The Instigator
reagan_views
Pro (for)
Winning
39 Points
The Contender
Tatarize
Con (against)
Losing
37 Points

The fastest solution to our oil crisis is drill Alaska

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,459 times Debate No: 2507
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (20)

 

reagan_views

Pro

Hello

I'm am arguing that the fastest way to end our dependence on foreign oil is to drill alaska. The oil there just has to be drilled and refined. In Alaska, there is belied to be enough gas to fuel 25 million cars and heat 46 million houses for 30 years. We then could end foreign oil.

For the alternative fuels, it is taking a whole lot of time. The car companies just can't have the cars on the road in 1 day. It is going to take another 5-7 years before some of our cars don't use oil. Lets just take hydrogen for example. There are cars coming out that run on hydrogen, but there little hydrogen repumping stations (unless you live in tree hugging California). NOw that we have these cars, we have to find people to build a station, run it, and pay for it. I bet not a lot of people will want to run something like that. It is going to take time.

By drilling Alaska, the gas could be sold directly from the refinery to the station, cutting the cost of our middle man. We have all our stations ready to go, and gas station owners, would love to sell the gas even if it's $0.20 less, because there are going to get a ton of business.
Tatarize

Con

http://en.wikipedia.org...

-- "A 1998 United States Geological Survey (USGS) study indicated at least 4.3 billion (95% probability) and possibly as much as 11.8 billion (5% probability) barrels (0.9 to 2.5 km�) of technically recoverable oil exists in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1002 area, with a mean value of 7.7 billion barrels (1.7 km�)."

-- "The U.S. consumes about 20 million barrels daily."

20 million / 7.7 billion = 385 days.
* That's without growth.

I contend that my opponent is wrong not because he suggests drilling Alaska will solve all our problems with magical numbers which make it appear that Alaska is floating on a sea of oil, rather I contend that he is wrong because drilling Alaska isn't a solution at all!

If you could instantly have access to that 7.7 billion barrels today and use as much as you want. It would only temporarily make supply manage to meet demand again. It wouldn't solve the problem at all. Solutions, real solutions, make the problem go away... not make the problem take a little while longer to screw us up. There's perhaps three months of world oil consumption (82.6 million bbl) in the pristine gem of a wildlife preserve (which you should think long and hard before destroying) we have up there. Giving realistic drill times, adding that on oil on top of current world oil production statistics, doesn't even push the peak back any. World oil *still* peaked in 2006 and it would makes the drop off we're suffering go a little more slowly.

http://www.infoplease.com...

7.7 billion isn't really that much. A drop in the pan so to speak.

1. Saudi Arabia 264.3
2. Canada 178.8
3. Iran 132.5
4. Iraq 115.0
5. Kuwait 101.5
6. United Arab Emirates 97.8
7. Venezuela 79.7
8. Russia 60.0
9. Libya 39.1
10. Nigeria 35.9
11. United States 21.4

---

The solution to the oil crisis isn't more oil!
Debate Round No. 1
reagan_views

Pro

Hello

This isn't what I was looking for, I'm arguing that drilling Alaska is the fastest way to solve our dependence on foreign oil. I see my mistake. I will try to make an argument.

What your saying that it would only last 385 days, that's i just a guess. Who knows, maybe it will last a ton longer, maybe it won't. Lets say that we can put the gas in the pumps by January 1st 2009. Now The government will say to the car companies to start producing hydrogen etc. cars. Also, they can tell the gas stations to be ready to be hydrogen compatible. In the mean time, if we were to make more E85 stations, it would lower your numbers and our dependence on foreign oil.

Also, the graph you show is technically wrong. The other countries need oil to sell to keep their economy going, we don't. Also, we have Al Gore and tree hugging liberals who are afraid to produce oil in Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, Rockies, etc. Our numbers will be a lot higher if we drilled more.

SOrry for the confusion.
Tatarize

Con

I understand your argument. You are saying that drilling Alaska is the fastest way to solve our dependence on foreign oil. I am against that proposition. I suggest that it isn't "the fastest way to solve our dependence on foreign oil", because it can't "solve our dependence on foreign oil". We are still dependent on foreign oil, with or without drilling ANWR! It's a drop in the pan. We couldn't drill it fast enough to sustain our entire demand for oil, and even if we could, it's about a year worth of oil.

