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Drill in ANWR, don't help terrorists
By Paul Walfield
Security here at home has become the overriding concern for most Americans. The polls show it, as do the results of the last midterm election. While the Democrats have tried to emphasize the economy as the number one issue in America, Americans have clearly shown their desire for safety over dollars. That is not to say that the economy, loss of jobs and fear of a plummeting stock market and 401k's, doesn't rank high on the list of American priorities of things to be concerned about, it's simply that when there is a combination of the two issues; that when push comes to shove, security wins.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Democrats misreading of the American public's priorities, is their refusal to allow oil exploration and drilling in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), on the north slope of Alaska. The Democrats devotion to Democratic dogma has blinded them and taken priority over the obvious need to take the steps necessary to relieve America's dependence on foreign oil. Moreover, the subsequent national security issues that it entails, along with the creation of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of needed jobs, and the boost to the economy their creation would cause. The Democrats steadfast denial of allowing American natural resources to be exploited for dubious reasons goes beyond the pale.
The economic bottom line is that after the boom of the nineties, the twenty first century arrived busted. Millions of jobs have been lost, the stock market tanked, and the economic future is at best uncertain. President Bush did the right thing with the tax cuts which so far is cushioning the fall, but more is needed. The Administration, along with the loyal opposition, has introduced competing economic stimulus packages. The Administration's plan calls for bold measures to be taken to "restart" the economy. The Democrats version is basically a "Mini-me" of the Presidents plan. Nevertheless each calls job creation the number one stimulus for the ailing economy.
Various studies have put the number of jobs that would be created by allowing the drilling of ANWR to be between fifty thousand and nearly a million. The vast range is accounted for because of the political leanings of those doing the study. In any case, all studies see at least tens of thousands of jobs being created. The consensus being that if the political bias was removed from the study, nearly a quarter of a million jobs would be created if drilling in ANWR was allowed to proceed and that is just the beginning.
Even the trade unions representing some ten million American workers affiliated with the AFL-CIO have urged that legislation be passed to allow the sensible exploitation of the oil reserves of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. They, like anyone who cared to pay attention, understand that no matter how you look at it, the drilling of ANWR will create jobs and help the American economy. Aside from the obvious creation of jobs in the construction, electrician and mining fields among others, there will also be jobs created in the maritime industry and shipbuilding fields. New tankers will have to be built to transport the vast new oil produced from the fields and that will increase the number of work hours here at home for those already employed.
The detractors to the opening up of the oil fields in Alaska always fail to show how the exploitation of two thousand acres of land for oil drilling, among the nearly three hundred and sixty five million acres of Alaskan land is to be prioritized over the benefits to the American economy and security.
By even the most conservative estimates, the oil reserves in ANWR are greater than all the oil reserves in Texas. Looking at it another way, the dollar estimate for the reserves in ANWR is more than three hundred billion dollars. This would be money that was spent in the United States rather than shipped overseas for foreign oil. Money, that would be used to create jobs and growth that is sorely needed to stimulate the economy.
It is also estimated that the reserves at ANWR are equal to decades of oil imports from Saudi Arabia. Even if the most conservative estimates are used, the need for Saudi oil will vanish if ANWR is allowed to be tapped. The benefit to our national security is obvious and the benefit to our economy is equally obvious.
Recently, we have been inundated with news reports about television commercials saying that SUV owners help terrorists each time they filled their tanks with gasoline. The idea being that gas-guzzlers mean more oil imports from the Middle East, and part of each dollar we send to Saudi Arabia et al, goes to fund terrorism.
If that is true, and if it is equally true that oil pumped from ANWR will eliminate the need to import fossil fuels from Saudi Arabia, aren't the detractors to Alaskan oil exploitation helping terrorists?
Paul Walfield is a freelance writer and member of the State Bar of
California with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Paul has also attended
post-graduate classes in behavioral and analytical psychology. He resided
for a number of years in the small town of Houlton, Maine and is now a
California attorney. Paul Walfield can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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