KYLE & CO. WILL LOSE THE DEBATE (maybe not) It would be imprudent to invest strictly in green energy now. The reality is that a diversity of energy resources is needed today as we transition in the long-run (not the short-medium term) to greener energy. The reality of the US dependence on oil cannot be denied, and this dependence will continue for some time, and will decline only at a slow, long-term rate. This makes it important to continue to invest in oil exploration and drilling domestically and abroad.
This will not discourage long-term investments in green energy. Green energy investments are driven by economic incentives as much as the fight against global warming. The economic incentives will not disappear with drilling in ANWR. Indeed, ANWR is not a massive oil resource capable of dramatically affecting global oil prices. Therefore, price pressures against oil consumption and favoring green energy will continue to mount, and ANWR’s opening to drilling will have no impact on the long-term trend toward clean alternatives. Supporting this prediction, Morgan Stanley predicted in 2007 that due in part to high oil prices, the global sale of green energy products could reach one trillion by 2030. ANWR oil resources cannot have a dramatic impact on these kinds of trends. Opening ANWR, in this way, is not really going to “perpetuate the addiction to oil”, as the trend away from that addiction is a foregone conclusion.
None of the above counter-arguments address the notion that ANWR would help DIVERSIFY TO SOME DEGREE the US energy sources portfolio. While it may be a “drop in the bucket”, that doesn’t negate the notion that it is, in fact, a “drop” that has value and could be worth extracting.