The Economic Benefits of Drilling in ANWR? Negligible.

As the debate over opening up more avenues to domestic oil production continues, it’s worth noting that last month, the Department of Energy, at the request of Senator Ted Stevens, produced an economic forecast about opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. The overall benefit? Well, not much, really.

Additional oil production resulting from the opening of ANWR would be only a small portion of total world oil production, and would likely be offset in part by somewhat lower production outside the United States. The opening of ANWR is projected to have its largest oil price reduction impacts as follows: a reduction in low-sulfur, light crude oil prices of $0.41 per barrel (2006 dollars) in 2026 for the low oil resource case, $0.75 per barrel in 2025 for the mean oil resource case, and $1.44 per barrel in 2027 for the high oil resource case, relative to the reference case.

In other words, the absolute, best case scenario for ANWR’s oil production is that if we open it up today, then 19 years from now the price of a barrel of oil will be $1.44 less than it would have been. While the most likely case expects that 17 years from now, a barrel of oil will be about 75 cents cheaper. Note that these are prices for a barrel of crude–not a gallon of gasoline. So the economic effect looks to be pretty marginal.

Granted, this report is merely a projection and subject to all the caveats thereto, but it should certainly give people pause with regards to the “great economic benefits” to be gained from opening ANWR to exploration. In all perfect honestly, I don’t really care much one way or the other if ANWR is opened to exploration (as opposed to opening up more offshore drilling, which raises some more serious environmental considerations). But given that the feds inevitably foot part of the bill for this type of deal, I think that we should question whether this is a worthwhile expenditure of resources, or if those resources are better spent elsewhere.

h/t Matthew Yglesias

FILED UNDER: Environment, Science & Technology, , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    The contents of that DOE report can be found in lesser amunts on any stable floor, as I’ve said in other threads.

  2. Alex,

    Using that logic, we would have never drilled for oil at all in this country. Also, regarding timeliness, if Congress had opened ANWR to drilling back in the early 1990s when they had the chance, we would be seeing the benefits today. All of this simply comes across as a stalling tactic.

  3. Bithead says:

    Quite correct, Robert.
    One has to wonder if not drilling at all in this country isn’t what they want.

    Some ANWR facts I found this afternoon, while looking up soemthing else.

    I’ll quote the first two of about 50, here:

    Fact 1 -The Coastal Plain of ANWR is America’s best bet for the discovery of another giant “Prudhoe Bay-sized” oil and gas region in North America. Many economic benefits would result: – The Coastal Plain could produce up to 1.5 million barrels per day for at least 25 years – nearly 25% of current daily U.S. production. – The U.S. would save $14 billion per year in oil imports. Federal revenues would be enhanced by billions of dollars from bonus bids, lease rentals, royalties, and taxes. Estimates in 1995 on bonus bids alone were $2.6 billion.

    Fact 2 -EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2000 reference, the potential ANWR oil recovered would have a value between $125 and $350 billion.

    Does anyone not think this kind of value wouldn’t help the trade balance if nothing else?

  4. Bithead says:

    Oops.
    Sorry, I missed the link.

  5. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    Using Bithead’s logic, _not_ drilling in ANWR is the best thing we’ve ever done. After all, the value of the reserves in the ground there has quintupled in only 10 years. Bonus!

    I always feel bad for Alex because he’s the only sane person on this board who can read a spreadsheet.

  6. Bithead says:

    Jeff; I should have mentioned taht those comments are from 2001.

    I suspect the value has gone up somewhat since then…. don’t you?

  7. M1EK says:

    Bithead, you got your butt handed to you – and you still can’t admit it. The fact is that even though the reserve is of considerable size, it’s not feasible to extract very much in any given year – so the impact on annual oil production (which is what matters) is, as I’ve been telling you all along to your hoots of know-nothing derision, likely to be very small.

    It’s not worth it.

