« Obama's Database a Treasure Trove of Riches | Main | Wright and Obama and Delegates »

The ANWAR Oil Nonsolution

Once again today in a press conference, Mr. Bush pushed for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as some sort of solution to the nation's appetite for oil. Yet, Mr. Bush failed to mention the serious public safety concerns why this Alaskan oil is totally unsuitable for use with the present level of refining technology available. Compared to the oil from any part of the world, this Alaskan oil is contaminated with far higher levels of poisonous benzene than oil from anywhere in the world.

The problem with benzene is that it is highly toxic and can collect in the blood and decrease the production of red blood cells and ruin the immune system and can lead to a series of serious health problems including death. Benzene can even endanger unborn children as well, resulting in low birth weight or other problems.

And the current technology of refining of oil does little to filter out this serious toxin, which is also not filtered out by automobile air pollution systems either. Benzene unfortunately is still contained in high levels in automobile exhaust gases, and any car burning Alaskan oil is pouring out this dangerous toxin in high levels and causing potentially serious and deadly consequences to anyone breathing these benzene contaminated exhaust gases.

In fact benzene is so difficult to filter out with current refining technology, that the Bush Administration controlled EPA has given the oil industry a special pass until 2014 before they have to deal with the problem. Currently, only the British owned, British Petroleum Company has had a high level of success dealing with the filtering out of benzene from Alaskan oil thanks to a very expensive and complex high tech refining plant that other American owned oil companies have so far failed to match due to the extreme investment cost to prevent this serious toxic pollution danger.

Environmentalists have only attacked further exploration of oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge on some narrow ecological grounds, while the medical science community can write volumes about the huge dangers of the continued benzene poisoning to the public. Until all oil companies are able to effectively deal with the benzene poisoning issue through better oil refining technology, the benzene contaminated oil should be considered absolutely unsuitable for use. The Bush Administration controlled EPA had no business allowing the oil industry to endanger the public health through benzene poisoning until 2014 just because the U.S. needed oil. That's only trading one problem for a far worse public health danger. That's no solution.

Mr. Bush has a real penchant to attempt to make complex issues simple. In fact, too simple.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

  • Currently 2.7/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 2.7/5 (9 votes cast)

Comments (6)


Paul, I must thank you for one thing on this.

It's the first time I personally have ever heard a reason not to drill, that had nothing to do with what I would call typical environmentalist drivel. (Yes, I'm showing my bias on this.)

Here's one question for you in turn. As this IS the first time I've heard benzene mentioned with regards to ANWR, what was your source for this info?

I ask, as the only other nation I'm aware of that had any kind of contamination (for lack of a better term) within their oil was Venezuela, which I understand has high sulfur content in their crude.

If you can spare the time, let me know. You have sincerely peaked my interest in this.


If the price of gasoline keeps escalating...it is only a matter of time before the American public starts to demand that the government allow drilling in the Anwar, the Gulf of Mexico, where ever...In times of economic stress...the pocketbook will overrun all other concerns. All
the lib scare tactics will come to naught.

P. Bunyan:

So Hooson,

Would you support drilling in ANWR if the oil companies had the technology to remove the benzene?

(Not that I believe that your typically linkless post was the unbiased, whole truth of the matter, mind you...)


The major sources of most people's exposure to benzene are indoor exposures. To quote from the CDC:

How you could be exposed to benzene

* Outdoor air contains low levels of benzene from tobacco smoke, gas stations, motor vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions. [MV emissions are the main source unless you are near a wildfire or volcano - my add]
* Indoor air generally contains levels of benzene higher than those in outdoor air. The benzene in indoor air comes from products that contain benzene such as glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents.
* The air around hazardous waste sites or gas stations can contain higher levels of benzene than in other areas.
* Benzene leaks from underground storage tanks or from hazardous waste sites containing benzene can contaminate well water.
* People working in industries that make or use benzene may be exposed to the highest levels of it.
* A major source of benzene exposure is tobacco smoke.

So whether we burn Anwar benzene or not, our major health risks from this are from first and second hand smoke, waxes, solventa and paints in the home.

Just to put things in proper perspective.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Our major health risks today may not include benzene from Alaskan oil... but Paul's post is forward-looking in that he's cautioning that Anwar drilling and the increased use of Alaskan oil will increase our futurebenzene exposure.

The benzene in Alaskan oil is impacting the Pacific northwest today, where air pollution from the burning of Alaskan-sourced gasoline has greatly increased exposure to benzene in that area.

If benzene is is dangerous it should only be
sold to environmentalists. In addition caribou
meat and oil could be extracted from Anwar.
Solves 2 problems, food and oil.


Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]





Add to Technorati Favorites


Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

All original content copyright © 2007 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark. Wizbang Blue™ is a trademark of Wizbang®, LLC.

Powered by Movable Type 3.35

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.