A perspective from an oil & gas V.P. from Midland, Texas
I need to correct Grateful Web over their bias over the impact of oil and gas on the environment. First of all... the production that bush wants to open up in Colorado is GAS. Gas is very clean, not only for burning, but also to drill and produce. An average house in Boulder is far, far worse for the environment then either an oil or gas well. It only take a few weeks to drill a well, where a house is pretty much permanent. An oil well normally has a 20 year life span... if the producer is lucky. Granted oil wells require pump jacks, holding tanks and an access road, but even so, ten oil wells cause less pollution then 1 household i.e. water/waste, garbage, non-indigenous landscaping, etc. Plus, let me remind you that the Colorado stuff is gas and gas wells are only noticeable when being drilled. When they are put on production the gas head is smaller then a large dog and the gas is piped so no need for roads, hence, gas is THE cleanest energy source possible.
Hydroelectric power is hundreds of times more damaging to the environment, so is wind power (although I think the huge windmills north of Denver are actually very artistic and awesome to look at), solar power is a great idea, but not practical or economical at this time.. plus who knows what effect all those mirrors might have? (joke) And I don't think I need to say anything about nuclear power.
I am not sure, but I suspect that oil wells are what is purposed for Alaska. And I do agree that oil would impact that environment a great deal. Not because of the actual wells, but because the heat from the pipeline is bad for the permafrost and obviously tankers suck. However, when you consider that the Clinton administration emptied the majority of our strategic reserves... and that the US only has about 24 hours of reserves left. I think a bit of damaged environment (less then 1% of 1%) is worth world peace. How on earth did I come up with "world peace"? Well, back in 1997 the commerce department reported that if we had another crisis like when Iraq destroyed Kuwait oil production, the US would have no choice but go to war and begin civilian rationing of energy. So you ask... "perhaps things have changed?" Yep, they have gotten worse. In 1997 we were only 50% dependent on foreign oil production, we are currently over 60% dependent. Granted, the US only gets about 15% of our imports from the middle east.... but Germany, France & Japan get almost all of there production from the middle east. Hence, world war. Like it or not petroleum products are vital to the world economy. (did you know that 80% of ALL chemicals used in manufacturing come from petroleum? Like petro-based fertilizers that have increased the average yeld 100%, can you imagine world hunger without the increased yeld of grain?)
I don't think I need to explain that wars aren't about religion or politics, those are more noble justification, war is about economics and feeding people. Look at Ireland... when their economic sucked, they bombed each other... now Ireland has one of the fastest growing standards of living.. and there is peace in Ireland.
Taking the above into account, I feel that the USA is currently raping the entire world by hoarding our domestic reserves and not producing them. What will happen when the world reserves wane and the USA is forced to open up its reserves? What right does the US have to be gluttons?