  8. DL says:

    How much of oil pricing today is speculation and how much is due to suppy shortages? Any major attempt at our production aimed more toward oil self-sufficiency should cool some of the speculation which will bring down the crude price.
    Next, we do need refineries and nuke plants while we brew the magic elixir which will allow us to put a pill in our RVs or something like that -called alternate fuel sources. Why haven’t they found it if it’s such a reality as the greens say it is. Bigger question, why haven’t they broken their personal “addiction” to oil?

  9. M1EK,

    You seem to be implying that there is a trade-off (there is), but you haven’t told us what it is? Drilling ANWR is not worth what? How do you know? How do you quantify this?

  10. Steve Plunk says:

    Alex, Once again I will say it, it’s a hundred 1% solutions. That means each advance in supply coupled with each advance in conservation is worthwhile no matter how small.

    Many other arguments have been made concerning speculation and how drilling in ANWR could impact OPEC attitudes toward production quotas.

    I would also add that we have little to risk in allowing ANRW drilling. In any risk/reward calculation such a small risk would point toward drilling.

  11. Bithead says:

    Bithead, you got your butt handed to you – and you still can’t admit it. The fact is that even though the reserve is of considerable size, it’s not feasible to extract very much in any given year – so the impact on annual oil production (which is what matters) is, as I’ve been telling you all along to your hoots of know-nothing derision, likely to be very small.

    You still haven’t answered the question; On what basis do you make the production level claim? Further on what basis do you assume taht such levels would be static?

  12. Bithead says:

    How much of oil pricing today is speculation and how much is due to suppy shortages?

    Well, last report I heard… about a month ago now, was that stockpiles of both crude and distaltes, were higher than they’d been in 15 years. Since we’re now seeing demand reports that are even further off than they were at that time a few months back, I’d say that there’s no supply issue.

    Any major attempt at our production aimed more toward oil self-sufficiency should cool some of the speculation which will bring down the crude price.

    Quite correct. This price bubble at the moment is about perception.

  13. Steve Plunk says:

    Jeffrey, I believe you have your logic backwards.

    By keeping supply off the market oil prices have gone up but the value of what is in the ground is offset by the cost to the consumer. There is no net gain and in fact a loss when you consider those monies have gone oversees to unfriendly nations.

    M1EK, If that point was Bit getting his comeuppance then it didn’t happen. Robert Prather’s point is especially convincing, worth what exactly? What are we giving up?

  14. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    Those of you who can’t manage to think of a downside to oil exploration and production obviously have very short memories. Remember Unocal Platform A, the 3-million-gallon exploration spill that ended offshore exploration in America? Remember Exxon Valdez? Remember Prestige, which killed off an entire fishing industry? There are costs.

    The main cost is one of opportunity. We can drill ANWR to get a few tenths of cents off a gallon of gas (and remember, gas prices have doubled in a year) for a few years, or we can invest in a real energy industry (solar, wind, fission, geothermal, tidal, fusion, whatever) and have enough energy for eternity.

  15. Jeff,

    We can do both and you darn well know it. The oil companies have bent over backwards, going so far as being willing to use ice roads rather than asphalt, to get a shot at ANWR. In the end we are talking about “spoiling” 2000 acres out of 13,000,000. Not worth it my ass.

  16. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    The areas directly under the drilling pad are not the only areas susceptible to damage. Unocal Platform Alpha was a single well that ruined the coast for miles in every direction. To this day, 40 years later, you will still get tarballs on your feet at the beach.

    So far, none of you self-justifying geniuses have refuted anything in Alex’s analysis. The BEST CASE scenario for ANWR drilling is a reduction by 1% in the price of oil. That’s Bush’s own Department of Energy making the claim. Please refute it.

  17. William d'Inger says:

    They can’t tell you what the price of oil will be 90 days from now within a $1.44/barrel error range and you believe they can predict it 19 years out? You have got to be out of your mind. Anyone who would cite that report as evidence is a demagogue pure and simple.

    we can invest in a real energy industry (solar, wind, fission, geothermal, tidal, fusion, whatever) and have enough energy for eternity.

    These indeed are the fuels of the future — always have been, always will be. I can’t wait to take that tidal powered airliner on my summer vacation. Where should I park my geothermal automobile while I’m away? And by the way, I’ll be sure to tell the Energy Fairy, “Hi.” for you when I see her.

