Saturday, March 25, 2006

ANWR in an energy context

I don't understand people who are in favor of drilling ANWR but who are against tightening up US CAFE standards by raising mileage requirements and including SUV's and light trucks.

Here's a picture (see below) that puts this in perspective. It's lifted from Dr. Rajan Gupta's presentation entitled "ENERGY in the 21st Century: Need for bold thinking and action", which is available from the Los Alamos National Labs website here (4 MB PDF). Dr. Gupta's point is not about drilling ANWR; rather, it is that we need a Manhattan Project / Man-on-the-Moon approach to addressing our energy situation. He asks whether we want a planned solution or a forced solution to what is a grave problem.

Here's the picture. See the ANWR blip on the lower right, and compare it to the projections for Total Oil Demand and Transportation Demand so far above it. Click the picture for a bigger view.

It seems that ANWR will be drilled, for better or worse. I'm afraid we actually need to drill ANWR to buy a little more time to get over the energy hump. I wish, though, that we could link drilling ANWR directly to strong measures to improve efficiency and prudence with respect to energy consumption in this country. Seems bloody unlikely, invisible-handers and all.

Hat tip: Energy Bulletin

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