Unfortunately, as Russell Gold wrote in his article “Shrinking Oil Supplies Put Alaskan Pipeline At Risk” in the Wall Street Journal this week that may become a harsh reality in the near future.
What’s the problem? Not enough oil is flowing through the pipeline. As Gold describes it in his article, the pipeline is “like a garden hose: Open up the spigot only slightly and the water will move slowly; turn the spigot to wide open and the water will move quickly through the hose to the other end.”
The slow flow of oil through the pipeline is a real problem. “That leisurely flow means that oil is above ground longer and more exposed to Alaska’s frigid weather” and “as the rate of the flow and temperature (of the oil) continues to drop, experts say the risks of a clog or corrosion increase.”
Ultimately if this continues it will very likely result in the pipeline being shut down, possibly as early as 2013.
The good news is there is a simple solution -- open more land for drilling in northern Alaska. Opening more land for drilling would increase the oil being produced which subsequently would increase the amount of oil entering the pipeline on a daily basis which would ensure that oil flows quickly and safely through the pipeline.
This is a solution backed by most Alaskan officials on the federal, state, and local levels as well as most of the people of Alaska including those that live the areas that would be most highly impacted by the expansion of drilling. Annual polls show that over 75% of Alaskans support expanding drilling including drilling in ANWR.The bad news is that the Obama administration and liberals in Congress are continuing to block this solution. They have hamstrung the oil companies by refusing to issue permits to expand drilling and new exploration along Alaska’s North Shore and ANWR. And they refuse to budge.
That’s right at the same time that President Obama says he wants to decrease oil imports and increase reliance on domestic energy, the policies shared by Obama and liberal leaders in Congress may force the shutdown of the Trans Alaska pipeline, the pipeline that supplies more than 11% of the oil produced in the United States.
What do you think that will do to oil imports and the price of gasoline in the United States?
This is another great example of Obama and his liberal followers in Washington saying one thing and doing another. They read the polls that show Americans are furious about increasing gas prices, that increasing gas prices are causing financial hardship for American families across the country, that Americans overwhelmingly support increasing the domestic supply of energy.
Then Obama and his cronies say they feel your pain, start pushing for increased domestic energy production and even increased oil production. They even start pointing to numbers that show increased oil production, which oil industry experts attribute to policies approved years ago under previous administrations, as proof that they are acting.
But in reality, they have done nothing to increase domestic oil production, to protect the Trans Alaska pipeline, or to lower gasoline prices for American families. Erik Milito of the American Petroleum Institute had this to say when asked about claims that the Obama administration was increasing domestic oil production: "It's completely disingenuous to say that offshore production has increased due to anything this administration has done."The Obama administration and Obama’s liberal followers in Congress are only trying to placate American families fed up by the high price of gasoline by claiming to be in favor of increasing domestic energy and oil production.
What they are really doing is giving in to the environmental extremists who help fund their campaigns, the Democrat National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and similar organizations. These environmental extremists would be happy if the pipeline was shut down.
That’s right Obama and the liberals in Congress are backing environmental extremists, the same extremists who fought tooth and nail against the pipeline being constructed in the first place back in the 1970s, over the best interests of the American people.
These neglect the fact the pipeline has operated for nearly 40 years with very few incidents, the local support for increased drilling, and the strong evidence that expanded drilling along the north coast of Alaska and in ANWR would have a minimal negative impact on the surrounding environment if done responsibly with proper oversight.
They ignore the widespread support of Alaskans for increased drilling. They aren’t concerned about the facts, and they aren’t concerned about the effects of $4.00 a gallon gas on American families and on our nation’s economy. This is the fight they have chosen, and they are committed to winning with the complicit support of Obama and his liberal followers who are beholden to them.
Even our own Congressman Mike McIntyre has fallen into bed with these extremists supporting their agenda over what is best for our district and what is best for our nation as a whole. McIntyre goes around the district talking about being an “independent voice,” about working for you and me, and about fighting for the families of the Southeastern North Carolina. Mike talks about the need to increase our domestic energy production. He claims to feel the pain that higher gas prices are inflicting on all of us.
If Congressman McIntyre really wants to do what’s best for us including increased domestic energy production and lower gas prices you would think he would strongly support increasing drilling and energy exploration in Alaska -- keeping the Trans Alaska pipeline flowing, protecting over 11% of the oil produced in the US, and increasing the domestic production of oil by an amount equal to what we import from Iraq!
Don’t you think that would lower gas prices for Americans and protect our national security by lessening our dependence on foreign oil? I do! And I know that lower gas prices and a more secure America would be good, no, great for our families here in Southeastern North Carolina. I would think that a Congressman who claims to be working for the families here would be proud to support policies that would do that
But what does he do when he gets to Washington?
He stands with liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama and the environmental extremists that control them, voting against drilling in ANWR, drilling which very likely would have produced enough oil to keep the Trans Alaska pipeline flowing. In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, “ANWR could produce greater than a million barrels of oil per day” which is more oil than the US presently imports from Iraq.
Unfortunately this is just another example of Congressman McIntyre claiming to be an “independent voice” who works for what is best for us but instead caving in to extreme special interests and his liberal Washington buddies and doing the exact opposite.