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Thread: Should Alaska's resources be developed?

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    Default Should Alaska's resources be developed?

    Given the decline in Alaska's oil production, Enstar's current shortfall of natural gas, the economy's impact on tourism, and the state of sportfishing for chinook, what does the future hold for Alaska? It seems to me that the only thing that can or will expand the state's economy is further development of our state's resources.

    But should it be done? A current article* in the Alaska Dispatch documents the threats to salmon habitat, we're all familiar with the objections to Pebble Mine, and every time anyone so much as mentions a coal mine or hydro dam, some state residents go apoplectic.

    So where do we go from here? Lock it up, and send our kids and grandkids out to the lower 48 for jobs and a future? Or do we take a chance and develop. If so, how?





    *
    previously cited in another, hijacked thread





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    Very good question Marcus.. I am personally one to always be on the fence with issues till I hear both sides so I can make an informed deciscion. I was not born here(in Alaska) so I also dont believe they should close the gate just cause I got here.. My kids were born here and i would love for them to have the oppurtuinities here that I did...meaning Jobs,hunting/fishing, enjoying the outdoors. My BIG concerns with development are simply can they be done in a responsible way. I remember way back when I hunted up on the haul road and it was littered with drums all over the place...what was in them,what leaked out of them,was it harmful...I really dont know.. There are the obvious disasters like oil spills and such but for every big one how many little ones exist.. Same with mining,,how much contaminents get leaked into the water.. I know that some of these are the same old song and dance but what good is development if no one can live here due to the pollution.. In short its a great topic and I look forward to all the replies..

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    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    I fully expect ANWR to be developed in our distant future, despite opposition from environmentalists; we will be forced into exploiting this valuable resource. I believe one major issue with natural gas is the overabundance in the lesser 48. Between recent developments in Nebraska and the on-going Marcellus Shale fracking project in the Adirondacks we need to look at developing our natural gas for local use and possibly export to Asian countries.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I don't understand having to send the kids outside for jobs or future. Our concept of whats needed to live a good life and kids should have it better than me is the root problem. People lived here fine for at least thirty thousand years using just whats above the ground and swimming in the water.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    I don't understand having to send the kids outside for jobs or future. Our concept of whats needed to live a good life and kids should have it better than me is the root problem. People lived here fine for at least thirty thousand years using just whats above the ground and swimming in the water.
    Yes, but it's not the same world anymore.......it's called PROGRESS, and nobody ever said it was always a good thing.

    If our wages were going up the same way the costs of living is, then I would say fine. But from what I see it's just not happening.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    I don't understand having to send the kids outside for jobs or future. Our concept of whats needed to live a good life and kids should have it better than me is the root problem. People lived here fine for at least thirty thousand years using just whats above the ground and swimming in the water.
    Will, let me play Devil's Advocate:

    Yes, people have been here living a subsistence lifestyle for thousands of years, but is that what we want? Is that what our kids and grandkids will want? Assuredly some do, but they are a very tiny minority, and, for that matter, is it likely that those who do could continue so living without the larger infrastructure upon which they must surely depend—airplanes, gas, communication, etc. Personally, it's my opinion that bush/subsistence living is an option available to only a few, something of a delightful fantasy, and, truth be told, literally impossible on any large scale.

    Mankind is not some sort of postscript to creation, man is part and parcel of creation, and it is necessary that mankind develop creation—it is simply not in our genes to sit still. Development must happen, but it can happen for the better or for the worse. The entire world is witness to both.

    Where do we Alaskans go from here? To develop or not to develop . . that is the question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKluvr95 View Post
    ... despite opposition from environmentalists; we will be forced into exploiting this valuable resource.
    And there is the rub! We will be "forced" into "exploiting". As long as people have that level of basic thought about drilling for gas/oil, we are doomed. To them, the glass is half (or three quarters) empty.

    Resource development is an "opportunity" to "utilize" our valuable resources. The glass is half full.

    It's probably a moot point. We have already missed the deadline on ANWR. It's closed and congress keeps locking it up even tighter (the Obama administration has pretty much ensured that ANWR and NPR will never be developed). At any rate, in order to produce oil from ANWR or NPR, we need to be drilling holes already. You don't flip a switch and get oil tomorrow. It takes several years of work to punch holes and lay down infrastructure. The current rate that production of existing fields is falling, there will not be enough flow to keep the pipeline running until ANWR and/or NPR can be brought online. Once the pipeline drops below the "low flow threshold", it has to be shut down. You can't have just a trickle flow and you can't shut it off and then turn it back on like a faucet at your house. If it gets turned off, it then takes billions of $ to turn it back on.

    Alaska has a solid history of the most responsible resource development on the planet. Of course we should continue to develop our resources.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    . . Alaska has a solid history of the most responsible resource development on the planet. Of course we should continue to develop our resources.
    Well said, and lest this thread wander off-topic into oil, we need to keep in mind that there are many other areas of potential development for consideration: a hydro dam on the Su, coal mines, Pebble, Homer Electric's proposed project, natural gas, and so on.

    I've heard all of the above and more mentioned at one time or another, and each and every one has met with varying degrees of resistance from the massive Pebble Project right down to Homer Electric's little-bitty hydro project.

    If not any of the above, then what? Then where? It all sounds so easy until someone says "here."

