Drilling

What Would Environmentalists Do If They Owned ANWR?

Consider the costs and benefits to things like drilling for oil, for one.

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The debate over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reemerged last week as the Obama administration announced new protections for the vast, oil-rich Alaskan landscape. The Department of Interior is placing the 30,000 square mile ANWR off-limits to drilling, and the president wants Congress to further designate the refuge as wilderness—the highest form of federal protection.

The reactions were typical. Industry groups said the restrictions are "tying American's hands against a future of affordable and reliable energy." Environmental groups praised the move. "Some places are simply too special to drill," said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. The Center for Biological Diversity urged Congress to permanently protect the area "before it's destroyed for short-term profit."

But talk is cheap, so here's a thought experiment: What would happen if we left the fate of ANWR up to environmentalists? What would they do if they owned ANWR?

Consider the National Audubon Society, one of the many environmental groups supporting the new protections for ANWR. "Drilling is a dirty and dangerous business that has historically always resulted in spills and harmed the environment," says the group, which has long opposed any drilling in ANWR.

But cut through the rhetoric and consider how the Audubon Society manages its own private wildlife refuges. For nearly 50 years, the group allowed oil and gas drilling on its 26,000-acre Paul J. Rainey Sanctuary in Louisiana. The sanctuary protects important habitat for thousands of migratory birds and other wildlife. Beginning in the 1950s, several oil companies drilled dozens of wells in the sanctuary.

In 1981, Reason broke the story of drilling on the Rainey Sanctuary. "Gas wells in terrain managed by professional, dedicated environmentalists may seem almost as out of place as free drinks at an AA meeting," wrote John Baden and Rick Stroup. "What happened to the hostility that has come to exist between resource developers and conservationists? Have the lion and the lamb laid down together in the same field?"

The Audubon Society ensured the drilling was done carefully. The companies had to comply with strict limits on drilling, including restrictions on pumping during bird nesting season. As one journalist observed in Audubon magazine, "There was this timelock, and when the cranes punched in, the hardhats would have to punch out." These precautions were necessary, said sanctuary manager John Anderson, because Audubon's members "would be very irate if we polluted our own environment, our own land, our own sanctuary."

It's not just the Rainey Sanctuary. Audubon has authorized drilling on the Bernard Baker Sanctuary in Michigan as well. For years, an oil well located outside the sanctuary accessed oil and gas beneath its surface through slant drilling. The arrangement enabled Audubon to earn mineral royalties while also protecting bird habitat.

Why would Audubon allow drilling on its own sanctuaries but oppose drilling elsewhere? "Different incentives lead to different behavior," say Baden and Stroup. Private ownership forces Audubon to consider the tradeoffs associated with managing the sanctuary and the opportunity costs of leaving the oil and gas untapped. In exchange for drilling on the Rainey Sanctuary, Audubon earned more than $25 million in royalties, which it was able to use to purchase and protect even more land.

Although oil and gas production ended on the Rainey Sanctuary in 1999, Audubon has considered reopening the sanctuary to drilling. New directional drilling techniques enable companies to extract oil and gas beneath the preserve with little or no impact to its wetland habitat. The profits would help Audubon tackle marsh restoration projects and fight coastal erosion on the sanctuary.

Back in Alaska, the story is much different. Audubon opposes virtually all oil and gas production in ANWR and on all federal lands. Under public ownership, the incentives for compromise are practically zero. Audubon has no reason to consider the development potential in ANWR because, unlike with the Rainey Sanctuary, they stand to receive none of the benefits.

And those benefits could be substantial. A study by economists Matthew Kotchen and Nicholas Burger pegged the value of the oil beneath ANWR at $374 billion with an oil price of $53 per barrel—not far from today's price. With that kind of money, environmentalists would be forced to consider what additional environmental value could be gained by allowing at least some drilling in ANWR.

After all, it could be that more important environmental benefits lie elsewhere. As one Alaskan outdoor writer put it, "It would seem of far more environmental concern that Alaska's ducks and geese have a place to winter in overcrowded, overdeveloped California than that California's ducks and geese have a place to breed each summer in uncrowded and undeveloped Alaska." Under private ownership, environmental groups could assess that tradeoff, just as Audubon did on the Rainey Sanctuary, to achieve the greatest environmental value.

That kind of balanced approach is lost in the ANWR debate today. Under public ownership, ANWR takes on excessive political symbolism: Should we save the Arctic or destroy it for short-term profit? Protect America's last great wilderness or drill, baby, drill? The Rainey Sanctuary demonstrates that it doesn't have to be one or the other. Private ownership gives environmental groups a strong incentive to balance conservation with resource development and resolve competing demands in a cooperative, mutually beneficial way.

Property rights matter. When environmental groups bear the costs of managing their own lands, their behavior is often very different than what they advocate on publicly owned lands. The experience of the Audubon Society suggests that there is a more sensible approach to environmental problems than the political environmentalism we know today. But, unfortunately, you're not likely to find it in the political debates over ANWR.

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  1. It’s ALL about the money!!!

    1. Pretty much. I don’t get these people who hates the profitz but expect a paycheck for the work they do.

      1. THEIR money is hard earned, OTHER money is stolen from The Masses.

        Guillotine Bait, the lot of ’em.

  2. Just like the PETA lady who takes animal insulin.

  3. Should we save the Arctic or destroy it for short-term profit?

    Oh no! Not profits! We can’t allow profits! That’s immoral!

