Oil Drilling in Alaska - Page 2




View Poll Results :Do you support drilling in Alaska
yes 9 50.00%
no 9 50.00%
unsure 0 0%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

 
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Boots
 
March 17th, 2005  
Zyca
 
 
Cleaner and more efficient energy source -- yummy!

Oh and damn it 51-49
March 20th, 2005  
Duty Honor Country
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyca
Oh and damn it 51-49
I hear you. We need to take a lesson from Iceland. Their government has said by 2050, their country will not use any oil except for air travel. The US also needs to tell OPEC to shove it.
March 20th, 2005  
chewie_nz
 
on a related note (kinda) have you heard of the "antarctic highway"?
it's something that i oppose completely



America builds world's loneliest road
By Anthony Browne

IT HAS for nearly a century been the ultimate heroic adventure, but soon you will be able to just hitch a ride. Ninety years after Roald Amundsen was the first man to the South Pole, the Americans are building an Antarctic highway.
The ice road to the bottom of the world will pass 990 miles through the planet’s most hostile territory, crossing ice shelves over the oceans, and traversing mountain ranges as high as the Alps and ice sheets 10,000ft thick. It will take five years and £12.5 million to construct, but then it will take just ten days to drive from the main US base at McMurdo Sound to Scott-Amundsen base at the South Pole.



However, polar explorers and environmentalists say that the Traverse Highway could lead to an unwelcome opening up of the world’s last true wilderness and even Antarctic oil prospecting.

The road, which will operate for 100 days a year and have to be cleared each spring, will help to supply the Scott-Amundsen base which now depends totally on air transport. It will help the American researchers to operate in all weathers, and, the US says, save money.

Karl Erb, director of the US Antarctic Programme, said: “Once the route has been done, you can just drive across it. It will greatly improve our ability to do science in Antarctica.”

The ice road will have to be cleared by snow ploughs and bulldozers, with all the crevasses being carefully filled in and snowdrifts removed. But once it is established, it will simply have to be cleared each spring. “The ice moves uniformly, and crevasses don’t change that much from year to year. We will just have to monitor them,” Dr Erb said.

The road will start at McMurdo Sound, in effect the capital of Antarctica, with extensive permanent buildings, an airport and a population of 1,200, and strike out almost 500 miles across the Ross Ice Shelf, a permanent thick layer of ice and snow over the Antarctic Ocean. The first stretch of the road, requiring the bridging of the worst crevasses on the ice shelf, was completed two years ago.

The traverse will then head out inland over the Transantarctic Mountains, crossing the glaciers that fill the valleys of the rugged range. It will then descend to the South Pole plateau crossing to the pole itself at an altitude of 10,000ft.

The roads will be used by convoys of caterpillar tractors, towing trailers carrying cargo, fuel tanks and an accommodation block. Convoys will travel at 5mph, speeding up to 8mph when the weather is good.

US studies suggest that one transport convoy will supply as much as one of the Hercules aircraft now used to supply the base. With all the supplies taken by road, the aircraft can be used to transport people. The Americans are constructing an 8m diameter (26 ft) telescope at the South Pole, and the road will mean that they can take it there in one piece.

The McMurdo to South Pole Traverse is part of the “South Pole Connectivity Project” which includes the laying of a fibre-optic cable all the way to the pole to improve communications and allow staff more reliable contact with home.

Robert Swan, the first man to walk to both North and South Poles, reacted cautiously to the project: “I won’t say it is a shame there is a road to the South Pole because there is already a road through the sky.” But he said it still would not be that easy to cross the world’s most hostile continent. “It won’t be like driving down the M1. The mountains are very rugged. They’ll have engine and all sorts of other problems.”

However, he was worried about what it would do to the world’s last wilderness. “Roads open places up. Who says it can’t lead to exploitation — what if they eventually claim it gives them rights to prospect for oil?”

However, any such activity would be a breach of the international treaty that governs the use of Antarctica until 2041. “As treaty adherents, we wouldn’t engage in any of these activities. We’re strongly committed to that,” Dr Erb said.

The treaty commits America to an environmental impact assessment, which it has yet to do.

Steve Sawyer, of Greenpeace, said that inland there was little life on Antarctica, so the impact was likely to be small, but he still had concerns. “They must make sure there are not oil spills, and that they bring all their rubbish back with them when they make the crossing,” he said.

