Skip to comments.Audobon Society Isn't Hypocritical For Allowing Oil Extraction In Its Wildlife Preserve, Says Prof
Posted on 10/22/2001 9:35:31 PM PDT by Bump in the night
OAKLAND, Calif. - Prompted by new concerns about America's reliance on oil imports from the Middle East, many are revisiting the issue over whether to allow oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). In response, many environmental groups, most notably the Audubon Society, have renewed their strong opposition to drilling in the ANWR.
In the fall 2001 issue of THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW, Professor Dwight R. Lee argues that if environmentalists owned ANWR, they would probably allow drilling, with the proceeds helping to further their mission of conservation. The Independent Institute shares the following excerpts from Lee's article "To Drill or Not to Drill: Let the Environmentalists Decide":
*"[T]he Audubon Society owns the Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary, a 26,000-acre preserve in Louisiana. . . . [It] has allowed thirty-seven wells to pump gas and oil from the Rainey Sanctuary. In return, it has received royalties of more than $25 million. . . . One should not conclude that the Audubon Society has acted hypocritically by putting crass monetary considerations above its stated concerns for protecting wilderness and wildlife." (pp. 218-19)
*"Because of private ownership . . . the Society has a strong incentive to consider the benefits as well as the costs of drilling on its property. Certainly, environmental risks exist, and the society considers them, but it also responsibly weighs the costs of those risks against the benefits as measured by the income derived from drilling. Obviously, the Audubon Society appraises the benefits from drilling as greater than the costs, and it acts in accordance with that appraisal." (p. 219)
*"[T]he Nature Conservancy of Texas owns the Galveston Bay Prairie Preserve in Texas City, a 2,263-acre refuge that is home to the Attwater's prairie chicken, a highly endangered species. The conservancy has entered into an agreement . . . to drill for oil and natural gas in the preserve. (pp. 220-21)
*"[E]nvironmentalists would immediately see the advantages of drilling in ANWR if they were responsible for both the costs and the benefits of that drilling. . . . The environmentalists might easily conclude that although ANWR is an 'environmental treasure,' other environmental treasures in other parts of the country (or the world) are more valuable; moreover, with just a portion of the petroleum value of the ANWR, efforts might be made to reduce the risk to other natural habitats, more than compensating for the risks to the Arctic wilderness associated with recovering that value." (p. 221)
*"Environmentalists are concerned about protecting wildlife and wilderness areas in which they have ownership interest, but the debate over any threat from drilling and development in those areas is far more productive and less acrimonious than in the case of ANWR and other publicly owned wilderness areas." (p. 222)
*"[C]onsider seriously what [an environmental group] would do if it owned ANWR and therefore bore the costs as well as enjoyed the benefits of preventing drilling. . . . [T]he willingness of environmental groups such as the Audubon Society. . . .to allow drilling for oil on environmentally sensitive land they own suggests strongly that their adamant verbal opposition to drilling in ANWR is a poor reflection of what they would do if they owned even a small fraction of the ANWR territory containing oil." (p. 224)
Read Dwight R. Lee's article in THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW, Vol. VI, No. 2, "To Drill or Not to Drill: Let the Environmentalists Decide."
has a lot of info & opinion refuting the "urban sprawl," "Lite rail/mass transit" and related items...
My doesn't the Audobon Society appear to be filled with some duplicitous, money grubbing, filius populi.
So their little charade comes to an end eh...
But, but, that is exactly the very conclusion I made "Professor of Economics". I don't see how you didn't come to that "conclusion" too. Oh, I see. Your justification is stated so well...
In a wider context, one sees that because of its ownership of the Rainey Sanctuary, the Audubon Society is part of an extensive network of market communication and cooperation that allows it to do a better job of promoting its objectives by helping others promote theirs. Consumers communicate the value they receive from additional gas and oil to petroleum companies through the prices they willingly pay for those products, and this communication is transmitted to owners of oil-producing land through the prices the companies are willing to pay to drill on that land. Money really does "talk" when it takes the form of market prices. The money offered for drilling rights in the Rainey Sanctuary can be viewed as the most effective way for millions of people to tell the Audubon Society how much they value the gas and oil its property can provide.
Talk about blowing smoke up someone's arse. A little, "I'll wash your back and you wash mine". Seems like the "Professor of Economics" got his "share" of that 25 million to put out this debacle of a report.
Of course, most people have different priorities: they place a much higher value on keeping down the cost of energy than they do on bird-watching and on protecting what many regard as little more than mosquito-breeding swamps.
Why "Professor of Economics", you're doing little more than calling the good Citizens of Louisiana little more than ignorant dunces who have no idea of the value of their land. Of course they know how valuable that "swamp" is. It is just like the other "swamps" that produce natural gas and oil throughout the State. Seems like the Audobon Society guys just muscled in on the action.
One might suppose that members of the Audubon Society have no reason to consider such "anti-environmental" values when deciding how to use their own land.
I supposed exactly that, but you're doing a bang up job "Professor of Economics", of trying to twist my arm into believing something else. Too bad it isn't working!
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