Letters to the Editor

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OIL: North or south, drilling is still risky

Letter by Dan Ritzman, Seattle on April 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm with 32 Comments »
April 27, 2011 9:38 am

I was pleased to see your story, “Gulf disaster renews debate over Arctic spill” (newstribune.com, 4-22) finally address the very real problems and risks of drilling in the Arctic. Despite oil industry claims, the risk of a major spill in the Arctic is no less than it was in the Gulf of Mexico, though a cleanup would prove to be substantially more difficult, if not impossible.

Already the Arctic is paying the price of our fossil fuel habit. North Alaska is warming at twice the rate of the lower 48. The people of the North Slope are seeing the loss of sea ice, changes in animal behavior and the loss of important subsistence opportunities. To see the impacts of oil development they need only look at Prudhoe Bay, where decades-old diesel spill sites still show little regrowth, or Prince William Sound, where oil remains on the beaches 22 years after the Exxon Valdez spill.

The Arctic is one of the wildest spots left on the globe, home to millions of birds, walrus and polar bears. I’ve been lucky enough to spend time in Alaska, and my hope is that it will still be vibrant and alive when I return.

We must move America as quickly as possible to a clean energy economy. Instead of drilling in the Arctic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico we need to embrace 21st-century energy solutions that make our cars cleaner and more efficient and expand our transportation choices.

(Ritzman is the Alaska program director or the Sierra Club’s Resilient Habitats Campaign.)

Leave a comment Comments → 32
  1. Dan your blind allegiance to the sierra club’s propaganda puts your opinions way way out there in the far left arena. You are one of the blind followers of al gore and the melting ice caps.

    Dan what happened to the glaciers that once covered most of North America ? Why did they melt ? The world didn’t disolve or come to an end.

    Dan, The climate and weather on Planet Earth keeps changing every season, every day, every week, every month, every year.

  2. 6.9 BILLION People growing to 9 Billion by 2050 in a Malthusian Catastrophe and is the new variable in global dynamic.

  3. BlaineCGarver says:

    Your connection to the Sierra Club eleminates your views from consideration.

  4. Dan, letters like yours brings the idiot deniers out of the woodwork. 2 out of the first 3 comments is a good batting average. At least now they can no longer be “birthers.”

  5. Roncella says:

    Your finally right about something publico. However it took The Donald to flush out the Certificate of birth or birth certificate from Obama after almost three years of debate and questions about it.

    The establishment republicans and the liberal democrats and the lame stream media had no interest or gonads enough to demand it be made
    public for all to see, it took Donald Trump to get Obama to do something he should have done years ago. Right on Donald !!!!

  6. Why should he do something that nobody else has to do and for which there is no requirement beyond what he had already done? Is there a chance that there was a little bias and racism involved in all this? I think so.
    For you to support it and rally around Trump gives you and all the others away.
    Of course we already knew that by your continued rants on these pages.

  7. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Interesting how the gulf is today given the dire predictions a year ago.


  8. “Roncella says:
    April 27, 2011 at 10:01 am
    Dan your blind allegiance to the sierra club’s propaganda”

    just remember…blow out preventers don’t blow out…..uh…shouldn’t blow out…..uh…..DID blow out.

    Sierra Club or not, there is no changing history.

  9. concerned:

    A Canadian media source for coverage on the Gulf conditions????

    Why not the Times Picayune? Too much reality?

  10. Let’s take an opinion piece from the Globe and Mail who….

    “In the 1990s and early 2000s, the paper generally supported the policies of Liberal Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin. In the 2006 federal election, the paper turned away from the Liberals to Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party of Canada. Once again, in the 2008 federal election, the paper’s editorial board endorsed the Conservatives”

    The woman writing the piece quotes “fishermen” (not by name) and uses not one piece of data, but “Concerned” bought it.

    Concerned – tell us, how are you doing with Obama’s birth certificate?

  11. “Roncella says:
    April 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm
    Your finally right about something”

    And you are still not right about “your”

  12. I sincerely hope that The Donald stays in the picture. Add Ron Paul to the madness and the GOP looks like a grenade – post explosion.

  13. The way they (Republicans) are going the definition for self-immolation will need to be modified.

  14. ItalianSpring says:

    Drill here. Drill now. Drill baby drill.

  15. concernedtacoma7 says:

    I like how you did not dispute the facts…

    But here you go, gulf seafood safe-


  16. Roncella says:

    Sarah Palin had it right when she said ” Drill Baby Drill’ !!!

