May 10, 2008 8:31 AM | Alaskan Photo Tours

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McCain, TR and ANWR

By Jeffrey Schmidt

In a recent interview with Bill O'Reilly on The Factor, John McCain made clear once again who opposes oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR.) Like his hero, Teddy Roosevelt, Senator McCain is a conservationist. "

With crude oil prices around $ 125 per barrel (at this writing) and threatens to go higher, with gas prices at four dollars per gallon in some locations, and, yes threatening to rise, and the cost of everything the country produces and consumes the impact of energy prices high, it seems that Senator McCain devotion to TR is out of touch. Out of touch with the realities of today and TR.

It is true that Roosevelt was a conservationist. He gave us the Grand Canyon National Park, after all. He was also a trustbuster "," using the word of the day. The senator from Arizona, undoubtedly has some of its visceral aversion to Wall Street executives and big business's efforts to break the monopoly TR.

But old Teddy Roosevelt was also something else. He was a nationalist, which by contemporary standards liberals, TR did, well, at least rough and more like a barbarian.

Roosevelt Nationalism is not just about building a powerful navy blue water or go eye to eye with the British or the Germans or the Japanese, but the construction of industrial power of the nation. Expansion of the economy. Workers put to work. Make the main streets thrive. And, to use a Republican slogan years Later, it was "put a chicken in every pot."

In the days of TR, the United States was practically independent of energy. It was not like many us. Coal was king, and there was and still is a lot of it. Roosevelt saw all the soot, chimneys belching smoke, not an air quality problem, but as a sign of health. The chimneys, the strongest in the nation.

In all accounts, TR had a muscular mind. It was a strategic thinker. Coming in the current scenario, which easily understand that the U.S. dependence on foreign oil threatens national security. His famous character explode when he saw how a coalition of liberal fey, anti-capitalist, environmental radicals, lawyers for special interests and political opportunists stopped the nation to take steps to wrest control of their fate at the hands of oligarchs and Middle Eastern dictators Banana Republic.

A thinking man of action, TR called for the drilling of the coast, making greater use of coal, nuclear reactor construction and development of oil and gas reserves where Stars and Stripes waved. There was fighting to dump U.S. dollars to promote the technology to exploit oil shale, which are abundant in the western United States and Canada. Sure, it was for energy efficiency. But he would not tell Americans to live with rolling brownouts. Or to put a family of four people in a Prius too expensive. Not reduce the family budget through taxation of energy. And not just shrug and tell Americans to "live with it," as some liberals do Europeanized.

TR carried out drilling in ANWR. Geologists would say that under the lies of the Arctic coastal plain, perhaps 7.7 million barrels of oil (expected average estimate). A "Super Camp" in the vernacular. By comparison, Alaska Prudhoe Bay, Lisburne, Endicott, Milne Point and Kuparuk oil fields are currently producing about a million and half barrels of oil a day. That's almost one quarter of domestic production of the nation.

While ANWR offers no panacea for energy, a contribution would significantly to the liberation of the nation from the clutches of Saud and the House or Hugo Chavez. Roosevelt, always tenacious, which cuts through all the cannot and propaganda to reach more reliable data on ANWR.

He had quickly learned that much of ANWR is not the Arctic Eden. Large tracts of tundra is endless, especially towards the north. 19.6 million hectares in total. That's equivalent to West Virginia and Connecticut combined. To the north of the Arctic Circle, the world is involved sterile most of the year in the twilight or darkness. In the short summer, herds of caribou to migrate there. But just as sensibly migrate when nights are long and the weather gets rough. There are some tribal people in ANWR limits, the Kaktovik Inupiat, who control 92,000 hectares.

There was still most know that the Congressional mandate only allows two thousand hectares to be developed for oil and gas, and that is in that Arctic coastal plain near Beaufort Sea. That's less than half of one percent of the total area of the Refuge. And there was to know that the Inupiat, who control the mineral rights on their land for exploration and development.

But he would find that Congress is banning drilling in the one and half million hectares set aside for exploration Arctic coastal plain, so geologists have no way to know definitively how big is the potential of ANWR is to the nation.

Happy to protect the environment, who had discovered that the oil drilling technology has advanced in just the last thirty years. Day Texas oil wells dotting the landscape and spewing huge clouds of black oil are gone. Currently, only small "footprints" are made on the ground. Techniques and technologies such as extended reach drilling, spacing, drilling mud disposal and ice roads and ice pads have declined dramatically environmental impact.

TR, always a winner, to see these techniques and technologies as a win-win.

But you probably would scratch his head wondering why John McCain, a stalwart of national security, is not seeing the benefits of opening ANWR to development wise. He further asked for what the senator is unable to articulate even bolder, broader measures to address the nation's energy needs growing.

Knowing TR would take the bull by the horns and call the senator at a meeting, man to man. Senator asked point blank if he really appreciates the danger facing the nation in the coming years, if not now begin to reclaim its energy independence. Do the Russians or the Chinese do not exploit a weakened and vulnerable in America, do you want?

And if you ask to speak clearly and failed hard for the Arizonian around TR not pussyfoot, he would say to her admirer out of the sand and make room for a true leader.

Teddy Roosevelt was never shy to lead.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schmidt is a public affairs consultant. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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