Leonardo DiCaprio is so dreamy. You know, it takes skills to memorize a few lines in between coffee breaks. Oh, and of course, he looks so cute for the cameras. In fact, I’ve decided I’m going to support any cause he endorses because he’s such a superstar.
Jason: What’s the cause du jour?
Leonardo: It’s the cause of the day!
Jason: MMMMM! That sounds good. I’ll have that.
Stealing the above lines from one of my favorite non-Leonardo movies, Dumb and Dumber, it’s easy to see the importance of movies on our lives and subsequently, movie stars.
On his website, Leo explains the science of how oil and gas are merely “fossilized sunlight.” Wow, he’s smart! He coins a phrase taken from a popular vernacular and tells us to “Separate Oil and State.” That’s so witty Leo! Because it’s coming from the mouth of Leonardo DiCaprio, he must know what he’s talking about, right?
He also urges people to support RDC, oh wait, that’s the NRDC. Ahhhhh, what’s one letter?
Having perused his website, I think I now know the origin of many of the postcards that are sent in opposing whatever it is I’m supporting.
Sadly, I’m confident Leo and I will be on the opposite side of the fence on my cause du jour the need for increased energy resources, including oil, gas, and renewables from our nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will be here in Anchorage on April 14 from 9 am to 8 pm at the Dena’ina Center. He wants to hear from Alaskans and we have some of our own superstars lined up to start things off: Senator Begich, Senator Murkowski, Representative Young, and Governor Palin will be providing testimony in support of increased opportunities for Alaskans to responsibly develop our resources in the OCS. Resolutions of support will also be presented by members of our State House of Representatives, State Senate, as well as by local elected officials.
If you’re reading this, I encourage you to come out and be a superstar as well by providing testimony. We have rented the space adjacent to the hearing and will be hosting exhibits showing how the industry responsibly operates in Alaska. Stop by and see it for yourself. The OCS could be a key factor in the success of a gas pipeline to the Lower 48.
Indeed, an additional 15 Trillion Cubic Feet of natural gas (that’s a lot Leo) must be discovered for either the TransCanada or Denali pipeline projects to be economically viable over the long term. In other words, we must allow acreage to open up in order to bring clean burning gas to the lower 48. Remember, many of the organizations Leo supports have endorsed a gas pipeline from Alaska. Fortunately, President Obama also supports it!
In addition, throughput in TAPS continues its decline from 2.1 million barrels of oil per day in the late 80s to one-third of that today. OCS production has the potential to refill the pipeline using infrastructure already in place, so the environmental footprint will be minimized. Now I know Leo’s gut feeling would likely be to oppose this, but without oil, how will he get to his next film shoot? Bike? How will he post his next blog on his computer, which is made of oil?
Even the Obama Administration, with its admirable goal to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, admits that oil and natural gas will still account for 65 percent of our energy consumption in 2025. Where will that come from? The OCS is a definite option.
But, for every barrel of oil America refuses to develop domestically in places like the OCS, we will have to import an equal amount from elsewhere around the world, where weaker environmental regulations often apply. As I’ve said before, Think globally, develop locally.
No one cares more for their environment than Alaskans, and OCS development has a strong track record. In Alaska, this development will be overseen by the strongest regulatory regime in the world and it will continue to allow other users, such as subsistence hunters and fishermen, to coexist in an environmentally-sensitive and responsible manner. When necessary, seasonal operating restrictions and mitigation measures to avoid conflicts will be employed, because that’s how we do it here in Alaska. We do it right.
Leo, you too should come and hear what we Alaskans have to say. I’ll even pay the carbon offset for your flight. We have a moral obligation to develop domestic energy sources, and the OCS is the ideal location. The resources located in the OCS will buy us the time we need to develop the alternative and renewable energy resources that will someday break our reliance on foreign oil, and maybe even some day oil altogether.
At the conclusion of one of the videos Leo put together on his website, he tells us to think for ourselves. I couldn’t agree more. On April 14, think for yourself. See you there.
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