    1. the actual size of the impact on ANWAR by drilling is analogous to the size of a postage stamp on a football field. As far as the caribou go – they love the pipelines in Alaska – keeps them warm at night.

      1. Never let the facts get in the way of the narrative.

        1. what facts? what naarative? you sound like brad pitt pretending to be a spy in ‘burn after reading’: “Appearances … can be deceptive …”

          1. sorry, just noticed your name and realized there mightve been some sarcasm at play here

    2. the actual size of the impact on ANWAR by drilling is analogous to the size of a postage stamp on a football field. As far as the caribou go – they love the pipelines in Alaska – keeps them warm at night.

  4. Environmentalists are a joke and have been for a long time. Huge hypocrites- like the PETA people that kill more animals than anyone else. Its always been about control and money….pure and simple.

    A friend of mine wanted to put a pool in his backyard then found out he was 20 yards too close to the river 280 yards away. Environmentalists blocked him from building it until he paid for and got a “waiver” to allow him to build it. So in effect he had to buy them off. BTW… the environmental impact of the pool – NONE since no water leaves the pool and he rarely ever adds any due to the natural rainfall.

    1. There is a huge environmental impact of a pool if it is bought by someone so fucking stupid as to be friends with you. How about an argument that pertains to the article in at least a tiny way or shut the fuck up?

      1. C-

        Troll harder.

        1. “C-

          Troll harder.”

          Damn talk about grade inflation.

          That post is a solid: F

          1. Agreed with JWatts. This troll sucked.

            F – Jimmies not rustled

      2. Choadintheroad

        It does if you would kindly take your head out of your ass – the story I told is the same truth: Liberals/environmentalists really only want to get paid off and control the situation. Of course you are too stupid to figure that out so why don’t you shut the fuck up

      3. Is someone cross? There, there, little guy, It’ll be okay. Maybe mommy’ll bring you some milk and cookies and you’ll feel all better.

      4. Chill bitch.

    2. You reminded me of the band U2 and their views and how they change once “rich”:-)

      Guitar player has some land above Malibu but was turned down for building till the right “indulgences” had been paid for.

      Costal Commission Rejects Development: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..79103.html

      Mountains Conservancy Backs Edges Malibu Development:
      http://la.curbed.com/archives/…..opment.php

      1. but my friend isn’t rich and the pool is only about 10 ft X 12 ft and salt water not even chlorinated. He has had it for almost 2 years now and has never drained it.

        However the level of environmentalism control extends to such minuscule aspects of life.
        Edge got screwed but his impact was far greater. He learned the hard way that no matter how rich, famous, or politically correct you are never going to evade the perverse pervasive influence of the enviro/facists

  5. I’d give them ANWR if they’d just STFU about fracking.

    1. Only if they agree to live there at least 351 days of the year. I allow them to come back to civilization two weeks of the year, just to remind them of the consequences of their decisions.

      1. Like they’d last 351 days in ANWR. Truckers and bushpilots wouldn’t find their bodies till late August, at best.

    2. No. Give them NOTHING. Their greed and inability to compromise will inevitably bring them into conflict with the great mass of people who need electricity, transportation, and heat. And then they will wonder what caribou herd hit them.

  6. I wonder if the environmentalists would support drilling if the company that did it was nationalized. Because then there wouldn’t be any immoral profits. All the money would go to Teh People. That is if a government-run company could pull the oil out and of the ground under cost. Government stooges would probably lose money, even if the price of oil was a thousand dollars a barrel.

    1. Oh, they’d still oppose drilling. They don’t give a crap about The People. As more things get nationalized you’d just see more turf wars and in-fighting. You already see it among Federal departments and state and local governments. Everyone wants jurisdiction. It isn’t enough that an “ally” is in control.

    2. The additional irony there would be that nationalized oil companies drilling on “public owned” lands tend to have some the worst environmental records around. There’s parts of eastern Europe that are uninhabitable to this day due to the environmental damage caused by their glorious communist governments.

      But remember, that’s only because the wrong people were in charge.

      1. Some of the worst Superfund sites in this country are military bases.

        1. That’s a bit circular, but true. The military never claimed it was safeguarding the environment at those sites. I think it pretty much came out and said, “We’re going to do a lot of nasty stuff here, where it’s somewhat less likely to hurt civilians.”

          1. I was adding to Loki’s point that the government doesn’t have a great environmental record.

            1. Yeah man, way correct… The commies in East Europe and Russia have fucked up their environment WAY worse than we can EVER aspire to! And China today is not an environmental paradise either… Tell that to a proggie though, good luck!

    3. In a system like that it wouldn’t matter who opposed it. Unless they wanted to be lined up in front of a wall they would keep their mouths shut about it. No, the oil would not be extracted under cost. Yes, there would be an enviropocalypse.

      We know this because it has been done and done and done and done before. It is happening right now in Venezuela.

  7. They will either never visit it or if they are a rich enough elite, visit it a few times safe in the knowledge that it is their private playground that they can enjoy without worry of any of the little people being around to mess things up.

    These people are fucking evil. They happily deprive others of a change at a better life and to make a good living so they can feel good about themselves or have unimpeded access to some wilderness spot they like. They don’t care about the environment. They happily support wind and solar farms killing thousands of birds, destroying habitat and polluting the land because it suits their tastes. They never think a wit about the environmental devastation wrought by communists government because doing so conflicts with their illusions about their preferred ideology.