  18. Jeff,

    No, the projected 1% reduction is not the best case, regardless of whether it’s typed in capital letters OR NOT. The main rationale behind drilling there is the same as for every other oil field that’s been drilled: is it economical to do so or not. IOW, is the marginal revenue from each barrel higher than the marginal cost.

    An example might help: if an oil company owns two fields that are economical, even if one is much smaller than the other it will drill both, even though the total benefit from the larger one is larger as well.

    It’s obvious that it’s economical to drill in ANWR even with massive concessions to environmentalists. We should do so as soon as possible.

  19. sam says:

    Just a thought. But wouldn’t it be more economical to invest the money it’d take to drill in ANWR in extracting oil from the Abathasca tar sands?

    Estimates from the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board indicate that approximately 1.6 trillion barrels of crude oil [my empnasis–Sam] are contained within Canada’s oil sands. Of this amount, more than 170 billion barrels are considered recoverable based on current oil prices. “U.S. crude consumption is roughly 20 million barrels per day, or 7.3 billion barrels per year,” said Dick Heusinkveld, director, Power Recovery and Power Turbines, at Dresser-Rand Company. “Less than half of this is produced within the U.S., however, and the balance is imported. Consequently, 170 billion barrels represents approximately 23 years of supply at current consumption rates. It should be remembered that the 170 figure represents only a small fraction of the oil known to be in place in the region. But it’s all that is designated as ‘proven’ or economically producible with current technology and existing market conditions.”

    I’m not gonna put a link in here, ’cause last time I tried (to a NY Times article), the spam police stopped me. Google ‘abathasca tar sands’ and see the first article up, “Next Generation Oil & Gas Article: A modern “Gold Rush” in Canada”
    Google indicates the article was fetched on June 13, 2008.

  20. William d'Inger says:

    Those of you who can’t manage to think of a downside to oil exploration and production obviously have very short memories. Remember Unocal Platform A, the 3-million-gallon exploration spill that ended offshore exploration in America?

    Other than being factually incorrect – offshore drilling in Louisiana and Texas was not affected — it isn’t much of an argument. What you fail to mention is the MILLIONS of wells that have been drilled and have produced oil over the past century or two. Furthermore, you don’t mention the UPSIDE to oil like CIVILIZATION for example. You’re welcome to your opinion, of course, but it and $1.50 ought to be enough buy you a cup of coffee at any truck stop in America.

  21. Michael says:

    That means each advance in supply coupled with each advance in conservation is worthwhile no matter how small.

    Baby seals could be turned into a source of energy, one of a hundred 1% solutions perhaps, but surely you don’t think it would be worthwhile.

    We can do both and you darn well know it.

    We could, but we won’t. If it doesn’t hurt us, we won’t take the effort to fix it.

    In the end we are talking about “spoiling” 2000 acres out of 13,000,000. Not worth it my ass.

    Also, I don’t care what we have to do to your lawn, it doesn’t effect me.

  22. davod says:

    Expanded drilling would give a boost to the economy. The jobs involved normally pay a decent wage. By all accounts there is also a wildlife benefit. The moose have multiplied around the Alaska pipeline. Fish and other sea life treat oil platforms as reefs.

    Most of the current crop of alternative energy sources: Solar, Wind, Tidal, are intermittent providers of energy, and require a more stable supply, such as oil, coal or nuclear, for a good part of the time. A few years down the track, I would not be surprised to see investigations on the Hill over why so much money was poured into alternate energy sources when they can provide at most 20% of the power in a given day.

  23. Beldar says:

    Lies. Damned lies. Statistics.

    Tell me what proposition you want proved, write me a low-five figure check, and by this time next week I’ll have an institute with PhDs issue a report saying that.

    Current market price, at any point in time, is based in part on market expectations about the short, middle, and long-term future. Change one assumption about the middle- and long-term future today, you’ll see a change in the market price today.

    If it makes economic sense to drill and produce, then the companies who acquire the lease rights in ANWR will drill and produce. Contrary to Alex’s prediction, it’s not mostly government money at risk, it’s private capital.

