No you are wrong. Asphalt does contain bitumen, but is not bitumen itself. Bitumen is akin to its cousin crude oil, just in a more solid form

Shawn from High River
Reply to  Shawnfrom High River
July 1, 2017 3:02 pm

David Middleton – Thank you for thoroughly explaining my point and saving me the time . Peace

June 20, 2017 2:45 pm

WUWT, find a map of all the oil drilling in the region. Canada has wells right up to the border. The US blocks drilling in “sensitive” areas while liberal Canada drills baby drills.

June 20, 2017 2:51 pm

Exploration Promise
Exploration for oil and gas in the Canadian Beaufort reached a high point in the late 1970s, when a large number of wells were drilled, primarily in the shallow shelfal waters of the Mackenzie Delta. Generous tax incentives drove companies to explore in this harsh environment on the most rudimentary of seismic data and, despite these issues, exploration success rates were over 50% and a number of plays were opened up. Over a billion barrels of oil were discovered along with many trillions of cubic feet of gas, but there is considerable remaining undiscovered potential according to several authors, including the US and Canadian Geological Surveys.
http://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2015/04/oil-exploration-in-the-canadian-beaufortcomment image

Reply to  co2islife
June 20, 2017 3:24 pm

Dome Petroleum drilled like crazy but it didn’t work out. Part of the blame belongs to the government and Indian bands who all dithered on the Mackenzie Valley pipeline until oil prices fell so far that it wasn’t viable any more. link

June 20, 2017 3:06 pm

I’ve been promoting opening ANWR for drilling for at least 20+ years. It won’t harm wildlife, but most likely help them/it as it has at prudhoe.. It will keep the AK Pipeline flowing.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
June 20, 2017 6:55 pm

Oh, but it’s not natural help to the wildlife.
Oh, but it’s not sustainable, since the oil will run out and pipeline no linger heated.
Oh, but it won’t help, production would only be a fraction of daily use.
Oh, but…
(In my best Green, rationalizing voice)

June 20, 2017 3:17 pm

Obama used the canard of “industrial disinterest” to rationalize his putting the area off limits to drilling. Since industry is indeed very interested in developing the oil fields, the areas should be opened up for drilling since the original rational no longer holds.

Reply to  pyeatte
June 20, 2017 4:01 pm

Everything Obama has said is pure propaganda, no interest in truth or what is good for the country.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  pyeatte
June 20, 2017 4:48 pm

“Industrial disinterest” reminds me of the “coal is dead” canard.

June 20, 2017 3:22 pm

OT but
““They’re either nuclear advocates or carbon sequestration advocates or fossil-fuels advocates,” Jacobson said. “They don’t like the fact that we’re getting a lot of attention, so they’re trying to diminish our work.””
Jacobson is advocating for wind and solar. Pure projection.

michael hart
June 20, 2017 3:26 pm

It would also be pretty good if America didn’t have any reason to be protecting oil supplies from the Persian/Arabian Gulf. A saving of money, effort, and lives. Reducing dependency on petroleum products from the Gulf should be an explicit strategic aim for the whole world, not just the US. That won’t happen with windmills. We need carbon fuels, from good people, until nuclear takes over. We could have been so much closer by now without green “help”.
And every Dollar not sent to an oil-producing middle-eastern despot who helps create the next truck-of-peace, is a Dollar that could be spent on things that actually matter in this world, a Dollar not spent on people trying to hasten our entry to the next world.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 21, 2017 6:47 am

Completely agree on that point. However keeping oil prices low makes it harder for the oil states to fund mischief around the world. I’ve read that Saudi Arabia barely has enough money to fund it’s internal budget these days.

Jerry Henson
Reply to  michael hart
June 20, 2017 4:05 pm

I agree MH, a substantial portion of the benefits which will accrue to the US, indeed,
the world citizens will not appear on the books.
Oil states having to produce oil to survive rather than being able to use it as a
weapon is exactly the position I want them to enjoy.

June 20, 2017 3:56 pm

Oh it is not just the in-ground fossil fuels.
NASA wants to probe Uranus in search of gas.