    More than anything they love themselves and they hate other people. They will happily let other people be poorer and worse off to feed their preferences. They will happily let people in the third world starve, go blind, or live in unending and grinding poverty to indulge their various GM Crop and AGW superstitions. Those other people are just pests in the way of the world the environmentalists want.

    1. Only good decent people equate oil profits with human prosperity.

      1. Only morons feel that banning the creation of wealth makes society prosper.

      2. Yes Tony. Those pofits and production produce a better life for millions of people and save them from poverty.

        Only an evil, ignorant, selfish idiot like you would think that is a bad thing. You hate people and are happy to condemn them to poverty. Environmentalism is just the latest excuse. It never even occurs to you that drilling for that oil might benefit someone else because no one but you matters.

        1. Unfortunately that drilling for that oil also causes a lot of harm, and not just to the wilderness the drillers would ruin. Few things in life are all good and no bad, and oil certainly isn’t one of them.

          Your hyperbole betrays your corporate whoring. Nobody wants to put everyone into poverty. The whole point of so-called environmentalism is to reduce the amount of misery in the world.

          1. The whole point of so-called environmentalism is to reduce the amount of misery in the world.

            ROFL, if that was true the environmentalists wouldn’t be opposing GMO crops, exploiting inexpensive forms of energy, the construction of manufacturing facilities etc.

            There is very little difference between you guys and some 19th century cleric demanding the outlawing of anesthetics because God decreed women must suffer during childbirth.

            1. And there is absolutely no difference between you and other science denying morons like creationists.

              1. No matter how vigorously you claim your superstitious are scientific, Tony, the universe won’t give a shit.

                The sad thing is that numerous people, mostly poor people in the third world, are suffering because your poisonous religion is popular here in the first world. A small sacrifice for your superstitious fear that the gods will punish happiness.

              2. Tony, a turd like you should never try and claim any real understanding of science. You and your moronic progressive pals treat bad science like a religion.

                You are a delusional, soulless, shitbird. Your beliefs help murder millions and bring us ever closer to a world war.

                If you have a shred of humanity within you, end it all.

            2. Wait……..19th century cleric, or 19th level? I’m confused now.

            3. GMO crops are government subsidized and the farming practices used with it are the USDA blueprint they want to see for all agriculture. Somw of the top staff there came from Monsanto. Crony capitalism at its best.

          2. The whole point of so-called environmentalism is to reduce the amount of misery in the world.

            Like banning DDT in Africa because it might mean soft bird egg shells. But, hey, what’s a little malaria, eh?

          3. The whole point of so-called environmentalism is to reduce the amount of misery in the world.

            Do you prefer the method that makes everyone poorer or the one that makes the right people rich and everyone else poorer?

          4. Tony:

            The whole point of so-called environmentalism is to reduce the amount of misery in the world.

            That would be great if life were all about good intentions. As it stands, that’s worth absolutely jack shit.

          5. You commenting betrays you as a mindless fucktard.

            1. That was for Tony of course. Also, how can anyone but government limit misery … Derp,derp,and DERP.

          6. This comment is a lovely Tonyism. Falsehoods, lies, fallacies all rolled up in one six line comment.

            Drilling does not cause a lot of harm.

            Nothing is all good or all bad, but oil is by far more good than bad.

            John is a corporate whore. See, this is just a straight up lie.

            Some people do want to put everyone in poverty.

            The whole point of environmentalism is to reduce the amount of prosperity in the world. And people, to reduce their numbers also.

            See Tony, not one little bit of anything resembling truth or intellectual integrity in that comment. Not one.

      3. Only good decent people equate oil profits with human prosperity.

        No, I’m sure some assholes do too.

      4. Tony:

        Only good decent people equate oil profits with human prosperity.

        Why do you hate Norway, Tony?

        1. This.

          Virtually all of Norway’s wealth is from oil profits. Were it not for oil, they’d be living in a frozen wilderness with no way to hold up even a small portion of their economy.

        2. Didn’t Al Gore sell his progressive cable network to a country that basically paid in barrels of oil?

      5. Who wants cake?

      6. Tony – profits are always about human prosperity. Profits = healthy companies = jobs for regular citizens + products for citizens to improve their lives + tax revenue for government.
        In order to have profits we have to have investors – wealthy people who risk their money to start companies. This is called capitalism and it is the most mutually beneficial socio economic structure know to mankind in history

        Only a socialist like yourself cannot understand this

        1. Profits are fundamentally good for society.

          Profits are the difference between what society is willing to pay to pay for a good or service, and what it costs to produce that good service.

          The best companies keep the costs down and reap the biggest profits.

          1. Profits are a direct measure of value added to the world. No profit means no value added.

    2. I can sympathize with people who want wilderness to be preserved, but have no intention of visiting it. I sort of feel the same way. But it’s not mine, so I don’t get to decide. And I can understand that sometimes ugly looking things can provide a lot of good and are necessary to improve the human condition.

      And it’s fucking Alaska, which is huge and empty. Even with 1000 more oil wells, it will be a huge, empty wilderness up there.

      1. What do you mean it’s not yours? You’re part of Teh People, aren’t you? That means you own federal land! Well, unless you don’t vote. Then you don’t have a say.

  8. Hypocritical left is hypocritical. This surprises some people?

    Do as I say, not as I do. For the left, this principle overrides all others.