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    I'm older so will get out of the thread as my life here will not be effected.I will say my kids and grandkids and great grandkids are south chasing the dream while I sit here living it.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    I'm older so will get out of the thread as my life here will not be effected.I will say my kids and grandkids and great grandkids are south chasing the dream while I sit here living it.

    Good point, Will . . . . . We all have different dreams.

    I'm older too but gotta admit I hope Enstar doesn't run out of natural gas any time soon.

    Drill, baby, drill . . . . but where?

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    Drill across the inlet, Chuckchi sea, Anwr, lots of places including exploratory wells on the slope.
    As technology improves the unreachable oil of yesterday is now a viable source to tap.
    BK

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    It doesn't matter, the ultra consumer mentality of americans and the world in general will consume every last bit of the earths natural resources and there's nothing you or I can do about it except enjoy the last bit of wilderness before it is paved over and polluted like the lower 48. I hear the politicians saying we need more jobs, more oil, more, more, more, more, more.........there will never be enough to fulfill the blackhole that is the ultra consumer

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    Question More questions than answers . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by thunder chicken1 View Post
    . . there's nothing you or I can do about it except enjoy the last bit of wilderness before it is paved over and polluted like the lower 48. . .
    Now there's an aspect of the question before us that needs exploring. Again, let me play Devil's Advocate.

    As for any "last bits" of wilderness, how about the National Parks scattered across the lower 48 from Smokey Mountain National Park to Yosemite? Lots of wilderness there and in between. Brown bears still inhabit Europe and deer run wild in Scotland. Isn't the question of "wilderness" a bit murky? Alaska is by no stretch of the imagination any "last bit" of wilderness, yet we all know what thunder chicken means. What exactly is it that we're so afraid of losing?

    Second, yes, the lower 48, considered as a whole, is likely more polluted than is Alaska, especially the large metropolitan areas. But so are Fairbanks and Anchorage, perhaps even the Valley where half the state's population lives. Again, if half of us or more live with pollution, chlorinated water, sewage treatment plants, and auto exhaust, what are we afraid of losing?

    What does further resource development threaten? What are we so afraid of losing? Maybe if we knew exactly what we're afraid of losing, we could figure out how to protect it and develop our resources while doing so.

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    You make the assumption that as the earths natural resources are tapped out that these National parks won't be plundered, It wasn't that long ago that Romney was saying that we need to open up the federal lands for exploration. Ever do any hunting at Denali national park? Ever get harrassed by the feds at yukon charlie national park? Yes Fairbanks is polluted but I can drive 100 miles where there is no pollution and that is something you can't do in the lower 48.

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    what am I afraid of losing? As a boy I grew up in rural pennsylvania surrounded by forests, mountains, and scattered farms.......people ask why I don't visit home and I tell them it doesn't exist anymore. It's all gone now, the mountain was leveled from a sand mine and the tree's have all been cut down. The scattered farms are now housing developments and you can't eat the fish because all the streams and rivers are polluted. I lived in a number of states before coming to Alaska and it was all the same, unfortunately I see the same happening here as well. Corporations care about making money and doing it as cheaply as possible, not about protecting our natural resources.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Now there's an aspect of the question before us that needs exploring.
    ....................
    What are we so afraid of losing?...........
    The oceans being rendered non-productive might turn a few heads. Work back from there with a list - its long and starts at home.
    Trading one resource for another long lived one can tip the scales. There are intelligent alternatives, but I have doubts the human race is capable.
    We have been too dumbed down - Science Bad, etc.,
    'No worries - it will all be fine in the next world.'

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    TC... I challenge your assertions that the Lower 48's wilderness doesn't exist anymore. You are playing a standard enviro scare tactic. Anyone willing to go out and look would see that you are incorrect. The sky is not falling.

    Opening federal land to exploration and the "plundering of national parks" have nothing to do with each other. Only a very small portion of federal land is classed as national parks. How about you explain to me why the current administration just locked down half of the National Petroleum Reserve? Read the name again, real slow if you have to. That land was set aside for oil production. Now they are locking it down. There is NOTHING there to warrant any federal protection. Oil exploration leaves almost no footprint. An occasional gravel pad with a row of small well houses and a small pipe running from there back toward the pipeline system. The infrastructure is easily removed and the small footprint is quickly and easily remediated back to its natural state. Within about one to two years after an oil company leaves a North Slope site, it is nearly impossible to tell that they were there in the first place.

    Finally, your claim about corporations and money are completely off base. Corporations are business tax models. They are incapable of "caring" about anything. Real people run and work for corporations. Real people do care. Sounds to me like you should go meet some of the people that work for the resource corporations that are paying for everything around you, from roads to schools to hospitals.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    interesting question marcus... however shouldn't we first decide, as to whether or not, it should be affordable to develop Vs... making sure none of the big corporations make a profit? if they do make a profit, should they be required to redistribute said profits to those whom are less likely to achieve a status in life, while they enjoy the benefits of the produced resource that provides all their trinkets and toys...

    until the argument of who gets the money where... is decided... nothing will be done.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    this is the funniest **** I ever heard...

    small footprint...most responsible....lol most responsible of what... What a joke the only thing these companies...oil, mining,gas give a rats arse about is the almighty dollar...

    I am all for resource development in a responsible way and the jobs and alaskans getting put to work but I certainly dont have my head in my butt and believe for one minute these companies care..

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    ..................Corporations are business tax models.
    They are incapable of "caring" about anything. .......
    Citizens United effectively slaughters that contention.

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