    People who argue that foreclosing drilling opportunities can’t hurt our energy situation simply amaze me. They’re just as certain as people who insist that the earth is flat, and just as misguided.

  24. davod says:

    Beldar:

    The groups who thrill me are those who say we need to leave the stuff in the ground until we really need it. Providing of course we get 10 years notice of when we are really going to need it.

  25. Bithead says:

    Those of you who can’t manage to think of a downside to oil exploration and production obviously have very short memories. Remember Unocal Platform A, the 3-million-gallon exploration spill that ended offshore exploration in America?

    That was when… 1969? You don’t suppose the technology has changed any since then, do you? I mean, we had how many offshore rigs ripped to hell when Rita dn Katrina went over them, and viola’… no leaks.

    Do try to keep up.

    The BEST CASE scenario for ANWR drilling is a reduction by 1% in the price of oil.

    Hmmm. Wasn’t that the argument against Prudhoe bay?

  26. Bithead says:

    Also, I don’t care what we have to do to your lawn, it doesn’t effect me.

    You live in ANWR?
    WHo knew?

  27. bill says:

    In producing a reservoir you do not get to just turn it on and produce oil willy nilly. Most States control what you can produce for a couple of reasons.

    1. being you can OVER produce the reservoir and collapse the formation, resulting in less flow or none.

    2. They do not want to give up the tax revenue all at once. Most have “depletion” taxes etc. and get a cut of the well or most any natural resource.

    Most have a “spacing’ requirement. You have all seen the old time pics of the Texas oil fields with wells sitting next to each other. Cant do that any more. So many acres per well. Except in places where they drill many wells from one location. Many offshore platforms have 20 or 30 wells from one platform.

    And all this worry about what happened in California in the 69 spill. What lasting damage did it do…other than the damage it did to our mind set and current situation and keep the area from being drilled. Other than nasty pictures of oily seagulls…it is all returned to normal…same as Mt. St. Helens, the Yellowstone burn area, the Valdeez spill etc. None of these were EVER as bad as the media made out…and EXCEEDED all Enviro laments about rejuvenation.

    Plus the technology in use today is so far from what was going on then that its not even comparable.

  28. Michael says:

    You live in ANWR?
    WHo knew?

    Something does.

  29. Michael says:

    A few years down the track, I would not be surprised to see investigations on the Hill over why so much money was poured into alternate energy sources when they can provide at most 20% of the power in a given day.

    There is more than enough solar energy to provide our needs, the cost is in collecting it.

  30. Bithead says:

    Something does.

    Well, yeah. Let’s discuss that, shall we?

    That was suppsoedly the big worry about Prudhoe Bay.
    Funny thing; The animals doesn’t seem to mind.

    The caption to that pic:

    -Our only experiment with oil fields and caribou has taken place nearby on Alaska’s North Slope in Prudhoe Bay. The Central Arctic caribou herd that inhabits part of Prudhoe Bay has grown from 6,000 in 1978 to 19,700 today, according to the most recent estimates by state and federal wildlife agencies.

    Any more questions?

  31. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I know the result of not doing anything for 30 years is. My car will not run on tree huggers, it needs gasoline. I don’t give a flying f#ck about “we use too much of the worlds energy”. I am willing to fight to keep my way of life. Drill or we will send to congress those who will approve drilling. We just cannot afford to wait for the alternative.

  32. davod says:

    “There is more than enough solar energy to provide our needs, the cost is in collecting it.”

    Storage and distribution is a bit of a problem as well.

  33. Boyd says:

    My car will not run on tree huggers, it needs gasoline.

    Hmm…now there’s an interesting idea for an alternative fuel source.

  34. M1EK says:

    People who argue that foreclosing drilling opportunities can’t hurt our energy situation simply amaze me.

    As long as you define “our” as “the entire world energy market”, we agree. The problem is that you right-wing know-nothings think that if we increase US production by, say, 25%, that the price we pay for oil in the US goes down 25%. Not even close, my friend. The world market scoffs at an increase that small; and oil is priced on the world market no matter where it is produced or consumed, at least until fungibility breaks down, at which point we’ll wish we hadn’t drilled all our own oil.