  9. They need to find oil under a major city. Like New York. Then drill without any concern for the environment.

    1. Man alive! There are, uh, men alive in here.

      1. Sure, I’m all dizzy and nauseous, but where’s the inflated sense of self-esteem?

        1. +1 & +2 Burns Slant Drilling Company

    2. I wish they would find some amazing new element that can be used to do all sorts of almost miraculous things. Then let that element only be available if it is strip mined from under Park Slope, NW Washington DC, and Beverly Hills.

      I am really in a vengeful mood these days.

      1. We can’t help it if you’re jealous of people who live in affluent areas. Try making more money rather than being vengeful, fucknut.

        1. Go fuck yourself you moron. I mention those areas not because they are wealthy. I mention them because they are full of idiotic people who would happily make the rest of the world poor.

          We get a lot of dumb posters on here but come on. Stop depriving Tony of the honor of being the dumbest person on here.

          1. Choad reads like someone taking a regular comment, removing random words Mad Lib style and blindly replacing them with the angriest nouns, verbs and adjectives one can come up with.

            1. tarran, you sound like someone who’s sucking up to John so you can get his balls in your mouth…

          2. Yeah, I’m dumb because you mention three affluent areas and I’m supposed to know you mention them they are full of people “who would happily make the rest of the world poor.”

            Well, either way I am one of those people (though I don’t live in one of those places,) who would happily make the rest of the world poor if it improved my lot.

            Why should I give a fuck if the rest of the world is poor? I’m not a communist, cuntface.

            1. Awww! Isn’t he the cutest little thing? And so eloquent, for his age. His mommy must be so proud.

            2. Choadintheroad|2.5.15 @ 5:28PM|#
              “Yeah, I’m dumb”…

              You’re a slimy piece of leftist shit. And you stink.

              1. Name one thing I’ve ever said that was leftist, fuckface.

                1. Choadintheroad|2.5.15 @ 6:28PM|#
                  “Name one thing I’ve ever said that was leftist, fuckface.”

                  You may be right,shitstain. You’re just a run of the mill ignoramus.
                  Fuck off.

                2. Kill yourself choaderboy.

                  1. Name one thing I’ve said that was ignorant or run-of-the-mill.

                    1. Choadintheroad|2.5.15 @ 7:52PM|#
                      “Name one thing I’ve said that was ignorant or run-of-the-mill.”

                      Everything you’ve posted.
                      Fuck off.

          3. Well, its name is Choad in the road. Whadya expect?

            Its just a really bad lowbrow troll. If it had not used the term ‘choad’ I would have thought it was a 9 year old boy who laughs hysterically when he posts moronic insults.

            Ignore it.

        2. Hey dickbag, that all you got?

          1. Suicidy, you know you said that out loud? I mean if you want to start shouting about not having enough load to swallow, you should probably say it to the guy you’re blowing, not by typing a comment which addresses his dickbag…

            1. What the fuck did you just fucking say, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it.

              You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

              (in case your worried, this is a old half-chan joke. Not real in anyway)

              1. I wasn’t worried…and it was pretty funny.

    3. Oh, I suppose you want them to frack Manhattan so it will capsize like Guam, you monster.

      1. I’m not picking on New York; I’m just saying it would be nice to be able to drill where the caribou and man-eating polar bears will be safe.

        1. “Do-n’t drill on the range!
          Keep the car-bou and man-eatin’ polar bears sa-fe!
          Where never will be heard
          Any kind of a word
          ‘Cause environmentalists chased ev’rybody away!”

          1. +1 uncloudy sky for a 24-hour period

    4. “They need to find oil under a major city. Like New York. Then drill without any concern for the environment.”

      There is Oil under Los Angeles. There are 3,000 oil rigs in the LA area.

      http://static.panoramio.com/ph…..951572.jpg

      Many of them are camouflaged:

      http://img.weburbanist.com/wp-…..l_main.jpg

      1. That’s not a church steeple:

        http://www.clui.org/sites/defa…..esized.jpg

        And that’s not a parking garage:

        http://www.nileguide.com/desti…..CR_web.jpg

        1. Those are fantastic….I can say I learned something today.

        2. That’s no moon!

  10. “…unlike with the Rainey Sanctuary, they stand to receive none of the benefits.” I can’t think of a better example to illustrate the tragedy of the commons.

  11. “Drilling is a dirty and dangerous business that has historically always resulted in spills and harmed the environment,”

    So, every single oil drill in history has caused spills and harmed the environment? Every single one? Or is this a case of a lefty fuckwad not knowing what words mean?

    1. Both. They honestly are that stupid and they also have no idea what words actually mean.

    2. Never let the truth get in the way of the narrative.

    3. So, every single oil drill in history has caused spills and harmed the environment?

      If you define spills as any oil at all escaping, then probably. If you define environmental harm loosely enough, then everything does. Of course, when most people think of spills, they think of something like a pipeline or tanker breaking.
      The problem, as I see it, is more lack of understanding that pretty much everything has up sides and down sides.

      1. I was listening to an interview with some guy who operated oil wells. He said that literally every spilled drop had to be documented so they could be fined for it, meanwhile a government truck would drive by spraying oil on the dirt road to keep the dust down.

        1. +1 “Fresh Oil” county road sign

        2. Just boils the blood, doesn’t it? I must be more sensitive to irksome progtards today, I’ve laresdy counseled Tony and some other rectal artifact towards suicide.

          I must be getting crankier than usual.

      2. If you define spills as any oil at all escaping, then probably. If you define environmental harm loosely enough, then everything does.

        I suspect that’s what the lefty ignoramus who said that shit was doing, but most people wouldn’t define the terms that way. But then again most people understand cost/ benefit analysis and trade offs to at least some extent.

