The Free Associator

The Philadelphia Syndicate is a collection of writers, businesses, artists, musicians, and activists based in Philadelphia, with connections to associates around the world via the internet. This publication is produced by members of the Syndicate's private online discussion forum for the purpose of giving exposure to the organization's thinkers to the public.

Friday, March 18, 2005

The ANWR issue


I find the issue of arctic drilling to be more complicated than it is generally made out. It seems to me, it is the rare issue that absolutely everyone has an unshakable opinion about. And I mean everyone. For them, it comes down to drilling or not drilling. How much oil is really there? How much damage will it do to the environment? But me, I'm stuck in the procedural legalese. That's the only word I have for it.

The recent vote in the Senate was on a proposed ammendment to an appropriations bill. Got that? It means that a Yes vote would have passed the ammendment, thereby presumably stopping drilling in ANWR, and a No vote prevented the passage of the amendment, meaning drilling. Now, the appropriations bill has not passed yet, but this appears to be of significance nonetheless. The best explanation of it all that I can find is here.

The proposed amendment would "Strike Section 201(a)(4) of Senate Congrssional Resolution 18." Presumably this will allow inclusion of ANWR specific wording during Conference Committee later. All of which is easily understandable, right?

Section 201(a)(4) reads:
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES- The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources shall report changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce outlays by $33,000,000 in fiscal year 2006, and $2,658,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2006 through 2010.

If that means arctic drilling than I can no longer claim to speak the English language. In the words of Barbara Boxer: "Shame on the Senate; that is all I can say." And it seems for good reason.

I guess the point is that the section at issue allows changes in laws pertinent to ANWR that could presumably lead to drilling. Or ANWR specific language will be inserted in the final appropriations bill for 2006. That seems pretty underhanded to me. If anyone else has an explanation, by all means...

None of this is to even address the issue of drilling. And how much it will cost. And how much oil there really is.

And then there are the real questions: where will the oil go? How much will it cost? Will it reduce our dependence of foreign oil? Or, will American companies sell it to China for a huge profit, and continue importing oil from the middle east, as they engage in an incestous relationship with our military bent on economic conquest?

No, the issue of ANWR is not simple. Unless you watch FOX news and believe it. But I just made that part up. I've never watched FOX news. OK, once - It was in mid-March, 2003. The first day of shock and awe. Haven't watched it since. OK, maybe once. Was that a video game commercial or an Army recruiting ad?


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