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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's happening slower than I'd like, but Biden is putting an end to the Republican war on our environment and public lands. I've long wondered why they take pride in despoiling the unspoiled. Marking their territory? Taking scalps? Weird mind set.
 

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Such a constructive post made by a guy who shipped is oil produced firearm across the country multiple times because the trigger pull on the averaged priced gun he purchased was not up to his custom-gun-hopes. His use of oil for such a trivial reason is completely fine- as long as the oil came from the destruction of mule deer winter range or at the cost of middle-east peace.

One side is all bad and the other is all good- the mentality that ruins everything. In before the lock......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So, I'm confused. Do you mean you favor drilling in the ANWR? Anybody?
 

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Such a constructive post made by a guy who shipped is oil produced firearm across the country multiple times because the trigger pull on the averaged priced gun he purchased was not up to his custom-gun-hopes. His use of oil for such a trivial reason is completely fine- as long as the oil came from the destruction of mule deer winter range or at the cost of middle-east peace.

One side is all bad and the other is all good- the mentality that ruins everything. In before the lock......
I’d like to nominate this post for “Post of the Year!”
 

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Like, I generally oppose drilling in the ANWR. I also generally oppose overt partisanship that lacks the necessary nuance to actually nurture a true discussion on an issue. The lack of self-awareness of this fact in the OP should be shocking, but is par for the course.

I disagree with republicans on most conservation issues right now, but can disagree without abandoning all nuance and spewing only partisan talking points, or without acknowledging a need for fossil fuels in the world we live in today. I don't think ANWR is the place for drilling, but I also don't think most politicians are specifically looking to pillage and destroy landscapes for nothing.
 

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Legitimate question here - the drilling operations I have encountered seem to be relatively low impact (no dynamiting, digging pits, settling ponds, etc) and I imagine that ANWR would be relatively similar wouldn't it?

What is the perceived damage that is being objected to?

Im not saying drilling is right or wrong but I am trying to understand that the concern is from the naysayer side?

I have been pretty vocal about mining operations in the state and dont like the massive mess left behind by these operations. But I dont know enough about drilling for oil to say this is a good or bad idea.
 

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Most drilling operations have to post reclamation bonds to put the land back to what it was before they moved in. If they are leaving trash behind then they can be fined and loose the bond that they had to post. A good example of this is out in the Book Cliffs. Take a look at the platforms that they didn't find gas or oil on. The trash that is around these area is left by people camping on them. It also may take a while but 90% of any and all roads out in the Book Cliffs will be shut down once the supply of fossil fuels are gone.

People can also look at the Book Cliffs and see what the fossil fuel exploration opened up for the sportsmen. If it wasn't for the drilling there would be very little access to the whole area.
 

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Drilling in the ANWR is controversial because it's largely untrammeled. Opening up acres to roads, drilling, facilities and pipeline would inherently change the character of the land. So in this case increased access, via any roads, is viewed as bad by many.

It's one of the few ecosystems in which it's believed the flora and fauna are largely intact. We can't say that about many places in the US. We've extirpated or introduced species into the vast majority of our systems. Roads, ie vehicles, are one of the biggest reasons for that as far as fauna. But any development in such a relatively virgin landscape has the potential to alter the system noticeably. The one species that gets the most attention is obviously the caribou herds and particular attention to their summer calving use of "Area 1002", which Trump opened up to leases before leaving office. It's critical habitat for them and highly controversial for legitimate reasons, that can be debated thoughtfully. Their journey through the region is pretty amazing and any drilling in that region is likely to have meaningful impact.

The question is can it be mitigated? Another would be is the development worth the risk?

That's were it gets contentious.

To be honest, the current ANWR debate is more about preservation than classic conservation. Preserving the unique character of that large scale ecosystem means a lot to many people. It's symbolic of something we've lost elsewhere. But that preservation also protects a pretty rare and unique set of hunting experiences.

I think it's worth the current sacrifice to keep it protected. I'll never likely hunt there but the idea of such an opportunity matters to me. No amount of reclamation can return a previously untrammeled land to such pristine condition. My first trip to Alaska involved a fly in backpacking trip to Wrangell St. Elias and I sincerely hope we preserve such phenomenal landscapes for future generations. There is nothing else like being swallowed up in such large regions for week(s) at a time.

Others will land in a different place than me.
 

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As long as the NEPA process is followed to the letter, regulators do their jobs and put in place the appropriate COA's (conditions of approval) and the E&P companies invest heavily in tech for drilling, completion, and production, there would be very minimal impact with ten fold worth of benefits.

To say it will be detrimental and a rape of an ecosystem would be incorrect.
 

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It is completely correct to conclude oil extraction could/would be detrimental. Some just happen to believe the negative impact is outweighed by the benefits. I don't know if Paddler said "raped" but it's not a term I used or would use flippantly.

Per detrimental impact:

1) Loss of predominantly untrammeled lands in a region that has always inspired awe in Americans since being discovered and written about. Our public lands carry immense value for their ability to inspire.

2) Likely displacement of calving carribou from prime and historic grounds. Studies have shown caribou will move upwards of 4-6 miles (if my conversion is correct)away from active drilling sites and even pipeline (seems limited to calving season). This will be an additional stressor on herds experiencing the early but noticeable climate changes in the Arctic.

