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Vol. 13, No. 26 Week of June 29, 2008
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Oil Patch Insider

ANWR news round-up from Alaska, Lower 48 states

Gov. Sarah Palin wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on June 23 asking for Congress to allow oil and gas drilling in the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a way to “help reduce price volatility” and “send a strong message to oil speculators and producing countries.”

“What will it take for Congress to enact comprehensive energy policy that includes increased domestic production of oil and gas, renewable and alternative energy, and conservation? It seems to us outside of the Capitol Beltway that virtually every effort to accomplish this is met with criticism and failure,” Palin wrote.

McCain flips on offshore

Republican presidential candidate John McCain called for ending the federal moratorium on offshore drilling on June 17, changing his long held position on the issue.

In the same speech, given to oil executives in Houston, McCain continued to oppose drilling in ANWR, saying he didn’t believe it could be developed responsibly. However the next day, McCain said he would “go back and look at it again” if presented with compelling information.

On June 19, McCain clarified his position: “People have said to me, ‘I’m going to bring you new information about ANWR, how environmentally we can make it safe. I’ll be glad to accept new information but my position has not changed.’”

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama continues to oppose drilling in both the Outer Continental Shelf and ANWR.

From around the country

“Regardless of what happens in the near future, we should still pursue goals of renewable energy, drive vehicles with better gas mileage and conserve when possible. But clearly the mood of the country has shifted a bit — when gas hit $4 per gallon, many people started looking for answers to high fuel costs. Drilling in previously closed areas now looks like an acceptable alternative to many.” —from the Hudson (Wis.) Star-Observer

“If you look at the best case scenario for ANWR, and I mean the best case scenario, you are looking at one million barrels a day while the U.S. is still consuming 20 million barrels a day and the world demand is 86 million barrels a day. Even if you open up offshore drilling, you won’t see oil come online for five to 10 years. ANWR wouldn’t lower world demand.” —Dr. Robert Kaufmann, speaking for the Pasadena, Calif., based Foundation for American Communications on June 24, as reported in the North Platte (Neb.) Telegraph

—compiled by Eric Lidji



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