Mr Swan had one other concern: “I hope they don’t dig up the body of Captain Scott. He’s under the ice there somewhere.”


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...551021,00.html
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Boots
March 20th, 2005  
Damien435
 
 
Well, I personally oppose the drilling of Alaska, at this point in time that is. IF we do not make advances in hydrogen, which is IMO the best option we have, much less pollution and what do we get hydrogen from? water. I somehow doubt we have to really worry about running out of fuel, and the by-product of this is oxygen. Short term solution, ethanol, long term solution, hydrogen. We should wait to drill Alasaka till the rest of the world's reserves have run out, then we will be the only one's with oil. But I still think that hydrogen is the key to not only our future fuel problems, but also economic and environmental problems.

I highly doubt that the Antarctic Highway will allow for anything other than improved transportation for scientists, with how slow the vehicles would have to drive it would be faster and probably cheaper to just take snowmobiles or small planes to the south pole if they really wanted to visit. And I don't see how this would be illegal, as far as I know all treaties addressing the South Pole only refer to colonization (Didn't Saddam try to claim Antarctica?) not new construction.
March 20th, 2005  
Missileer
 
 
I guess that since I have spent some time in Alaska on business, I have a little different perspective. I've flown and driven over the State. The people need the capital and drilling is not what is shown in old movies. When a drilling rig leaves and a pump "Christmas tree" is installed, it is almost impossible to see any damage to the environment. All contamination is hauled off or neutralized and the area is replanted with whatever was growing before. I spent several nights in Delta Junction, a small town 100 miles SE of Fairbanks where the pipeline surfaces for heat and gauges but it doesn't harm any Moose or Bear. The wilderness takes back anything left for very long.
March 25th, 2005  
Damien435
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileer
I guess that since I have spent some time in Alaska on business, I have a little different perspective. I've flown and driven over the State. The people need the capital and drilling is not what is shown in old movies. When a drilling rig leaves and a pump "Christmas tree" is installed, it is almost impossible to see any damage to the environment. All contamination is hauled off or neutralized and the area is replanted with whatever was growing before. I spent several nights in Delta Junction, a small town 100 miles SE of Fairbanks where the pipeline surfaces for heat and gauges but it doesn't harm any Moose or Bear. The wilderness takes back anything left for very long.
I don't assume that the environment will be damaged just by the presence of these drilling wells and pipelines, but I do believe in Murphy's Law, eventually a pipeline somewhere will burst, a ship will run aground, and then the environment will be damaged. And, to be honest, I do not see a need to tap our reserves anyways.
March 31st, 2005  
Zyca
 
 
http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/03/30/g....ap/index.html

Two decades though?
March 31st, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
When you're young two decades seems like a real long time. As you get older it doesn't seem all that long at all. Fuel cells are a major transition it would take some time just for industry to switch over let alone for practical vehicles to be in place. "Within two decades" sounds quite reasonable to me.
March 31st, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
I'm in favor of drilling in Alaska, but only as a band-aid to the real problem: Oil is going to run out sooner or later and we would be very wise to begin the process of conversion to other fuel sources now, rather than later.

The biggest dilema that I'm seeing" Conversion of a car that was built for a gasoline engine to fuel sources like hydrogen is not a simple procedure at all Its so much trouble that without an efficient system being created to that end, you'd save a ton of time money and effort just scrapping the car and starting over. So do we scrap all the existing cars?

I think that such renewable fuels like Ethanol Alchohol are better in this case because the conversion of existing engines is very easy. The biggest problem with me going out and buying a car or converting one that I already have to Ethanol: Where can I fuel up? What if I'm on a long roadtrip? Is there going to be places to fuel up almost anywhere like I can with gasoline? When non-gasoline cars have equal access to fuel up just about anywhere, Americans and others are a lot more likely to switch ... as long as you can make whatever fuel you make cheaper. I believe that hydrogen and alchohol can both be made cheaper than gasoline as the process to create them is incredibly simple compared to what you have to do to oil to get gasoline out of it. It just hasn't been institutionalized and put in place yet.

America needs an administration that is willing to push towards such things. The current administration has been more talk and less action.
March 31st, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
I would certainly agree with you that the biofuels have a place in the future, and even today. Virtually any diesel powered rig can be converted to run waste oils from restaurants and the like now. I know a couple folks in town here that are doing it.