The 385 days is an estimate (not a guess). There are people who do this as their job. They estimate how much oil can be removed from the grounds in different places. They say that there is about 7.7 billion barrels of oil. This is the actual and proper estimate as to how much oil is probably there. Dividing that by the amount we currently use, gives us that duration (without growth). We probably would use more if it were cheaper, so the estimate is probably on the high side. We probably would continue to increase in our demand, so the estimate is probably on the high side.

It would be impossible to pump the oil prior to January 1st 2009. Nor is that enough time to establish the infrastructure needed. Further, your argument isn't that we should drill Alaska and then convert to hydrogen, that's not even part of a solution. You are in favor of drilling ANWR as a "solution".

By the way, with a name like reagan_views you'd have the government tell a lot of people what to do.

Your argument seems to have become,
Let's Drill ANWR.
Then convert to Ethanol.
Then convert to Hydrogen.

That's a bit far from the initial point, and oddly doesn't work at all.

Why are you forcing car manufacturers to produce extreme flex-fuel vehicles and everybody to buy them... then to produce hydrogen vehicles and everybody to buy them too... You'd have people replace their cars twice for technology that simply doesn't work?

There are a number of problems with both hydrogen and E85. Ethanol (from corn) takes more energy to produce than it delivers. Even though the energy ultimately comes from the sun to grow the corn, it just takes too much to actual manufacture that it can't break even (this might be overcome with some major advances). Further, most of our food products are corn derived, switching to corn based would make our food prices skyrocket. The math suggests we'd need the entire US covered with corn to power our cars.

Hydrogen is hard to store. Hydrogen is hard to move. Hydrogen would require an entirely replaced infrastructure to run. Hydrogen is produced through the electrolysis of water and is, in effect, just a battery for the real energy source: coal. Coal powers the power grid, then powers electrolysis, then powers the car if burnt directly or using a fuel cell.

You have, in a debate about "solutions" to our oil crisis provided a non-solution of Drill ANWR. Then you back this up by suggesting other things which have *some* actual potential. On the topic, you lose. On these odd secondary arguments, you lose. I'm not even quite sure what you are proposing. The topic however is clear. The objection is just as clear: You do not solve an oil crisis with more oil... especially a tiny amount of additional oil (compare the ANWR figure with the figures given in the Table of Round 1).

My table is accurate regardless of your your silly objection that they sell us oil. Of course they do! They have a lot of it, and ANWR has a small amount. We don't need to sell our oil to foreign countries, because we don't have any (Texas, Alaska, and California do produce but not enough to merit much attention). We're unable to avoid importing foreign oil. We haven't been able to sustain ourselves since the 1970s. Further, even drilling ANWR, we'd still have dependence on foreign oil. Also, most of our foreign oil is Canadian.

You don't understand the problem if you think that more holes = more oil (forever). It's a finite resource. The problem we are facing now is that there's less left to discover than we need to discover. The places we discover oil today are much harder to access, and much more expensive. We did find a good amount of oil in the Gulf a while back, however that oil was way out in the middle and very deep. That oil is hard to access and harder to find. It use to bubble up from the ground all over the place.

Believe me, if there's oil around, the oil companies are looking for it. However, we can't get it out of the ground and usable fast enough to meet demand. There is a little less oil in the ground today than we have ever produced and or used (we're a couple years after the peak, 50% at peak).

There's plenty of oil... there's just not enough. That's the core issue with the oil crisis. We use a lot of oil. We pump a lot of oil. We find a lot of oil. We just don't find and pump the oil faster than we can manage to use it. Adding ANWR to the equation doesn't solve anything!

I'm sorry for your confusion.

You think that drilling ANWR is a good idea for some bizarre reason. You have an extremely confused view of the problem. You have a naive view of the potential solutions. You blame "tree hugging liberals" for your confused view of the world. Stopping oil companies from destroying ANWR is actually worth it. ANWR is priceless, doesn't actually have that much oil, and isn't a solution!

"If it weren't for these damned tree-hugging liberals we would be facing this oil crisis a year later than we're facing it now... and have destroyed a natural treasure." -- Damn those tree-hugging liberals!