Reply to  Roy Denio
June 21, 2017 5:16 am


Don K
June 20, 2017 4:15 pm

David — This is much more your domain than mine, but I vaguely thought that industry interest in drilling ANWR (but not the other lease areas) had fallen off over time. Something about geology problems plus water in the warm months being in places one doesn’t want it and there being insufficient water in the cold months to build extensive ice roads. I could have that all wrong.
As for the wildlife. AFAICS oil fields are far better neighborhoods for critters than towns. suburbs, or farms. Might be a bit of a compatibility issue between oilfield workers and Polar Bears however.

John MacDonald
June 20, 2017 4:36 pm

Chevron was drilling the Kaktovik well when I started working for them. I still wonder what was in that well. It was a tight hole then and it still is today.
I always had a feeling it was a boomer, but nobody would talk about it.

Proud Skeptic
June 20, 2017 5:18 pm

The only thing that matters here is whether the companies that will be extracting and selling the oil will go for the deal. THAT is the best indicator of whether this will be profitable or not.
Nothing anyone else says matters.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 20, 2017 8:18 pm

David, it also depends on their belief that the deal won’t change after they have invested a few billion. That is the main problem when dealing with the Feds today (or most State and local governments, for that matter).

Alfred Palmeri
June 20, 2017 6:53 pm

It’s actually oil companies that sponsored most of those fake-paper grants the pseudo scientists who completely took over environmentalism wallpaper their profit margins with.
Oil companies are heavily BEHIND the climate scare. They may have seemed to take a drubbing in the news, but in actual fact they were the ones PAYING a LARGE proportion of all the GRANTS delivering up ”research” saying we have to get off COAL.
The environmentalists were shown to be heavily in bed with Oil companies paying their grants in Climategate. Scientists were all happy to be sharing they’d had a ”great meeting” with oil companies.
What that is code for is ”more pay checks”.
The reason oil companies do it is their place in the pollution business had them basically financing the founding of all environmental campuses on university properties worldwide.
They pay the scientists and the scientists make kook claims. It alarms many but when it’s all said and done the scientists’ reputations suffer, far more than the oil companies’.
Then they oil companies have ALL this research done FOR them regarding what investments in developing energy they have to migrate to.
Al Gore? Oil man. Occidental oil. Remember murdered Libyan president Khaddaffi from a few years back, when Hillary Clinton gave funds to Al Nusra et all and they took over Libya, murdering him? Guess who IMMEDIATELY GOT the NATIONAL OIL CONTRACTS for THAT COUNTRY after HILLARY HAD him KILLED –
AL GORE’S oil company. The one his dad worked for.
These crass decisions based on Democrats simply fleecing the face of the earth, are what ”global markets” is partially about. Turning the entire world into an American colony, basically. I’m not really joking about that, either.

Bob boder
Reply to  David Middleton
June 21, 2017 7:21 am

I think you need to investigate a little, the big oil companies benefit a great deal from regulation and controls, both because of prices being driven up and competition from smaller companies being driven down. Oil is not going away and they know it, they benifit the most from this environment.

Bob boder
Reply to  David Middleton
June 21, 2017 11:10 am

Do Regulations hurt small companies more than large ones?
Does regulations keep oil prices higher and pretty much every other products prices higher?
Do the big oil companies donate more money to democrats or republicans and most other large corporations as well?
These are business choices, it’s cheaper to buy politicians and use the government to keep prices up and competitions down. Companies do whatever is best for the bottom line and that’s the way it should be but to ignore the fact that corporations are buying politicians is foolish. It’s not the corporations fault they are doing what’s best for their shareholders it’s the voters and politicians fault and it’s time we start recognizing what is going on.
Look I have worked in a different industries for over 30 years and it’s clear as day what is going on. Reagan said it best “government isn’t the solution its the problem” and since he said that it has only gotten worse and worse, it’s to the point where success is derived as much from what contacts you have in government and what influence they have as it is from how innovative and effective a business person you are and that is not right nor over the long term sustainable.
The government is too big and exerts to much influence on private life, it distorts the markets and makes them inefficient and inflexible, the government was never intended by the founders to have this kind of power and control on the outcome of private activities. Corporations have a moral obligation to their shareholders to generate profits and insure the corporation’s survival through any legal means. Political contributions to politicians that make the system more effective are not illegal and therefore I don’t fault the corporations i fault the politicians who take the money knowing that it is being used to rig the system and I fault the voters for being uninformed and not voting for people who understand that government needs to be limited.

