One Putting Green?
A June 29 television broadcast on drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is being generously repeated in e-mail traffic. It describes the controversial mere 2,000 acres of Alaskan coastal plain as barren wasteland, and pictorially it demonstrates how drilling opponents are "mistakenly" likening it to the wooded and snow-capped mountainous inland parts of Alaska.
As I groped through my mental warehouse, the question arose: Can this be the same 2,000 acres that, as far back as 2002, the House of Representatives voted to approve for drilling -- and that the U.S. Senate would not allow to come up for a vote?
Fingering through my file of favorite mathematical curiosities, I found a submission from a Pinehurst resident published in the May 17, 2002, edition of The Pilot. Fancy that!
That writer calculated how much Pinehurst acreage would be required for this drilling program if taken proportionately from the equivalent space as that proposed for the much larger area of Alaska's 19 million acres.
That footprint, he determined, would occupy only one-third the space of a typical Pinehurst putting green.
Of course, honorable senators, we want you to be thorough in your deliberations. My records don't include what the price of gasoline was six years ago. But one year ago, regular was below $3 a gallon!
Could any elected official who is set against this energy independence opportunity expect to be re-elected in November?
Dick Bisbe, Pinehurst
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