Photo Credit: Daily Caller Obama’s latest anti-fossil-fuels directive is to move off-limits to exploration and drilling some 12 million acres in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is one of the most oil-rich regions in the world. The area to be removed from drilling is larger than the combined land area of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Alaska’s economy is already softening because of low oil prices; now he tosses the state’s drowning economy an anchor.
Obama says his motivation is to keep this land environmentally undisturbed and to protect wildlife — as if he were a modern-day Theodore Roosevelt–style preservationist. “Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge is an incredible place — pristine, undisturbed,” Obama says. “It supports caribou and polar bears, all manner of marine life, countless species of birds and fish, and for centuries it supported many Alaska Native communities. But it’s very fragile.”
Well, no, not really. Think of a football field, and then think of placing a postcard on that field. This is roughly the size of the development footprint required to drill in these wilderness lands, compared with the entire Alaskan landmass. Thanks to horizontal drilling, the footprint from oil and gas production is getting smaller all the time. Drilling will hardly alter the majesty of the mountains or the forest lands.
[T]he impact on Alaska’s wildlife and natural beauty has been almost nonexistent. A study delivered in 2002 to the American Society of Civil Engineers found that “the ecosystems affected by the operation of TAPS and associated activity for almost 25 years are healthy.” Today the size of the caribou herd in Alaska is estimated at about 325,000 — four times the number before the pipeline was built. . .
So what’s really going on here? This latest White House move isn’t about saving polar bears. It’s about a radical climate-change agenda to stop all domestic oil and gas drilling and coal mining, wherever and whenever possible. The middle-class Americans who will lose jobs or pay more for gas at the pump are collateral damage. (Read more about the drilling ban in Alaska HERE)