ANWR is a national treasure, it's honestly priceless and one of the last untouched bits of nature we have left. You want to sacrifice it for what boils down to about a year of no real solution?

You add on to this idea, grasping for straws. Maybe E85 (which takes more energy than it produces) or Hydrogen (which doesn't produce any energy and there's no infrastructure or cars for) can save us! If you want to debate those topics, feel free to challenge me on them... I'd happily wipe the floor with you.

The fastest solution to our oil crisis is not to drill Alaska. Drilling Alaska isn't a solution to anything. The solution to our dependence on oil is not more oil.

"I'm trying to quit Heroin."
-- "Gee, are you taking something for that?"
"Yes, Heroin."

I'm not confused, but apparently you are.
Debate Round No. 2
reagan_views

Pro

reagan_views forfeited this round.
Tatarize

Con

The oil crisis will not be solved with a small amount of additional oil. The Pro argument is offering a non-solution as a solution.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
The refineries we have today are more than enough to cover all the oil we are getting. That's not a problem in the least. We haven't pumped as much oil as we did in early 2006. The refinery capacity is more than enough to refine the oil produced.

The Alaskan oil is probably pretty light crude, at least compared to the tar sands we're using now.
Posted by aceofelves 9 years ago
aceofelves
The United States has not built a new oil refinery in several decades. Getting crude oil is not a problem.

Also, the Alaskan oil is very poor. We don't even use what we drill there, we send it to other countries.

The solution to the oil crisis is to use another form of fuel, such as ethanol or hydrogen or some other virtually infinite source of energy. If we continued using fossil fuels, we might try using coal again, as the United States has the largest supply of coal in the world by far.

Tatarize clearly won this debate.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
C-Mach, 400 years is wrong and right. That's without growth which is a rather massive caveat. Canada, Russia and China all have massive reserves of coal as well. We have an oil crisis, not an energy crisis and even that isn't much of a crisis more like a slow ramp upwards for gasoline costs.

Coal is dirtier than oil. Liquefying it and using it in a modified car is perhaps the dirtiest and worst idea anybody has come up with in a long time.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
Yes, but we have enough coal to supply us for another 400 years. We are the Saudi Arabia of coal. This could solve our energy crisis, and also, you can liquefy it and put it in your car (This is strange, but true.).
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
Adamh, the 385 value is the best estimate of the amount of oil in ANWR divided by the amount of oil used by the united states on a daily basis. It is obviously true that the number is just an attempt to show how much oil is actually there. In reality we couldn't pump it or move it that fast and it would simply be added on to our standard imports. This would loosen the belt a little bit, but it wouldn't put us back prior to peak oil and wouldn't solve the oil crisis or serve to keep us away from foreign oil.

Much of the rhetoric concerning the origin of oil is a mockery. Yes, most of our oil comes from Canada and Mexico however that doesn't really change anything (nor does it relate to this argument). Oil is a world commodity. We import from Canada and Mexico because they are closer than shipping it from the middle east. Whereas the Middle East ships their oil to places which might otherwise have Canadian oil if we weren't buying it. The price is set globally. Our demand for oil causes the price of oil to go up. So oil producing countries sell their oil for more. Much of the rhetoric about terrorism and terror-supporting countries is silly and wrong as well. There are problems with oil, funding terrorism isn't one of them.

Yes. Drilling ANWR can hurt. It will totally f*ck up ANWR! DUH! It will destroy a jewel of nature for a little bit of black goop that we need to get away from using anyway. Tell you what, when oil hits $200 a barrel feel free to slant drill it from a thousand miles away.
Posted by adamh 9 years ago
adamh
Tatarize, in your Round 1 post, you said the gas in Alaska would only last the US about 385 days. I don't know if those numbers are right or not but it's not the issue - 385 days if we ONLY used the gas from Alaska. This is not including other areas of the US and it's not including gas from Canada and Mexico. While Canada and Mexico may be "foreign", they are not terrorist-supporting countries and we should continue using gas from them. We do all of this for a while as we continue to work on alternative fuels and we stop supporting countries who ultimately want to do us harm. Either way you look at it, it can't hurt to drill ANWR.
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