As everyone surely knows by now, Republicans are using the devastation of a region of our country to push for their long-time goal of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The idea is, depending on which bullshit happens to be flying at the moment, that oil sales will bolster the federal budget, or that the oil will make up for shortfalls caused by the hurricanes, or that the oil will lower gas prices. All these claims are, as has been demonstrated ad nauseam, quite obviously false.
According to a July 2005 report (PDF) by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, it will take 10 years to get the first drop of oil out of the Refuge. In 20 years, when production is at its peak, Refuge oil might bring down the price of a gallon of gas … by a penny. The Wilderness Society has a one-page summary of the report here (PDF).
Why do Republicans really want to drill in the Refuge? Well, oil-service companies are hot for it. And also, well … because it’s there.