        Speaking of which:

        pretty much everything has up sides and down sides.

        Surely you’re not implying that there are trade-offs and compromises that need to be made? You monster! /lefty retard

      3. If you define spills as any oil at all escaping,

        A fun experience in the Navy: the city of everett really wanted an aircraft carrier homeported there and lobbied hard for it.

        We showed up. And every time it rained the oil coating the flight deck that had dripped, sprayed or misted off of our aircraft during flight ops got washed into the sound – in quantities that constituted some sort of environmental emergency. With all the rain one gets on the eastern shore of pugent sound, this meant that the city’s environmental protection people were in a constant state of emergency.

        Fun times.

        1. I’m sure no one but the environmental protection people noticed the emergency, though…

    4. Well, clearly Tony is some kind of geological engineer and an expert on all forms of petroleum exploration and extraction processes.

  12. Oh, I thought it said what to do about Arctic *Wildlife.*

    Because Isome ideas, most of which involve cream sauce.

    1. I *have* some ideas.

    2. I’m not a vegan or even a vegetarian but your vocal disdain for animals comes off to me like a mix of simple-minded aggression and insecure chest-puffing.

      More to the point: I probably liked this article as much as you did, but pointing out liberal idiocy doesn’t mean that you also need to embrace conservative idiocy.

      1. “simple-minded aggression and insecure chest-puffing”

        And your point is…

        1. My point was that those are not admirable or honorable qualities in a person, and that they’re also not a good basis to form your personal politics on.

          Are you saying that they are?

          1. galarant|2.5.15 @ 9:20PM|#
            “My point was that those are not admirable or honorable qualities in a person, and that they’re also not a good basis to form your personal politics on.”

            They’re far, far better than lying through your teeth such as you end up doing.

            1. galarant you are incorrect. Many of the game animals from Alaska are very tasty and high quality meat. GKC is correct, a nice cream sauce is quite appropriate for the fowl. I prefer a wine reduction for moose or bear and am not too fond of caribou. You do realize your dental structure and bowels evolved for an omnivorous diet?

      2. Conservative idiocy?

  13. The thing that angers me most about the Environmental movement, is that if it wasn’t being perverted by swine who want to use it to keep the peasants in their place, I could support it. I think that it could be a very good thing to have some scrutiny aimed at operations like drilling and mining. If the Environmental movement was prepared acknowledge that people are more important than bears, and that anywhere oil is it will be drilled for, and they were concerned with havjng some input on where, when, and how,so as to mitigate the inevitable, then I would support them.

    But they don’t want anybody to drill, ever, anywhere. Which means that instead of being responsible stewards of the Planet, they are irresponsible idiots, playing with the lives of people poorer than themselves.

    Guillotine bait.

    1. If you pulled statist anti-corporatism, anti-capitalism, and Progressivism out of environmentalism you’d have something really valuable. As it stands it’s just a meaningless excuse for leftist signalling, petty authoritarianism, and government expansion. The totemic dread of all things carbon-related is a great example of how the enviros focus on a canard while ignoring actual conservation issues such as water quality, erosion, et.

  14. One of the best Reason articles in a very long time. Liar environmentalists long ago took over most of the advocacy groups with the mantra of no rather than reasoned conservation. Many of us that were once big supporters of conservation and environmental groups have stopped supporting the groups because the politics of left have taken priority over environmental care-taking.

  15. I’d be cool with this if the oil companies were competing on a level playing field, but they’re not. The government essentially takes money out of our pockets at gunpoint and hands it oil companies in the form of subsidies, so fuck them.

    http://www.motherjones.com/pol…..tax-breaks

    At least the Alaskan wildlife isn’t fucking me in the ass on a regular basis so I’m on their side at the moment. And make a puerile joke about the previous sentence if you want but understand that I’ve already called you out on it.

    1. Sorry, but on the subject of industry, Mother Jones is nit a credible source.

      Oh, I have little doubt that the oil companies get tax breaks from the government. Or, to put it another way, they get taxed slightly less,rapaciously than they might.

      The fact remains that or civilization needs oil. And will for the forseeable future. So, compared to the billions that have been pounded down the rathole of “renewable energy”, the money the oil companies are allowed to keep is a reasonable expenditure. On the other hand civilization has rather a glut of sanctmonious environmentalist twits. I propose a 100% surtax on Sierra Club dues for a start.

      1. Since we’re chatting on Reason I’ll give you a Reasonable response and I hope you’ll do the same =)

        On the point of MoJo being a liberal-biased rag, yes I’m in total agreement on that. But in the article I linked to they cite tax laws (writing-off of drilling expenses, the depletion allowance, etc) which are easily verifiable facts so their general bias isn’t relevant here.

        On the point of our civilization needing oil, I disagree. Our civilization needs energy, but that’s not quite the same thing as needing oil. I think it would be very hard to prove that subsidies for ExxonMobil is better spent than subsidies for Alliant Energy (nuclear), or subsidies for Tesla Motors which would reduce our need for carbon fuels in general.

        However Solyndra was a disaster, which is what I’m assuming you’re referring to by the rathole of renewable energy. I’m against subsidies period, as it sounds like you are. Am I taking it a step further by saying that oil companies should give up their subsidies before they’re allowed to drill in a wildlife refuge? That doesn’t sound crazy to me.

        1. I am not buying it. You are using the old tired logic of ‘not taking is giving’. Writing off drilling expenses etc are the same rules other companies play by and they are not subsidies. And, you linked to Mother Jones.

