Mark this day.
First, President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Accord, the global warming economic treaty-that-wasn’t-a-treaty. Morally, legally, and factually, this was the right thing to do (as Erick laid out rather clearly).
Second, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed an order to “jump-start Alaskan energy production in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska.”
130 days into Trump’s (first) term in office, the Obama greenhouse legacy has been undone.
“The National Petroleum Reserve serves a critical role in both our energy and national security,” said Secretary Zinke. “This is land that was set up with the sole intention of oil and gas production, however years of politics over policy put roughly half of the NPR-A off-limits. Using this land for its original intent will create good paying jobs and revenue for our Northern-most city and strengthen our energy and national security. Working with the Alaska Native community, Interior will identify areas in the NPR-A where responsible energy development makes the most sense and devise a plan to extract resources. We will do it in a way that both respects the environment and traditional uses of the land as well as maintains subsistence hunting and fishing access.”
With this, a second hammer has been dropped on the self-feeding and self-aggrandizing vicious circle of “clean energy” and greenhouse hysteria. Yes, I used scare-quotes there because the whole industry of solar, wind, tidal, and other panacea-invoking energy sources has been based on a lie that we’re running out of oil.
When the lie of rapidly depleting oil reserves was exposed, then global warming was pushed to the point of criminal persecution of scientific dissenters to shut off the flow of fossil fuels. But in fact, we have plenty of oil, new technologies for exploring, drilling, and pumping that oil, coupled with cleaner methods of refining and burning carbon-fuels.
But it’s no longer about “clean.” It’s about “greenhouse gases” that include such ridiculous topics as cow flatulence, and suggestions that we eat insects. I have no problem with renewable energy technology. In time, it will develop and we will use it to great effect. But the way it’s been shoved down Americans’ throats to enrich a few fat-cats is both disingenuous and morally bankrupt.
This order by Secretary Zinke (his name has recently come up since the special election for his former seat in Congress was won by Greg Gianforte) is good for the U.S., good for Alaska, and good for clean energy. Representatives from the Native Alaskan community, North Slope political leaders, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Rep. Don Young, and Gov. Bill Walker all praised the order.
“This Secretarial Order is exactly the type of announcement that so many Alaskans have been asking for: a smart, timely step to restore access to our lands, throughput to our Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and growth to our economy under reasonable regulations that do not sacrifice environmental protections,” Murkowski said.
Scienc-y-sounding liberals will have a hard time disputing Zinke’s credentials. “”I’m a geologist. Science is a wonderful thing: it helps us understand what is going on deep below the surface of the earth,” Zinke said. “We need to use science to update our understanding of the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as Congress considers important legislation to responsibly develop there one day. This order takes the important first step in a smart and measured approach to energy development in ANWR.”
From the press release:
The National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska is the largest block of federally managed land in the United States. In 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the NPR-A contained approximately 895 million barrels of economically recoverable oil and 52.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. On February 21, 2013, the Secretary of the Interior signed a Record of Decision approving the Integrated Activity Plan for the NPR-A, which sets forth the Bureau of Land Management’s plan for future management of the area. That plan made approximately 11 million of the NPR-A’s 22.8 million acres unavailable for leasing, potentially precluding development of up to 350 million barrels of oil and 45 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
The 1.5 million-acre coastal plain of the 19 million-acre ANWR is the largest unexplored, potentially productive geologic onshore basin in the United States. The primary area of potential oil and gas exploration is on the Section 1002 Area of ANWR, which was specifically set aside by Congress and the President in 1980 because of its potential for oil and natural gas development.