  35. Bithead says:

    As long as you define “our” as “the entire world energy market”, we agree. The problem is that you right-wing know-nothings think that if we increase US production by, say, 25%, that the price we pay for oil in the US goes down 25%. Not even close, my friend.

    Of itself of course not. What you totally miss, however, (Or perhaps you chose to ignore it?) is the monopolistic reaction of OPEC… a reaction whcih it has ALWAYS done in the past, such as when Prudhoe came online. They’ve invariablyincreased production in an attempt to make such new fields unprofitable. Thus, the price drop, in your theoretical, is even more than the 25%.

    That point aside, it seems to me you are always trying to snatch defeat from the laws of victory. Else you don’t consider less expensive energy a victory. Why is that?

  36. Bithead says:

    As long as you define “our” as “the entire world energy market”, we agree. The problem is that you right-wing know-nothings think that if we increase US production by, say, 25%, that the price we pay for oil in the US goes down 25%. Not even close, my friend.

    Of itself of course not. What you totally miss, however, (Or perhaps you chose to ignore it?) is the monopolistic reaction of OPEC… a reaction whcih it has ALWAYS done in the past, such as when Prudhoe came online. They’ve invariablyincreased production in an attempt to make such new fields unprofitable. Thus, the price drop, in your theoretical, is even more than the 25%.

    That point aside, it seems to me you are always trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Else you don’t consider less expensive energy a victory. Why is that?

  37. Michael says:

    What you totally miss, however, (Or perhaps you chose to ignore it?) is the monopolistic reaction of OPEC… a reaction whcih it has ALWAYS done in the past, such as when Prudhoe came online. They’ve invariablyincreased production in an attempt to make such new fields unprofitable.

    Only if they can increase their own production enough to drop the price below the profitability threshold of the new sites. If they can’t increase their output, or if there will be enough of an increase in demand to negate any increase in their supply, then OPEC won’t have much leverage here.

    Also, I heard on NPR this morning that China is discontinuing subsidies on gasoline. Any comments on that?

  38. M1EK says:

    Trivially less expensive oil for the whole world at the cost of our own strategic energy reserve down the road is not a positive.

  39. Michael says:

    Storage and distribution is a bit of a problem as well.

    Storage and distribution is a problem for all energy sources. Actually, the real problem is energy loss during conversion to and from a storable/transportable medium. If we could find an efficient way to convert solar to some kind of hydrocarbon, which we’re working on (artificial photosynthesis), it will become much more useful. Solar-thermal power plants are already proving their ability to generate electricity at night by storing solar energy as heat.

    Trivially less expensive oil for the whole world at the cost of our own strategic energy reserve down the road is not a positive.

    As davod pointed out, if that is your intention you should be drilling now, but put off pumping until it’s needed. We don’t want to be 10 years away from usable oil when it becomes a strategic necessity.

  40. Michael says:

    That was suppsoedly the big worry about Prudhoe Bay.
    Funny thing; The animals doesn’t seem to mind.

    “The Central Arctic caribou herd that inhabits part of Prudhoe Bay” != “The animals”. Anecdotes are not data, despite what jokes may say.

  41. Bithead says:

    Anecdotes are not data, despite what jokes may say.

    It’s clear to me you’ve not done any research on the subject. I suggest you do and you’ll find this point one of many.It shuldn’t take you long; the Carabou are about all there is.

    Only if they can increase their own production enough to drop the price below the profitability threshold of the new sites. If they can’t increase their output, or if there will be enough of an increase in demand to negate any increase in their supply, then OPEC won’t have much leverage here.

    Since the Saudis have given dramtic increase to their their output just the other day, now, it seems to end the argument about their ability to do so. There is no indication now that they will not respond exactly as they ahve in the past. None, of course, save your claims.

    Also, I heard on NPR this morning that China is discontinuing subsidies on gasoline. Any comments on that?