          You are being dishonest. Nice try though.

        2. I also own a business and get to write off depreciation and expenses. That is not the same as being given money by the government. It is them stealing a bit less.

          1. Suellington fair point, I answered that here:

            https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_5070940

            1. galarant|2.5.15 @ 11:26PM|#
              “Suellington fair point, I answered that here:”

              You did not. You repeated a claim.

            1. galarant|2.5.15 @ 11:27PM|#
              “also here:”

              You did not. You repeated a claim.

        3. If, tomorrow morning, we magically had a technology that replaced gasoline entirely with something obviously much better, we would STILL need to drill for oil. Almost all our plastics are petroleum based, and while I have met people who seriously thought we could live without plastics, I have never thought much of their intelligence.

          And, no, realistically, we are not going to do away with gasoline and diesel any time soon. There simply isn’t anything that does the job they do nearly as well.

          Without getting into the argument over whether a normal business tax deduction is a subsidy (with others are making rather well) I will point out that IF the oil companies are getting subsidies substantially similar to those provided for wind and collar energy boondoggles, they are STILL using them to produce something they have no trouble selling.

          Wind and solar projects produce less energy than they are touted to, produce it at times that have little to do with demand, produce it, even with subsidies, more expensively than competing types of generation, and do more damage to the environment than their backers are willing to admit.

          IF oil companies are being subsidized, they are at least being subsidized to some purpose other than a religious and irrational belief that “alternative energy” is somehow better.

    2. I’d appreciate it if you would at least link something more credible … Like Salon.

        1. Why, look at that! Deductions for costs associated with drilling!
          I think you’ve been busted.

          1. um…yeah he has been busted.

            1) Philosophically you can’t take a libertarian position but then also defend subsidies for your specific favored industries. That makes you a hypocrite.

            2) If you’re comparing oil company deductions to normal business deductions then you’re totally off-base. Oil companies get special dispensation to deduct things that for other companies would normally just be considered “cost of raw materials” so yes it’s grossly unfair and it also amounts to billions of dollars per year.

            1. galarant|2.5.15 @ 10:02PM|#
              “1) Philosophically you can’t take a libertarian position but then also defend subsidies for your specific favored industries. That makes you a hypocrite.”
              As opposed to a lying POS?
              There are no subsidies.
              ——————-
              “2) If you’re comparing oil company deductions to normal business deductions then you’re totally off-base. Oil companies get special dispensation to deduct things that for other companies would normally just be considered “cost of raw materials” so yes it’s grossly unfair and it also amounts to billions of dollars per year.”
              You’re not only a liar, your stupid.
              Costs of raw materials are entered under ‘cost of sales’ by any company producing anything.

    3. galarant|2.5.15 @ 8:08PM|#
      “I’d be cool with this if the oil companies were competing on a level playing field, but they’re not. The government essentially takes money out of our pockets at gunpoint and hands it oil companies in the form of subsidies, so fuck them.”

      Well, if you actually read your link, you will find that the link claiming the subsidies goes to another link claiming the same subsidies which links to another article making the same claim, etc.
      I drilled down four links, and they all made the same claim without ONE bit of evidence.
      So, no. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Stuff it.

      1. I guess I’ll make the same reply that I did to Bgoptmst if you really don’t believe that oil companies get billions of dollars of government subsidies. But this time I’m going to be pedantic about it since unlike him you told me to stuff it.

        Here is a link directly to the IRS tax code which explains all of the ways that oil companies can write off Intagible Drilling Costs as a legitimate business expense:

        http://www.irs.gov/publication…..1000208883

        They can also write off all sorts of things like exploration, drilling, non-producing wells, and reforestration of the land that they destroy (isn’t that nice?).

        And here is a link to the IRS code on Mineral Depletion which explains all of the ways that oil companies can write off the depletion of their mineral wells when they start to run dry:

        http://www.irs.gov/publications/p535/ch09.html

        I know it’s a lot easier to yell and insult rather than read, but just take a second and read those links.

        btw I would have been nicer about this if you didn’t tell me to stuff it.

        1. I would be nicer if you didn’t arrive, make claims and then offer no evidence.

          From your first link:
          “Intangible Drilling Costs
          The costs of developing oil, gas, or geothermal wells are ordinarily capital expenditures. You can usually recover them through depreciation or depletion. However, you can elect to deduct intangible drilling costs (IDCs) as a current business expense. These are certain drilling and development costs for wells in the United States in which you hold an operating or working interest. You can deduct only costs for drilling or preparing a well for the production of oil, gas, or geothermal steam or hot water.”

          So, it is simply the cost of drilling under another name.
          ——————————
          From your second link:
          “Adjusted basis.
          The adjusted basis of your property is your original cost or other basis, plus certain additions and improvements, and minus certain deductions such as depletion allowed or allowable and casualty losses. Your adjusted basis can never be less than zero. See Publication 551, Basis of Assets, for more information on adjusted basis.”

          So the value of your assets falls and you get to deduct for that.
          Cont’d

          1. Now, do you have ONE BIT of EVIDENCE for your claims that “The government essentially takes money out of our pockets at gunpoint and hands it oil companies in the form of subsidies, so fuck them.”
            Yes, I’m shouting. Yes, you were pedantic and also lying. I’m sure you got those from greeny-dippy.org or some such and you were told they meant something. They are nothing other than the tax deductions for doing business in the extraction industries; no subsidies involved.
            You think we haven’t heard and examined the tree-hugger lies before?

