Oil policy roundup

McCain expediency uncovered: "I keep hearing Mr. McCain say that he does not agree with drilling for oil in ANWR because he believes that ANWR should remain in a pristine condition, just like the Grand Canyon. But this assertion either ignores or is ignorant of a rather significant historical fact about the Grand Canyon: A private company mined uranium ore at the Orphan Mine on the south rim of the canyon from 1953 until either 1969 or 1972. (The National Park Service says mining operations terminated '69 while Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency says '72; the link to the NPS community fact sheet on the Orphan Mine is http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/upload/orphan1.pdf). Since a company was able to mine radioactive uranium a half century ago in Grand Canyon National Park without destroying the park's "pristine condition," I believe it is reasonable to assume that with today's significantly better technology, oil companies could drill in ANWR without destroying the refuge's "pristine condition." Moreover, I cannot believe that Mr. McCain is ignorant of the fact that uranium was mined at the Grand Canyon. He has hiked the canyon from rim-to-rim, and the old structures at the mine's entrance remain intact and are clearly visible from Bright Angel Trail"

Oil from ANWR would harm nothing: "ANWR is roughly the size of South Carolina, and it is spectacular. However, the area where, according to Department of Interior estimates, some 5.7 billion to 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil reside is much smaller and not necessarily as awe-inspiring. It would amount to the size of Dulles airport. Question for McCain: Has South Carolina been ruined because it has an airport? Most of the images of the proposed drilling area that people see on the evening news are misleading precisely because they tend to show the glorious parts of ANWR, even though that's not where the drilling would take place. Even when they position their cameras in the right location, producers tend to point them in the wrong direction. They point them south, toward the Brooks mountain range, rather than north, across the coastal plain where the drilling would be. In summer, the coastal plain is mostly mosquito-plagued tundra and bogs".

1/2 a million barrels, yes -- 1 million, no?: "I am confused: for years we were told that the projected 1 million barrels per day from ANWR would be simply too small to make much of a difference given our 20 million some barrel a day appetite - and therefore not worth the environmental risk. Now we wait in tense anticipation for a Saudi willingness to pump an extra 1/2 million per day (from where and how we apparently simply don't care), which we hope will send a message that world supply and demand might be in better sync to cut the feet out from under speculators. So how can 500,000 barrels now do what a million once could not?"

McCain gets something right: "With the price of gasoline surging past $4 a gallon in many parts of the country, Senator John McCain called today for the lifting of the federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling for states that want to permit it. He said that he also favors giving states incentives to allow exploration, part of an energy proposal that he said would be "very helpful in the short term for resolving our energy crisis." Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, said the impact of high fuel prices was hitting Americans, not only at the pump, but also in the form of rising food prices and threats of inflation. Mr. McCain has a mixed record on the issue in the Senate. In 2001 and 2006, he voted in favor of offshore oil drilling in Florida, but in 2003 he voted against it in Florida and other states. Mr. McCain has consistently opposed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH

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