Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Jim Hightower nailed it:

George has even played the security card, declaring that "our national security makes it urgent" to open this unspoiled wilderness [ANWR] to the oil giants.

But in a gusher of political irony, guess what? The oil giants have little interest in drilling there! Even a Bush advisor on this issue confided that "No oil company really cares about ANWR," adding that "If the government gave them the [drilling] leases for free they wouldn't take them." Indeed, Chevron Texaco, BP, and ConocoPhillips have so little interest in ANWR that they have withdrawn from Arctic Power, the chief lobbying front behind Bush's push to open the refuge.

Why the corporate disinterest? Because, unlike George, companies have to base their decisions at least partially on reality, and the geological reality is that ANWR doesn't hold enough oil to make private investment there worthwhile. Only one actual test of the refuge's oil potential has been done – a secret test by Chevron Texaco and BP, two of the giants that have now backed away from Bush's ANWR scheme. If it had real production potential, these profit-seekers would be lobbying hard to get in there.

What's really behind the Bushites' insistence on drilling in a wildlife refuge is nothing but their reactionary, knee-jerk laissez-faire ideology. They hate the idea that the public can protect any piece of nature from corporate intrusion – even if the corporations don't choose to intrude. ANWR is a case of their ideological loopiness.
Via this blog, randomly found through the "next blog" button, which I love.