    It would tend to confirm what we’ve been hearing for weeks now. Indeed, I think I’ve mentioned that myself on this blog a coupe times… I know I’ve mentioned it at BitsBlog. That means a rather sharp drop off in total consuption, and thereby yet another indicator of my predicted midsummer price drop, falls.

    As davod pointed out, if that is your intention you should be drilling now, but put off pumping until it’s needed. We don’t want to be 10 years away from usable oil when it becomes a strategic necessity.

    well, there’s that, but in addtion, and one thing that’s not been discussed here is tha trade balance and it’s effect on the value of a dollar. I should need to tell you that a goodly chunk of our current issues with the dollar are being driven by the trade balance, and that by the dollars we’re shipping out to buy oil with.

    Let’s assume the theoretical 25% of our domestic output being in ANWR today. Let’s further assume further, just for the sake of discussion, that M1EK is correct in that it would only make a small ripple on the total world output. Even assuming that worst case scenario, we’re still talking a 25% reduction in the trade balance deficit which would be caused if we weren’t trading that oil on the world market. And that’s regardless where it’s burned. Either we use it here or we ship it out, thus negating the added trade imbalance to the degree of oil we get from ANWR.

    Does anyoe seriously entertain the idea that’s not going to affect the value of the dollar and thereby the price we pay at the pump… and eveywhere else?

    Add the other effects I mention, and ANWR is a win-win for the US.

    But as I say, I wonder mightily why some wouldn’t want that situation.

  42. Michael says:

    It’s clear to me you’ve not done any research on the subject. I suggest you do and you’ll find this point one of many.It shuldn’t take you long; the Carabou are about all there is.

    Some extended research gives some more insight into this. I posted a link, but it’s currently in the spam filter. To summarize, though, all is not rosy for the Caribou herds near Prudhoe bay.

    Since the Saudis have given dramtic increase to their their output just the other day, now, it seems to end the argument about their ability to do so.

    I must have missed that. The last increase I heard about was a token amount that coincided with President Bush’s visit.

  43. Bithead says:

    Actually, no.

    Bush came away empty handed, or so the press told us.. The Saudis didn’t announce they were even thinking about it till several days later. The output increase as a I gather it, totals 500,000bbls/mo.

  44. Bithead says:

    To summarize, though, all is not rosy for the Caribou herds near Prudhoe bay.

    Perhaps not, but the population figures would seem to suggest a net positive.

  45. Michael says:

    Perhaps not, but the population figures would seem to suggest a net positive.

    Technically yes, and the linked reports does verify that. However, the net reproduction rate decreased significantly during that same time. It also noted that the Central Arctic herd was separated into two calving grounds, with the calving rate in the one occupying the developed area having a significantly lower reproductive rate than the other.

    Here’s the URL, intentionally mangled to hopefully bypass the spam filter.

    www[dot]absc[dot]usgs[dot]gov/1002/section4part1.htm

  46. Bithead says:

    It’s temporary, and not much a concern.

  47. anjin-san says:

    Bit… hope you are enjoying taking the guzzler to the gas station. Have a nice day 🙂

    PS… do your buds at Exxon give you frequent buyer miles?

  48. Michael says:

    It’s temporary, and not much a concern.

    What’s temporary?

  49. Michael says:

    Bit… hope you are enjoying taking the guzzler to the gas station. Have a nice day 🙂

    PS… do your buds at Exxon give you frequent buyer miles?

    What was even the point of that post?

  50. Bithead says:

    What’s temporary?

    The relatively small effect on birth rates; It will only last so long as the feild does.

    What was even the point of that post?

    It makes him feel morally superior. Just ignore it. I do.

  51. Bithead says:

    Bit… hope you are enjoying taking the guzzler to the gas station. Have a nice day 🙂

    By definition, what I drive is not consider a gas guzzler… though of course having your own definitions for everything else, perhaps you’ll be interested in telling me what qualifies for that phase in your lexicon?

  52. Michael says:

    The relatively small effect on birth rates; It will only last so long as the feild does.

