Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Drastic measures?

President Bush recently decided to put forward a break-through "Energized Plan" for preventing the country from facing a grim future by proposing to drill for oil and gas in public lands and also rejuvenating the nuclear industry by researching newer methods of re-processing nuclear waste and starting up new plants. The major controversy apart from the proposal itself is that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska would now be open to oil and gas drilling operations. The whole planned bill has been seen as an effort to boost the production in the US to supposedly reduce the dependence on foreign oil. The bill also proposes a drastic cut in the conservation programs and renewable energy benefits.
I find this extremely amusing that in a day and age when CONSERVATION is the way forward, the politicians would propose something that is extremely short sighted. As Rep. Strama had mentioned in class today, the democrats greatly oppose this view and focus more on turning the page and coalesing the existing technologies with the renewable one's so that both industries could benefit and thereby reduce our impact on the environment.

1 comment:

jason h said...

In Thermodynamics (4 years ago) an engineer from a drilling company gave a presentation on the ecological footprint of arctic drilling. The strategy includes building during the winter when a thick layer of snow is on the ground. The heavy machinery used in construction and drilling have these huge treads that distribute the pressure in a way that the vehicle could run you over and you would be fine (who ran that test?). So, these vehicles could drive over the snow without harming the terrain. While the company is drilling, the land is protected from hunting; wildlife continues to graze on the land. The engineer claimed that some herds actually increase in size while they were drilling. Finally when drilling is complete the well is covered by a small structure.

It was pretty interesting. Of course, the engineer had her agenda but we hardly ever hear of the actual process. If necessary, it seems possible to drill with minimal environmental impact. I believe we should begin transitioning to alternative sources and encourage traditional energy companies to lead the way. It would be unfortunate if the powers that be use the recession and the soaring price of oil as an excuse to hastily drill in ANWR.

I agree, that it is a terrible idea to divert funds from proven conservation, and efficiency technology in order to explore new options.