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Obama halts US drilling in Chukchi Sea
Howard Richman, 4/7/2010

Investor's Business Daily has been following the story. In a May 29, 2009, editorial they reported:

Back in July, when IBD first interviewed the then-little-known governor, Palin emphasized developing Alaska's Chukchi Sea resources. Under those icy waters, it was then believed, was enough oil and gas to supply America for a decade.

"It's a very nonsensical position we're in right now," Palin told us. "(We) ask the Saudis to ramp up production of crude oil so that hungry markets in America can be fed, (and) your sister state in Alaska has those resources."

At the time, it was thought that Chukchi's waters northwest of Alaska's landmass held 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Today, Science magazine reports that the U.S. Geological Survey now finds it holds more than anyone thought — 1.6 quadrillion, or 1600 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas, or 30% of the world's supply and 83 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, 4% of the global conventional resources.

That's enough U.S. energy to achieve self-sufficiency and never worry about it as a national security question again.

But on March 31, 2010, Investors Business Daily reported that a law suit was preventing U.S. drilling:

Last December, the Obama administration actually granted Shell Oil leases to drill three exploratory wells in Alaska's Chukchi Sea. But claiming a shoddy approval process, the leases are being challenged by green groups in the enviro-friendly 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Without wondering whether the Obama administration set Shell up for frustration, my money is on the greens in that venue.

Now, the Washington Times reports that, as part of his mixed offshore-drilling plan, President Obama has halted future sales of leases in the Chukchi Sea:

President Obama's new offshore drilling plan opens up some new areas for oil and gas exploration but also cancels some Alaska lease sales planned for the next two years, putting billions of barrels of oil out of reach for now.

The long-awaited plan, announced Wednesday, expands drilling opportunities off the coast of the southern Atlantic seaboard, in the Gulf of Mexico and some parts of Alaska, but halts other future sales in Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort seas that drilling advocates say could account for far more oil than the new areas the president proposes to open up.

Just after Obama announced his plan, Governor Palin characterized it as "stall, baby stall.". She wrote:

Behind the rhetoric lie new drilling bans and leasing delays; soon to follow are burdensome new environmental regulations. Instead of “drill, baby, drill,” the more you look into this the more you realize it’s “stall, baby, stall.”

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Comment by Lee, 4/9/2010:

In this article you mention a report published in the May 29 2009 edition of Science. The abstract of this report does say that 30% of the the world's undiscovered gas and 13% of the world's undiscovered oil may be found North of the Arctic Circle. In the very same paragraph, the report states that the natural gas is largely concentrated in Russia and also that oil resources "are probably not sufficient to substantially shift the current geographic pattern of world oil production"

 


Comment by Howard Richman, 4/9/2010:

Whoops, I did it again. I deleted earlier comments by mistake when I fixed up the article. I need to do some reprogramming.




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