            1. Answered above probably while you were writing, so read that since I don’t want to write the same thing twice:

              https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_5070940

              I feel like it’s probably a waste of time to respond to this “greeny-dippy”, “tree-hugger” rhetoric but that’s complete hyperbole and it doesn’t accurately describe me at all. My original point was simply that oil companies should be forced to give up their billions in subsidies before they are allowed to drill in a public wildlife refuge. I never said that the land itself is sacred somehow, just that I wouldn’t feel bad for poor ExxonMobil if they’re not allowed to drill there.

              I think this is a fairly reasonable stance and also a principled libertarian stance.

              1. galarant|2.5.15 @ 10:20PM|#
                …”My original point was simply that oil companies should be forced to give up their billions in subsidies before they are allowed to drill in a public wildlife refuge.”…

                That’s nice, but THERE ARE NO SUBSIDIES.
                Is that clear?

        2. No one cares if you are nice. The best you can get around here is grudging respect when you are right. You aren’t getting any of that now. Care to guess why?

          1. Well I think that avoiding ad homs and responding with facts falls more under the heading of “not wasting time” than “being nice” but sure I’ll venture a guess.

            My guess is that you and Sevo are just kind of reactionary and emotional. So instead of responding with facts and analysis, you’d rather just paint me as a liberal (which I’m not btw) and call it a day.

            I get it…it’s way easier that way. Just don’t be surprised if I don’t respond again. I’m getting the strong feeling that I’m wasting my time talking to either of you.

            1. galarant|2.5.15 @ 10:36PM|#
              “Well I think that avoiding ad homs and responding with facts”

              You are not responding with facts. You are responding with the same, tired claims we’ve read, lo, these many years.

    4. lol @ tax break = subsidy

      1. It’s the Orwellian (Hegelian) leftoid premise of not taking = giving.

  16. Wait a minute. Call me crazy but is galarant arguing that oil companies are getting government handouts by convincing the feds to rob them…less?

    I’m a landlord and a fairly hard core libertarian. Think Kmele Foster/Robert Heinlein. I won’t take Section 8, won’t accept any tenant whose source of income is welfare (no matter what they call it), won’t rent to lawyers (not a political position, it’s just because I’m a good person 😀 ), but I will take the fuck out of any tax deduction I can.

    Am I therefore getting federally subsidized by, say, taking the depreciation deduction on a rental house?

    1. Yes that’s basically what I’m saying and here is my reasoning:

      You’re competing in the marketplace in a fair and principled way. As a single landlord, you don’t have the ability to purchase government power through graft and corruption, and it sounds like you wouldn’t do that even if you could. On the contrary, large oil companies can do this and have been doing it for many many years. This is a relevant point and it can’t be brushed aside. They’re not convincing the feds with their rugged entrepreneurship here…it’s a pretty straightforward cash-for-favors kind of deal and has been for a long time.

      Also, from an economic standpoint a tax deduction is the same thing as a subsidy if you’re paying taxes but still have a net profit. If fed says “I’m going to give you back $100k that I stole from you” vs “I’m going to steal $100k less” that amounts to the same thing as far as you’re concerned.

      *Also* your business activity as a landlord isn’t making a significant impact on the environment. Like it or not our air, water, wildlife etc is a public resource by its very nature because you can’t simply contain it within a single parcel of privately owned real estate. We all share the risk of an oil spill, but only the oil company reaps the reward. From a basic economic perspective this is also unfair but again, corruption writes the laws that make it okay.

      Does this make more sense?

      1. “On the contrary, large oil companies can do this and have been doing it for many many years.”
        You will not find anyone here supporting crony-capitalism.
        ——————–
        “Also, from an economic standpoint a tax deduction is the same thing as a subsidy if you’re paying taxes but still have a net profit.”
        Bull
        .
        .
        .
        shit.
        ————————–
        “*Also* your business activity as a landlord isn’t making a significant impact on the environment.”
        Irrelevant.
        ————————
        “Does this make more sense?”
        No. It shows you’ve been lying and now you’re trying to move the goal-posts and misdirect the discussion.
        Is that clear?

        1. Love your responses, Sevo. Really brilliantly detailed and well-worded.

          Calling me names like a playground bully and repeatedly yelling “THERE ARE NO SUBSIDIES” does a whole lot to convince me.

          Great discussion, y’all. Gnight!

          1. galarant|2.6.15 @ 12:08AM|#
            “Love your responses, Sevo. Really brilliantly detailed and well-worded.”
            Love your lies, asshsole

            “Calling me names like a playground bully and repeatedly yelling “THERE ARE NO SUBSIDIES” does a whole lot to convince me.”
            You claimed there were subsidies, asshole, and you were called on your lies.
            Is that clear?

            1. You’re latching onto a semantic difference between a subsidy vs a tax deduction and repeating it as a mantra.

              I gave you my reasoning why I believed there is not really much of a difference, and your response to that consisted of nothing but more ad homs.

              I’m starting to get annoyed with myself that I’m even responding to you at this point, so I’m really going to stop now. Feel free to keep yelling insults though, you seem to really enjoy that.

              1. galarant|2.6.15 @ 12:33AM|#
                “You’re latching onto a semantic difference between a subsidy vs a tax deduction and repeating it as a mantra.”
                No. I’m latching onto your LIES. There is a very great difference between the two, and only lefty ignoramuses presume ltaxing someone less = giving them money.

