What lies beneath the Chukchi Sea 0

That ex-governor Sarah Palin is a lot smarter and better informed than vice-president Joe Biden is proved yet again by a new report on energy, commented on by Investor’s Business Daily (at their Investors.com website):

As Palin jousts with Biden on energy independence, the government reports that we lead the world in energy reserves. From oil to gas to coal, we are sitting on prosperity. So why are we importing anything?

One of the interesting sidelights of the NY-23 race was an exchange on energy independence between Vice President Joe Biden and the former governor of energy-rich Alaska, Sarah Palin. Biden, who came in to campaign for Democrat Bill Owens, was reminded of the issue of energy.

“The fact of the matter is that Sarah Palin thinks the answer to energy was ‘Drill, baby, drill,'” Biden said at an Owens fundraiser, referring to Palin’s own campaign slogan last year. “No, it’s a lot more complicated, Sarah, than ‘Drill, baby, drill.'”

Actually, it’s not, according to a new report produced by the Congressional Research Service, hardly an outpost of the vast right-wing conspiracy or on the payroll of Big Oil. The report says that if all our energy resources are added up and converted to a barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), the U.S. has the largest reserves in the world.

According to the CRS, the U.S. has 1,321 billion barrels of oil (or barrels of oil equivalent for other sources of energy) if you combine its recoverable natural gas, oil and coal reserves. Russia is close behind with 1,248 billion barrels BOE. Other energy-producing nations, including many that export oil to the U.S., lag behind.

Of course, much of our world-leading reserves are off-limits by government edict. We recently commented on the federal government designation of 200,541 squares miles off the coast of Alaska as critical habitat for the abundant polar bear, effectively killing hopes to exploit the vast energy riches of the American Arctic.

Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, part of the designated habitat, holds more oil and gas than anyone thought — 1,600 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas, or 30% of the world’s supply and 83 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, 4% of the estimated global resources.

The CRS report also notes the U.S. has 28% of the world’s coal reserves, with Russia again coming in second with 19%. …

The Palin solution 1

The excellent governor of Alaska has it right again. 

From Investor’s Business Daily:

Back in July, when IBD first interviewed the then-little-known governor, Palin emphasized developing Alaska’s Chukchi Sea resources. Under those icy waters, it was then believed, was enough oil and gas to supply America for a decade.

“It’s a very nonsensical position we’re in right now,” Palin told us. “(We) ask the Saudis to ramp up production of crude oil so that hungry markets in America can be fed, (and) your sister state in Alaska has those resources.”

At the time, it was thought that Chukchi’s waters northwest of Alaska’s landmass held 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Today, Science magazine reports that the U.S. Geological Survey now finds it holds more than anyone thought — 1.6 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas, or 30% of the world’s supply and 83 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, 4% of the global conventional resources.

That’s enough U.S. energy to achieve self-sufficiency and never worry about it as a national security question again.

The only thing left to do is drill. “Congress can do that for us right now,” Palin told IBD, urging Washington to open the territory.

That Congress hasn’t is the biggest part of the problem.

“Alaska should be the head, not the tail, to the energy solution,” Palin said.

It ought to be reassuring to Americans that energy can be developed here. Americans are environmentally conscious, and Palin herself has a good record on balancing development with ecology.

The alternative isn’t reassuring: If we don’t drill, the Russians will. Situated over on the eastern end of the Chukchi Sea, they have global ambitions of dominating the energy trade and no qualms about muscling in on the U.S.

Already, undersea volcanic activity has melted much of the Arctic ice cap and enabled more exploration than in the past. The U.S. has as much claim to the region as the Russians, but only the Russians seem to be taking advantage of the geological bounty.

It’s pure energy, not theoretics. That’s significant because Steven Chu’s Energy Department is spending too many resources trying to figure out how to turn all the weird wind power and switchgrass schemes into viable energy resources.

His latest idea is to paint roofs white. None of this puts significant energy out to consumers. Nor does it come close to matching oil in energy value…

Posted under Commentary, News, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tagged with , , , , , ,

This post has 1 comment.

Permalink