    It was the theorized cause of the decrease in birth rate that makes the case for Prudhoe Bay actually being bad for the Caribou, despite the increase in population size.

    It makes him feel morally superior.

    I’m can’t see how, but whatever works for him I guess.

  53. M1EK says:

    There’s still no proof the Saudis are actually increasing production, BH. It’s still just an empty promise from them, like the last ten times they said they could or would real soon now (many of those times it turned out they were being disingenuous and trying to sucker people into buying heavy sour).

  54. anjin-san says:

    Sorry Bit, I am in a good mood, and your endless attempts to try and decide what the definition of “is” is are well, boring.

    Let’s just compare monthly household gasoline bills. At current prices, ours is about $195. How are you doing?

  55. Bithead says:

    There’s still no proof the Saudis are actually increasing production, BH. It’s still just an empty promise from them, like the last ten times they said they could or would real soon now (many of those times it turned out they were being disingenuous and trying to sucker people into buying heavy sour).

    And if that was the case, do you really doubt that we’d not have seen it reported already?

    Let’s just compare monthly household gasoline bills. At current prices, ours is about $195. How are you doing?

    Oh, about $160 per week for our two vehicles.. One gets around 30mpg and the other … my Rainier, around 22. Then again, I drive a total of about 35-40k miles per year, on average. That’s down a bit for the last few years… I used to run around 60k, between my computer service job and my weekend camping runs. And I actually have a frame under me, since I haul a camper weighing around 4500lbs…. (which is actually a money saver, too. Since I carry my own kitchen, fridge stove etc… along with my living qaurters to places I go, I save upwards of a couple hun a day while on the road, in resturants I don’t have to go to, and perhaps another 100 a night in hotel fees. We can drop hitch and go any weekend we choose… and it’s still cheaper than the small car and hotelling it, or any kind of ‘mass transit’.)

    One side effect of that situation is I and my family are safer. See, unlike the econobox, my rig will actually attract the attention of anyone hitting it.

  56. Michael says:

    And I actually have a frame under me, since I haul a camper weighing around 4500lbs…. (which is actually a money saver, too. Since I carry my own kitchen, fridge stove etc… along with my living qaurters to places I go, I save upwards of a couple hun a day while on the road, in resturants I don’t have to go to, and perhaps another 100 a night in hotel fees. We can drop hitch and go any weekend we choose… and it’s still cheaper than the small car and hotelling it, or any kind of ‘mass transit’.)

    That ain’t campin son*.

    (*)Must be said with southern accent.

  57. Bithead says:

    Well, yes and no. Does get us out, though. And Mrs Bit likes it better than the pure tent arrangement.

    it also does provide us a cheaper way to see the country, even with the price of fuel where it is.

    Hmmm. Matter of fact, let’s see, here. I don’t have a picture of the new rig online yet. But here’s a pic of the trailer (Yes, the current one) with BitsBox, which is the van we used to have.

  58. Michael says:

    BitsBox?

  59. anjin-san says:

    my rig will actually attract the attention of anyone hitting it.

    Well, my 350z has the virtue of being able to get out of the way before someone hits it. Mileage is not the best, though not bad for a performance car, but its a 4 mile round trip to the office, and I generally work at home 2 days a week. If I have to go to the San Francisco office, I take the train.

    One tank can last me a month, but my budget allows for things such as driving up to Napa tomorrow…

  60. Bithead says:

    Well, my 350z has the virtue of being able to get out of the way before someone hits it.

    I’ll have to show this to my buddy, who said this a few years ago a week before his 240 got pureed by an IH4030 cabover.

    Most of us can’t go where the government decides to allow the rails. But before you get too wrapped up in your lwo gasoline bill, consider the number of taxpayer dollars the rest of us spent so subsidize you. A Democrat version of ‘fairness’, I suppose.

    BitsBox?

    Yep.