  17. Concerned – the hack piece in the Canadian Conservative Newspaper had no facts in it. It was full of allegations, innuendo and personal opinion.

    As to your FDA link – the FDA allows for a certain amount of rodent feces in grains…..enjoy!

  18. This is as close to a “fact” as the writer gets:

    “In fact, most scientists believe the Gulf is in surprisingly good shape. When three dozen of them were asked to rate the current health of the Gulf’s ecosystem on a 1-to-100 scale, they gave it an average grade of 68 – not bad, considering that, before the spill, they gave it a 71. “People are having a hard time accepting it. Me, too,” says Ed Overton, a chemist at Louisiana State University. “There are things that are wrong. There is still oil out there. But it is not nearly as bad as I expected it would be a year later.”

    How would you like the water you drink to be 71% pure and 29% urine?

    Oh…and I forgot, the FDA link….it was an opinion piece also. It says so in the first line.

  19. “Scientists knew already, from real-world experiences (like the Exxon Valdez disaster) and laboratory research, that fish can metabolize and excrete oil.”

    They probably faked the pictures of the dead fish and wildlife covered in oil.

  20. China can drill in international waters in the Gulf off Louisiana because they hold our debt.
    And it’s just fine for everyone to race down to South Atlantic Brazil for off-shore oil drilling even though their refined fuel is sugar based.
    So how many in the northern hemisphere can afford to eat if ethanol is corn based?
    We don’t get something for nothing…

  21. LarryFine says:

    “Gulf disaster” ??? What disaster? Where’d all that oil go?

    hmmm? Oh, it went the way of the swine flu…

  22. Your connection to the Sierra Club eleminates your views from consideration.

    That’s a neat little trick – eliminate from consideration anyone who, through opting to become involved with an environmental group, has demonstrated that they are concerned about the environment.

    And the Sierra Club isn’t some wild-eyed eco-terrorist group that spikes trees or steers boats into the path of Japanese whalers. My mother-in-law is a member, she would go on group camping trips to help build/maintain hiking trails – that sure is radical. Oooh! those scary environmentalists! Can’t listen to what they have to say!

  23. harleyrider1 says:

    It’s all lovely and hand-holding. But right now since I can’t take a rock or a piece of dirt and put it in my gas tank to get to work or take my family on vacation, I think it’s prudent to continue to find oil.

    When the alternative sources work and are not so costly so everyone can afford the new car for them, then let’s have this discussion.

    Meanwhile, I look over at the car on the freeway beside me and wave to the “environmentalists” that are preaching to the rest of us. I don’t see them giving up all plastic, tools, vehicles, etc. Nope. They are using the oil right along with the rest of us.

    Hypocritical? Phony indignation?

  24. test

  25. that is weird. I have posted three different times in response to Larry’s claim that there isn’t any oil and there was no disaster with citations and facts and none of them would post.

  26. aislander says:

    Obama has it right. Drilling for oil and gas is just too risky to be done by the US. We should subsidize OTHER nations’ exploration, as with the $2 billion we provided Brazil for that purpose…

    Actually, we can no longer afford to entertain the nostrums foisted on us by Ritzman and his ilk. Oil exploration and extraction have proven to be incredibly safe, given the scale involved, but all energy has its risks as we have seen. We can live with those potential risks or we can experience the inexorable reality of economic collapse. Sensible people will choose the former…

  27. aislander says:

    By the way, I had a good laugh at Ritzman’s assertion that we should “expand our transportation choices,” when one of the top items on the watermelon agenda is to severely limit such choice…

  28. Drill Baby Drill, We’ve got plenty of oil off our coasts and in Alaska, its time we started drilling and refining as much as we possibly can, as fast as we can.

    Sarah Palin Was Exactly right.

  29. We’ve got plenty of oil off our coasts and in Alaska, its time we started drilling and refining as much as we possibly can, as fast as we can.

    So the oil companies can then sell it to Japan…..just like the oil currently being pulled out of Alaska.

  30. BlaineCGarver says:

    Just like banks, and the stock market….energy is being managed to extract the most possible profit out of our pockets. Hey, remembe awhile back when our AG fired up the Pac Ave barbers for all raising their price a dollar? Yet gas and diesel keeps going up and up with nothing that can be done? Uh huh.

  31. Luckily for the Conservative, Sarah Palin has been schooled in the art of the three word phrase.

    If not for that, they wouldn’t comprehend what she says.

  32. I’m sure that the barbers all over America have price fixed haircuts.

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