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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Do Republicans only care about oil?

I'm happy to report that the answer is clearly "no." Most polls about ANWR show that a majority of people, even Republicans, oppose oil drilling in the refuge. The trouble is that you rarely hear this expressed outside of a poll.

Well, here's one expression worth reading. It's from Jim DiPeso, policy director of Republicans for Environmental Protection. The group has taken a firm stand against ANWR drilling, and on its website there are many ways to explore its well-reasoned position, and take action of your own.

But I want to point your attention to DiPeso's own blog, in which he makes one of the most clearly stated arguments I've seen anywhere for why ANWR drilling is suicidal policy.

"Absent a serious policy to improve fuel efficiency and to aggressively commercialize non-petroleum fuels," DiPeso writes, "domestic oil demand will outrun domestic supply, and ever larger quantities of oil imports will be needed... By 2025, Department of Energy projections estimate that U.S. oil demand will be 8 million barrels per day higher than it is today. There is no prospect, none whatsoever, that the Arctic Refuge would come close to supplying the increased demand.

"In short," he continues, "as long as the U.S. is dependent on oil, the U.S. will be dependent on foreign oil. We will be vulnerable to economically damaging price spikes. We will keep sending money to dysfunctional regimes, the kleptocrats and autocrats sitting on the world's largest remaining oil reserves. We will sow the seeds of future conflict with China in a potentially deadly competition to grab the last pots of black gold."

Wow. This from a Republican? It restores my hope in the future.

Republicans for Environmental Protection has been around for quite a while. Unfortunately its message is usually smothered by the idealogues who dominate the Right today. If you're a Republican who believes that "conservative" includes "conservation," I urge you to help this group get its message out.

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