    Complete with a lic tag that said exactly that. (Chuckle)

    Thing had everything, including a fridge. Dual air, dual heat. (F&R) Leatherall around, (Heated in the first four seats), Bose AM/FM/Tape/CD changer up front, Blaupundt AMFMCD on headphone circuit #1 in the back. Circuit #1 was tied to the vedeo system, which had an RF section on it, and the VCR and DVD on it as well as a N64 game system. I had all the headphone jacks and controllers wired through the window ledges at each seat. All wheel drive. Engine mods to allow over the road at 20-23mpg… usually 21, pretty much where the Rainier is now.

    Ground effects kit, custom paint. Bigger brakes, better suspension (For towing) etc. Most of that stuff I tacked on myself.

    Hell of a rig, that was. I miss it. A dream for over the road, and a real head turner, too.

    Essentially, I had to give up my Firebird for what amounted to a schoolbus for the kids. So, I decided I was gonna have FUN with it. As you can see, I did. (Grin)

    Now, of course I’ll be told all about how this was all a waste by those who would rather see me in an Altoids box. Screw them.

  61. anjin-san says:

    consider the number of taxpayer dollars the rest of us spent so subsidize you.

    Dude, do you EVER get tired of whining? I have not had any need for fire/emergency services for over 30 years, do you hear me crying about how I have been subsidizing all those greedy old folks who need an ambulance ride from time to time?

  62. Bithead says:

    Dude, do you EVER get tired of whining?

    Heh. Correct identification of someone picking my pocket, and then bragging about it? If that ‘whining” then your answer is “no, get used to it”.

    You’re the one who decided, in your ‘good mood’ to brag about how little getting around was costing you, as if that was supposed to be a good thing. Funny thing, how that good mood faded when you got reminded, …even gently, and with good humor, how much you were costing everyone else.

    Your ‘holier than thou’ outfit could use some laundering.

  63. Michael says:

    Hey, nobody care about either of your cars, or how much you pay in gas. Can we get on with it now?

  64. Bithead says:

    Heh. Well, HE certainly did. And I answered his questions (And yours) straight up, as you saw.

    But in fact my response had nothing to do with those topics at all, but rather with his mindset. As I said, I’d been ignoring it, to a point. But there’s only so much sanctimonious “I”m better than you” preening I’ll put up with.
    Case closed.

    But anyway:

    It was the theorized cause of the decrease in birth rate that makes the case for Prudhoe Bay actually being bad for the Caribou, despite the increase in population size.

    Correct. But the overall effect was so minor, that it hardly seems worthwhile to worry about it. That problem goes away when the drilling does, and it’s certainly not threatening the species, meantime. The place didn’t get wiped out which was the prediction… not even close.

    And keep in mind also, that the design of the site at Prudhoe is some 30 years older, and so the design is somewhat more intrusive.

    More, AFAIK, the area under consideration in ANWR is actually less of a wildlife issue than Prudhoe was supposed to be. In the end I don’t think this is a serious problem at all.

  65. anjin-san says:

    Bit,

    Still obsessed with how badly everyone want to get “into your pocket”. I am willing to be that I paid more, probably significantly more in federal taxes than you last year. Do you hear me crying about it? Nope.

    Stop whining bit, it is unbecoming in a man…

  66. Bithead says:

    Still obsessed with how badly everyone want to get “into your pocket”. I am willing to be that I paid more, probably significantly more in federal taxes than you last year. Do you hear me crying about it? Nope.

    Here we go again with the ‘I’m better than you” crap.

    Well, when you get done patting yourself on the back, why not send me a few thou, since you’re willing to so freely give your money away? Oh, I SEE. (Amused stare)

    What you so blithely accept has a name: Theft. That’s the fact. Sorry you can’t deal with it.

  67. steve says:

    drilling in anwr will be a win/win situation.It will be the first step towards showing the world that america still has a little backbone to not cave to the socialist element and enviromental extremists.there is enough room for the cute little polar bears and man in that region.The speculators will help bring down prices looking at oil futures and betting that the price of a barrel of crude will drop.the saudis and other exporters will have to rethink their attitude toward the u.s. sure,the short term affects of anwr are slim,but it is a step in the right direction.It’s too late for the blame game,let’s pull together and show the world that america is not full people who gave up,but rather,Acountry full of folks that can get things done when the chips are down.