Note to Bush, media: Opening ANWR cuts gas prices one penny in 2025

Bush blames Congress’s failure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for high gasoline prices (here). The Administration’s own Energy Information Administration found otherwise in a 2004 Congressional-requested “Analysis of Oil and Gas Production in ANWR“:

It is expected that the price impact of ANWR coastal plain production might reduce world oilprices by as much as 30 to 50 cents per barrel [in 2025].

Don’t spend it all in one place, American public! [Note to Bush: There are 42 gallons in a barrel.] EIA continues:

Assuming that world oil markets continue to work as they do today, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could countermand any potential price impact of ANWR coastal plain production by reducing its exports by an equal amount.

Curses, foiled again!

Then again, it’s laughable of the EIA to think OPEC (or anyone else) will have any spare capacity in 2025 (see “Peak Oil? Bring it on!“). But that’s the EIA for you.

Now, in “fairness” to the EIA, they did report at the time that the 30 to 50 cent per barrel price is

relative to a projected 2025 world oil price of $27 per barrel (2002 dollars) in the AEO2004 reference case.

This mainly proves the EIA is really lousy at energy forecasting. But let’s just assume the rise is proportional — and say ANWR cuts gasoline prices one penny for every $27 per barrel in the price of oil. That would be 4 cents at current prices. You can do your own calculations if you think gasoline prices will be much higher in 2025 if we keep following Bush’s policies….

2 Responses to Note to Bush, media: Opening ANWR cuts gas prices one penny in 2025

  1. Dan G. says:

    I heard Bush explain in his press conferences that drilling in ANWAR would send a message to oil speculators that we were doing something about our oil shortage (and thus would discourage price speculation). Hope they don’t read this site.

  2. John Mashey says:

    I propose to allow opening ANWR, but only under the following circumstances:

    1) From 2020 onwards, every 10 years, if oil is >$1000/barrel, Congress gets to vote whether or not to open ANWR 10 years later, i.e., it’s treated as a piggy bank under a time delay. In any case, building things now in permafrost that’s going to melt is pretty dumb, one might as well wait a while.

    2) This is inspired by a friend (who knew of Peak Oil), who quoted a question from his (smart) 13-year-old daughter:

    “Daddy, are you adults going to leave any oil for us?”

    [I don’t recall exactly what he told her, but it wasn’t “Don’t worry, you’ll have as much as we do, and so will your kids.”]