Arctic Refuge

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I received an e-mail from Robert Redford forwarded to me this weekend. The text of the message can be read here. Mr. Redford, speaking on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), argues that oil exploration should be stopped in this country. Right or wrong, using the political process to inhibit exploration does not address the underlying issue of oil consumption.

I enjoy the beauty of Alaska, Montna, Utah and the rest of this great nation as much as anybody. However, these areas have only been opened to our exploration and enjoyment because of industries pouring billions of dollars into airports, roads, utilities and building a local economy. Allowing any special interest to deny economic self-sufficiency to these areas will effectively cut off access to all but the richest adventurers. In Alaska, the oil industry has single handedly built the economy and attracted thousands of workers, residents and visitors who would otherwise have never seen that great state.

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) uses flawed logic in their argument that fuel efficiency regulation will have the desired effect on our contry's consumption of oil. Andrew Kleit effectively analyzes the actual impact of changes in the fuel economy standards. In the end increasing the fuel economy will only reduce the marginal cost of driving each additional mile. This only encourages more driving.

All resources are limited on this earth. The ONLY efficient means of choosing who gets those resources is by awarding access to those who assign the highest value. Jerry Taylor, of the Cato Institute, proposes some solutions to the problem of allocating the resources of the Arctic Refuge. If the FCC can auction off the national resource of bandwidth, why not auction off public land. Certainly Robert Redford could pitch-in to help his environtmentalist organizations to buy a few hundred acres of the Arctic Refuge.

It is an honorable effort to preserve beautiful land and protect wildlife. However any effort which ignores the welfare of our human family is short-sighted.

2 TrackBacks

A Modest Proposal... from Synthstuff - music, photography and more... on January 16, 2005 6:16 PM

Bryan at Truck and Barter got an email from a celebrity and talks about it: Arctic Refuge I received an e-mail from Robert Redford forwarded to me this weekend. The text of the message can be read here. Mr. Redford,... Read More

A Modest Proposal... from Synthstuff - music, photography and more... on January 16, 2005 6:17 PM

Bryan at Truck and Barter got an email from a celebrity and talks about it: Arctic Refuge I received an e-mail from Robert Redford forwarded to me this weekend. The text of the message can be read here. Mr. Redford,... Read More

1 Comment

A friend brought up some good questions about Andrew Kleit's paper. Most notably, he questioned the extrapolation of the 2% increase in driving due to the 10% increase in efficiency out to the 50% gain in efficiency under Kerry's plan. Isn't 'mileage demand' inherently inelastic? That is, it seems that even if gas gets way cheaper, I'm not going to drive proportionally more, I may drive a bit more but as gas gets even cheaper, I will drive more in increasingly smaller amounts. I'm not going to drive all the way from Seattle NY just because gas is cheaper - I'm just going to the grocery store and not minding my gas consumption as much. This kind of undercuts his case against more emissions doesn't it?

AN

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This page contains a single entry by Bryan published on January 15, 2005 10:15 AM.

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