Alfred Palmeri
Reply to  David Middleton
June 22, 2017 2:19 pm

David Middleton your fruitless objection to the way things are is noted.

Alfred Palmeri
Reply to  David Middleton
June 22, 2017 2:28 pm

Something else that needs to be noted David Middleton: the none of what I said to people is even secret.
What’s odd is that you’re denying it.
Regardless of your lifestyle habituations – your Alex Jones affiliation, being a crack head – you’re simply wrong, and I can’t imagine what would prompt you to even try to say it in light of the endless revelations about the nature of Big Oil companies’ involvement in funding the AGW scam.

Reply to  Alfred Palmeri
June 20, 2017 9:11 pm

Put your drink down,go to bed…

June 20, 2017 8:50 pm

I was just noticing tonight, that in spite of all of their computer models and all of their statistics and all of their millions of dollars in consultants fees and all of their exact exact science with unquestionable consensus, the left still can’t accurately predict something as simple as the polling numbers in a lil’ ol’ congressional district In Georgia.
In fact after shouting from the rooftops for the last 6 weeks that it was one thing, lo and behold, it turns out to be something else completely.

Reply to  wws
June 20, 2017 9:35 pm

You cant help bad luck.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  wws
June 20, 2017 11:34 pm

WWS. I bet the Democrats knew their polls were way too optimistic for democrat wins. This was also true in the Nov 2016 election.
They overestimate the level of support for Democrat candidates for two main reasons: 1) To keep the Democrat base energized and contributing $, and 2) To try and discourage Republicans and some independents from voting or contributing to the Republican candidates/party.
Maybe the fake polls worked in the past, but they don’t seem to be working now. That is the problem with lying all the time–people start to not believe your polls and go and do what they want to do. Questions here, does lying corrupt the liars? Or, do only corrupt people lie? Or is it both?

Reply to  Leonard Lane
June 21, 2017 6:50 am

In four races since November, the Democrats have blown a ton of money, with nothing to show for it.
I wonder how deep Soro’s pockets really are.

Reply to  Leonard Lane
June 21, 2017 6:51 am

Paglia, who’s a hard core leftist, recently gave an interview in which she blasted the Democrats for destroying the news industry in this country. She stated that it will take decades for the industry to recover.

June 20, 2017 9:34 pm

Prudhoe Bay has been in operation for a bit more than 10 minutes.
Could the WWF please advise me of any damage this has caused to the environment or wildlife?

Reply to  toorightmate
June 21, 2017 5:12 am

A caribou was wandering by last week, and he looked up and saw that pipeline, and he said to himself “OH MY GOD THAT IS NOT PRISTINE!!!” And he lost his concentration and while he stood there in consternation, a pack of wolves tore him to bits.

Reply to  wws
June 22, 2017 3:38 pm

That’s oal bidness.
Caribou love the pipeline. Any mother caribou will have her baby near it if she can, to reduce the chances of the newborn freezing to the tundra. If they could vote, they’d all be for it.
So do the bears, who like to walk on it, to keep their feet warm.
The wolves like it, because caribou numbers have exploded since it was built.

June 21, 2017 5:54 am

Thanks for the post David. Math is a hard thing for environmentalists. The reason that we should care about what they think and produce is that it can become a talking point and then repeated often enough it becomes “truth”.

June 21, 2017 5:59 am

When the opening of ANWR was starting to be discussed. All the pictures of polar bears, caribou, etc. that would have their lives devastated were used to stop it from being opened. Then later the story changed to it was so remote with nothing living in it, it would be impossible to drill. Then the story changed ……………

June 21, 2017 6:04 am

This is a Heritage Foundation backed website. Anything you publish should be immediately discredited.

