Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cuba, China, ANWR and oil

I overheard a conversation at lunch yesterday that peaked my interest, the Chinese are drilling for oil off the shores of Cuba but US companies cannot. Hm, well that's not true. Second topic was ANWR, and how much cheaper gas would be if oil companies could drill there. Well again, that's not true. The Energy department in 2004 said that drilling would get the oil flowing in 9 years, and that the reduction in cost per barrel of oil would be 50 cents, crude oil futures were at $134.62 on June 20, 2008. Even at the $16 a barrel cost when the study was done in 2000 that's a savings of 3% and that's over the course of the 4 years the oil would be there.

So the reduction in cost of a barrel of oil gained by drilling would be 3 tenths of 1 percent, so the cost of a gallon of gas would go down what . . a penny? Or, you could drive the speed limit and gain 7-23% mileage efficiency, or ensure your tires are inflated correctly and gain 3% efficiency. Of course you could buy a hybrid, but instead think about buying a used car, it's better for the environment and your wallet.

What some people don't know is why we're not drilling in Alaska, well we are, to the tune of 1 million barrels a day, just not in the refuge. The refuge it self was set aside in 1960 by the Eisenhower administration and described as "one of the world's great wildlife areas. The great diversity of vegetation and topography in this compact area, together with its relatively undisturbed condition, led to its selection as ... one of our remaining wildlife and wilderness frontiers." Seems like the right thing to do to keep one tiny piece of land the same way we found it, even if it means gas costs one cent more.

Find more fuel efficiency tips here.
Read about why it's better to buy a used car here.
Read more about the Arctic Refuge at the US Fish and Wildlife's site.
Rant at JH in the comments.
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