                ” gave you my reasoning why I believed there is not really much of a difference, and your response to that consisted of nothing but more ad homs.”
                There’s a reason I didn’t go for it; your ‘reasoning’ is nothing other than making up new definitions for words. Lying, as it were.
                I don’t really suffer fools all that well.

                “I’m starting to get annoyed with myself that I’m even responding to you at this point, so I’m really going to stop now. Feel free to keep yelling insults though, you seem to really enjoy that.”
                Good. I’m tired of reading your lies and phoney justifications for your lefty stupidity.
                Please, go away.

        2. “You will not find anyone here supporting crony-capitalism.”

          Except that you are supporting it, right now in this very thread. By defending American oil companies and pretending that they don’t reap tremendous profits through long-standing institutionalized corruption, when you know damn well that they do, you are supporting crony-capitalism.

          1. “Except that you are supporting it, right now in this very thread. By defending American oil companies and pretending that they don’t reap tremendous profits through long-standing institutionalized corruption, when you know damn well that they do, you are supporting crony-capitalism.”

            Yeah, lefty assholes get real nasty when someone makes profits. Nasty enough to push one lie after the other, even when they’re called on it.
            How’s it feel to be such a lying POS? It must be embarrassing to look in the mirror in the morning.
            Fuck off, slaver.

          2. You come on a libertarian website and claim that because an oil company pays less taxes for whatever reason they are subsidized, and act surprised that you get mocked when the majority of people here would question the legitimacy and complexity of said taxes to begin with?

            You also completely neglect that oil companies aren’t the only ones who benefit from drilling. You have not mentioned this once in a single post. The net economic gains for everyone by far offset whatever tax breaks oil companies have received from their benefactors. So, you fail on the pragmatic as well as on the ethical grounds you’ve claimed.

            Finally, we do not all share the risk of a spill. The BP oil spill cost the company $42 BILLION in settlements so far, over $14b in clean-up, and they still have fines coming that are going to be in excess of $18b. They reimbursed the feds for money spent.

            And a spill on the Gulf Coast is a lot more detrimental to people than in the middle of nowhere in Alaska where, frankly, no one would ever even notice.

            Your arguments suck and would have no appeal to libertarians. Hence the reason libertarians are skeptical of you personally.

          3. dude, we all agree with you that the tax code distorts the economy. I will also agree with you personally that the energy sector engages in graft. the resistance is to your point that a market distorting tax reduction *equals* a subsidy. If you remove the word subsidy from your claims then you (should) find fairly widespread agreement with your claims here.

            1. jay_dubya|2.6.15 @ 11:49AM|#
              …”If you remove the word subsidy from your claims then you (should) find fairly widespread agreement with your claims here.”

              I doubt it.
              If you read all his posts, they extend to the claims that no business making a profit should receive tax deductions and that oil doesn’t operate on a ‘level playing field’ compared to, oh, Solyndra.
              I think we have a greeny troll who simply isn’t willing to deal with facts.

      2. Yeah galarant, I gotta call shenanigans on this one.

        If you hang here long enough you will hear lots of people who violently disagree with crony capitalism and it almost sounds like thats what you’re complaining about…but I’m afraid that acting like oil companies get away with desecrating the Earth without consequence isn’t an argument that is going to find a lot of traction.

        And I personally find this line “…a tax deduction is the same thing as a subsidy if you’re paying taxes but still have a **net profit**.” [emphasis mine] to kinda tip your hand. It’s a subsidy only if I’m still making a profit??

        Take a step back and consider for a moment that we don’t espouse free market capitalism because we are all “greedy” or bad, but rather because we consider it to be the most MORAL of the economic systems.

        People should be free to make choices and reap the benefits/consequences of those choices. If I spill oil on your land, you are free to sue me for damages, whether I’m the guy next door or BP. This is also true if you own the land privately or as a collective by virtue of being a citizen. We can dig into “public” land ownership another time. For a quick hit, Google “The Tragedy of the Commons”. Fun with history!

  17. The ANWR shown on TV is the southern part, with trees and critters etc. Where the oil drilling would be done there’s nothing but rocks, lichen and the occasional crazy human who thinks an arctic desert is a great place to live.

    1. Don’t let the facts lead you away from what you’re told to believe. If too many people start seeing things for what they really are, our masters will have no choice except to shut down channels of information like this one.

  18. “Property rights matter. When environmental groups bear the costs of managing their own lands, their behavior is often very different than what they advocate on publicly owned lands.”

    Gotta say one thing about us humans, we’re consistent if nothing else. I’ll bitch about oil being drilled in our beautiful, neighboring park and probably bitch about the environmental consequences to my own lovely yard (fruits of my labor) that is unless… Did you say there’s oil in my backyard?

    Load up the wagon Jethro we’re going to Hollywood!

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  21. For many environmentalism is a religion. For others it’s a big power trip. Anytime there’s religion there’s never a shortage of absolute frauds ready to exploit it for personal power.

  22. Back in 2001, Jonah Goldberg wrote a piece about ANWR based on his trip there: Yes, he actually went there to see for himself just how “pristine” this Heaven on earth was. This piece is quite relevant to today:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..h-goldberg

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  24. Stop any and all oil drilling, round up all non-environmentalists, sacrifice them to Gaia, set up a anarcho-socialist state, get high on whatever psychadelic drugs are available, have an orgy, and then die of starvation. Dumb question.

  25. “Do as I say, not as I do!”

  26. Leave it to PERC for exposing the hypocrisy of the environmental movement.

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