Reply to  freeone
June 21, 2017 6:54 am

Do you have any evidence that Heritage Foundation is publishing lies.
BTW, the definition of a lie is not “disagrees with a leftist”.

Tom T
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2017 4:38 pm

Well he is of course referring to the memo to spread anti-science that Gleick wrote.
Fake but true.

June 21, 2017 8:14 am

Assuming the State of Alaska doesn’t go overboard diddling with the taxes on oil producers on the Slope (a very foolish assumption today), there is a LOT of oil and natural gas yet to be produced. Local rumor up here is that NPR-A, offshore, and ANWR individually have as much oil and natural gas as the Prudhoe Bay fields had at the beginning.
The other option is GTLs, batch shipped thru the existing pipeline to Valdez. Capture and sequester CO2 to pressurize production. Once you get into the GTL batch shipping business, there is a lot of coal north of the Brooks Range available for CTL production via Fischer – Tropsch.
If we do this right, we will be producing for centuries. Will we? That’s another question entirely. Cheers –

June 21, 2017 11:12 am

I was just thinking, if a person thinks that CO2 is “pollution”, then this person must be absolutely devastated by the idea of a fart.
Also, I was thinking: Some people like the idea of a wilderness, because they like the idea of untouched land that they might visit someday, but if lots of people decide to visit this ideal “untouched” land, then does it not then become “touched” by lots of people and no longer “untouched”?
So, visiting a land, stomping around on it, disturbing the snow, leaving footprints in the snow or dirt, startling the animals is okay, if it’s just to fulfill a wish to VISIT an “untouched” land. But using a small percentage of the area to improve many people’s lives is somehow lowly.
Okay, nobody go there, and nobody do anything with it. Leave it totally undisturbed, just sitting there, never visited by any human … ever, just existing as a “wilderness” that somehow provides a psychological comfort. Well, that totally goes against any human nature – leisure-oriented or economic-oriented.
The idea of maintaining land as “wilderness” seems contradictory, no matter which humans are involved. Isn’t there a balance of use?, and how does using 3% disturb a balance, especially if lifestyles that enable levels of comfort to entertain the idea of “wilderness” are maintained or enhanced?
If you had to survive in the wilderness, then it would not be so romantic. The idea of a wilderness is only attractive, because we can live in comfort outside it to reflect on it. Life’s comforts enable wilderness appreciation. Again, 3% to maintain these comforts or to enhance this appreciation seems so small.

June 21, 2017 12:09 pm

While the cat’s away. 🙂

June 21, 2017 3:17 pm

It is difficult today to comprehend why anyone believes that burning long chain carbon based molecules is the future of energy production. Contracts are being currently signed for solar power at $0.03/kwh. Even in the US, with some of the lowest NG prices on the planet, natural gas produced electricity costs $0.046/kwh.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 21, 2017 3:52 pm

Isn’t it remarkable that solar produces the most power just as energy use skyrockets? 3pm electricity is worth much more than 3am electricity. Thus peaker NG electricity production is going away. And we are what, 15 years away from $0.01/kwh solar power? PV panels are following a slow rendition of Moore’s Law. The end of oil, except of course for chemical production, is less than a generation away.

Reply to  jtrobertsj
June 21, 2017 7:12 pm


Isn’t it remarkable that solar produces the most power just as energy use skyrockets? 3pm electricity is worth much more than 3am electricity.

Dead wrong. In the US, solar power peaks between 9:30 and 2:30 each day, or vanishes almost entirely during storms, clouds, or haze between those limited hours. Electrical DEMAND peaks much later: beginning at 3:30 and then dropping off after 8:00 pm. Solar cannot contribute this peak, but -instead – cracks the turbines and generators and exhausts since its peak forces the units off-line at noon, then forces a restart at 4:00!

June 21, 2017 8:42 pm

Informative post. Thanks David and thanks warmunists and alternative energy crack-pots. It’s always fun watching your arguments destroyed.

June 22, 2017 4:42 am

Great post and good discussion, thanks David.

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