Mr. Zinke said the drilling plan was part of “a new path for energy dominance in America.” NY Times 1/5/18
Energy dominance! What idiocy. They (Zinke, Pruitt, Trump) claim that the US, or their oil companies, are going to achieve world energy dominance by drilling more oil and gas—and coal?—than everyone else?
Everyone else knows what we know.
We have an 11.6 Kwh solar array (above), and heat pumps that run off it, and we’ve reduced our power and heating costs dramatically. (Total cost to us of all heat and power last year was the bimonthly connection fee of $47+ and a one time fee of about $92, mostly for the heat. This, for an older four bedroom house in the mid-Hudson NY countryside with only moderate insulation).
This year I added a plug-in hybrid and we have the polar vortex freezing us for weeks now, but I doubt we’ll have to pay more for the whole year for power, heat and AC than the costs most people pay in a monthly winter bill for electricity and gas or fuel oil.
The rest of the world (everyone else) is developing alternative energy as fast as they can. Places like Beijing and Delhi know they’ve got to get off fossil fuels. They’re suffocating themselves with cil and coal air pollution, but also, they can see that the climate is changing, not for the better. And they know why.
Back when I lived in India for a year, in 1969-70, I told an Indian friend about the dangers of DDT and he said something like, “Oh, you Americans can afford to worry about things like that, but we’ve got to kill malaria, first!” We’re too poor, he implied, not rich like you, to worry about things like that.
Then, he had a point. But nations like India are now bearing the brunt of global warming, and air pollution from fossil fuels, and they know they have to get off them. So do the Chinese. And the Germans. And most of western Europe.
The poorer, smaller nations know, too, but don’t have the capital to make the change; the Europeans and Chinese do, and maybe India. They will gain the technological lead and the US will lag behind, a brainless dinosaur.
We’ll churn up our most beautiful wildernesses, lay waste to our most precious wildlife preserves, destroy the beauty of our coasts—and end up being laughed at by the rest of the world.
“Energy dominance? Oil? Gas?” they’ll exclaim. “We don’t want that dirty stuff; we’ve got more than enough energy of our own, from the sun, the wind and the tides. Why should we buy your dirty fuel?”
Germany has already generated too much wind energy on some days. Power companies have paid their users to consume it. Obviously, technological breakthroughs are needed in energy storage capabilities, but that’s coming soon.
Picture this: The US Navy thinks they’ve got energy dominance: enough oil that they can run their ships anywhere and always have fuel. So, their aircraft carrier, out in the middle of the Pacific runs low on fuel and calls for an oil tanker to refuel them.
Meanwhile, a Chinese competitor doesn’t have to wait for a tanker: it’s generating its own energy with solar panels on the flight deck, perhaps some wind towers and water turbines in its hull.
Who, then, is dominant?
There is only one reason for opening up the national monuments, ANWAR and all the coasts to oil and gas drilling: so the oil companies (and their shareholders) can loot public property for low costs and high, short-term profits.
The nation—and the world—is despoiled of beauty and life that everyone can enjoy, and the planet’s climate becomes more impossible in large parts of the world. All for the short-term riches of a few, the corrupt and well-connected grifters, perhaps even Putin and his Russian oligarchs.
We are governed by a gang of looters more destructive than terrorists, more corrupt than mafiosi. We’ve got to get rid of them before they destroy the world!