oil for campaign contributions...,
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I'm watching this longish CNN ...,
The specter has returned for about the billionth time: 51-48:
Democrats to scream at: Akaka, Hawaii; Inouye, Hawaii; Landrieu, La.;Corzine, N.J.
Republicans to applaud: Chafee, R.I.; Coleman, Minn.; Collins, Maine; DeWine, Ohio; McCain, Ariz.; Smith, Ore.; Snowe, Maine.
What might the impact be to produce a trickle of oil to be sold to Japan that is miniscule in comparison - being as it wouldn't start producing anything at all for a decade or so - to the amount of biodeisel energy produced in the nation's fast food friers on a daily basis?
With oil revenues derived from Prudhoe Bay, the state has managed to live what seems, on the surface, a free-market, small-government dream. It has kept state taxes low and set up a permanent fund that disperses annual dividends that have risen as high as $2,000 per citizen (although they've since dropped to around $900). But out of sight of most Alaskans, the damage to the North Slope has been enormous. Prudhoe Bay, which started in 1968 as a single oil field, has since sprawled to cover a thousand square miles in the center of the North Slope—an area almost the size of Rhode Island—and has come to be widely referred to as "the largest industrial development in the world." In 2003, the National Research Council published Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska's North Slope, a congressionally commissioned report compiled by eighteen prominent Arctic experts. It concluded that the oil fields had
substantially affected many of the wildland qualities of the region. The associated roads, pads, pipelines, seismic vehicle tracks, transmission lines, air, ground, and vessel traffic, drilling activities, landfill, housing, processing facilities, and other industrial infrastructure have reduced opportunities for solitude; displaced animals; altered ecological processes; compromised scenic values; and resulted in noise and air emissions.
Among other developments at Prudhoe Bay, the report listed almost six hundred miles of roads, sixteen airstrips, two hundred miles of transmission lines, twenty offshore gravel islands connected to the shore by causeways, twenty-four open-pit gravel mines, five hundred miles of pipeline and more than a hundred drilling "pads," or sites, and almost a hundred more exploratory pads. The study also noted innumerable small oil spills and the annual emission of 70,000 metric tons of nitrogen oxides. The committee quoted native hunters who complained of sores and lesions on fish, moose, and caribou. They said that caribou meat had a different taste now, that respiratory diseases had increased in their villages, and that seal skins had become thinner—almost to the point of being translucent.
:: posted by buermann @ 2005-11-04 12:55:41 CST |