3)A potential loss of 30%+ of calving territory in the 1002. Not a small impact.

4) This type of displacement is modeled to decrease calf survival by as much as 8%. That's considered a high enough number to have serious detrimental affects on the herds.

5) The musk ox herd in the 1002 was originally extirpated and only recently reintroduced in the latter portion of the 20th century. It's been tenuous since and musk ox have shown aversion to oil exploration techniques.

6) Polar bears would likely be impacted as well. Winter use has shown to lead to extreme behavior like abandoning cubs to leave areas of extractive seismic activity. That region is critical habitat for polar bear denning.

I understand that some either believe the negative impact is worth it or trust the oil industry to mitigate impact fully. That said, there is reliable science to backup the claims about development being detrimental. And the oil industry has earned appropriate skepticism regarding their claims about preventing impact and/or thorough remediation. Even in Desolation Canyon and Canyonlands I can point to failures and unkept promises in this regard just in the last decade.
 

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I remember all the things that they said would happen when they built the Trans Alaskan Pipeline.

None of which happened. Wildlife was disturbed while the construction was going on but once the workers moved onto the next section things got back to normal.

One thing that I would like to ask to those who oppose drilling on and off shore and elsewhere. Do you drive a vehicle that depends on that oil to run? Do you heat your home with natural gas? Are you willing to give up your gas powered vehicle and your nice warm home to prove that you are against fossil fuels? And don't say that you will go to electric vehicles and solar panels since those solar panels are made with products that come from fossil fuels and that electricity that charges that electric vehicle is more than likely generated by fossil fuels.

I'm not saying that this will go on forever but until the technology is really here then we need to run our vehicles and generate our power using it.
 

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It's not a good faith argument to:

1) Equate criticism against one development as "being against fossil fuels" in general.

2) Assume because we are technologically beholden to fossil fuels that we can't criticize a project

Those are assumptions that don't allow for nuance and prevent any criticism of the status quo.

And I fully recognize Paddler often uses similar techniques. It's why he's the only person on my ignore list.
 

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As I’m reading the responses, I can’t help but wonder “why now”?

In other words, why are we worried about this now? We admittedly have a dependency on oil producing countries BUT that hasn’t stopped us from all sorts of shenanigans in the middle-east. So why not continue and leave ANWR alone?

I know the answer is $$$ but it would have to have a very considerable amount of money in my mind to make a push like this.
 

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2) Likely displacement of calving carribou from prime and historic grounds. Studies have shown caribou will move upwards of 4-6 miles (if my conversion is correct)away from active drilling sites and even pipeline (seems limited to calving season). This will be an additional stressor on herds experiencing the early but noticeable climate changes in the Arctic.

3)A potential loss of 30%+ of calving territory in the 1002. Not a small impact.

4) This type of displacement is modeled to decrease calf survival by as much as 8%. That's considered a high enough number to have serious detrimental affects on the herds.
Not to wade in too deeply here but, given that caribou migrate on average ~1900 miles per year with little consistency year to year as to where the precise "calving grounds" are, this 4-6 mile displacement having a major impact as a stressor in modeling, is just laughable.
 

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It's just the latest salvo, this time from the "left", in thirties years of politics. The ANWR drilling debate is unique as it's a land management decision that requires Washington politics by law, the 1002 was an awkward compromise from the get go. But it's been a tit for tat since the ANWR was designated.

Per money, there is an estimated 5-10 billion barrels in the contested region. At $60+ a barrel that's a big incentive for a contractor. Some of that would undoubtedly help American energy security, not a shabby goal, but it's a fungible resource so much of it will also go to the highest bidder and make a few executives a lot of money.

I fear it's become a political identity war, wedge issue, or whatever we want to call it. The "left" gets to hold an environmental line without ever having to recognize the unique history of the ANWR compromise or the tangible benefits of extraction. The "right" gets to hold an economic line without ever having to admit the tangible impacts to the land. The "left" can write off the last legislative decision under the Trump years as the outcome of greed and special interests. The "right" can now point fingers at Biden being beholden to environmental extremist and reactionary policy.

I'm guessing my daughter's generation will still be debating ANWR drilling as the cyborgs takeover during the rise of SkyNet. 😬😁
 

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Not to wade in too deeply here but, given that caribou migrate on average ~1900 miles per year with little consistency year to year as to where the precise "calving grounds" are, this 4-6 mile displacement having a major impact as a stressor in modeling, is just laughable.
Maybe for other herds, but the Porcupine are uniquely consistent with this calving region. It's just prime habitat.

This animation of satellite collars (backed up by overhead flight data) shows just how the herd swarms the 1002 for calving. Yes, the disperse over amazingly wide areas the rest of the year but there is little to contest in their calving grounds.


Put it this way...

If this was a herd we all were invested in harvesting from, how would hunter groups respond to a proposal that would noticeably impact 30%+ of those critical calving grounds? This is one of North America's most phenomenal herds and migrations. We truly don't have many such phenomena like this left for us to protect. We are talking 100-200,000 animals all congregating in "one place".

*PS....I didn't include it because I haven't fact checked it but the modeling may show a rather small 8% reduction in calving from extraction on these grounds BUT modeling also shows a decrease of only 4% puts the herd in jeopardy in the foreseeable future. Small losses like that add up over time.
 
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