Monday, May 23, 2011

It’s a North Slope thing…..

Just got back from the gas station.

I think my credit card actually whimpered on its way to the little slider thing.

Sad, sad day.

The end.

The end of all that is right and makes sense for heavens sake!

It makes me grumpy.

And when I get grumpy about gas prices, then I get grumpy about where we get the majority of our oil from and then I get mad about ANWR and then, well then…I thought about my blog. I know…try and keep up.

On my blog I try really hard to be neutral about politics and other such stuff that might run the risk of garnering rude comments. I cannot handle rejection AT ALL. Total rejection pansy.

But today….for one brief blog—that's going to change. I need to speak my mind on this. So buckle up—it might get a little bumpy. (Just kidding, rejection pansy, remember????)


My husband works as an Electrician in the oilfields of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Specifically, Kuparuk. Right now he works 2 weeks on (up at the Slope) and 2 weeks off (at home with us) but there have been 6 weeks on and 1 week off, 3 and 3, and once—a 10 and 1! So we are very happy with 2 and 2.

Phil took most of these pictures. You can’t just visit Prudhoe Bay. You have to work there. They have a lottery every year that you can enter and if you win you can have a few relatives over the age of 14 fly up a and take a little tour. My 2 oldest daughters have done that, so a few of the photographs are theirs.

Most of the buildings look a lot like this one-

phil work 2

And the area around the buildings look a lot like this---without snow--

phil work 3

And this –with snow----I don’t have too many with snow because its so cold you can’t easily take any pictures…

phil work 15

And since it is the head of THE Pipeline there are pipes everywhere…..

Philsworktour7-24-2009086phil work 85

He sleeps in a building that looks a lot like this one….they have a room with a bed and a bathroom—much like a dorm room. He has the same room each time he goes up. Then another guy stays in it for the 2 weeks that he is home with us.

phil work 6

While he is up there they feed him 3 meals a day plus there is a snack bar open all the time. They clean their bedding for them too. All he has to do is his own laundry. It is a rough life for these guys up there. They have a movie theater and a racquet ball court---everything!

phil work

But even with all the buildings and such going on—they are very careful of the environment. The workers cannot go very far from the camps and yet my husband was still able to get this picture of a mama and her babies. The animals are not threatened or harmed in any way.

phil work 2 Just because there is an oil field doesn’t mean you won’t have wildlife. “For example, the Central Arctic caribou herd at Prudhoe Bay has grown from 3,000 to as high as 23,400 during the last 20 years.”—Making the Case for ANWR

phil work 1

They use a lot of cutting edge technology up there. My husband volunteers for a group (MAD) that practices/drills during their off time--- during the times of year without ice—to learn how to clean up oil spills in these boats….

Mad drill_08 04 09_0008He’s the incredibly handsome one in the sunglasses and white hat… who in this picture is the pilot taking out the local and federal authorities to demonstrate their skills to make sure they are following all guidelines……

Mad drill_08 04 09_0014

Mad drill_08 04 09_0016

The US imports over 65% of the nations needed petroleum.

It is projected that there is 3-9 billion barrels of recoverable oil beneath ANWR.

Only 1/2 of 1% of the 19 million acres of ANWR is allowed to be considered for exploration.

ANWR lies in the top northeast corner of Alaska.

The entire refuge lies north of the Arctic Circle and 1,300 miles south of the North Pole.

It is completely flat and barren with no trees, hills, or mountains.

Nine months of the year is covered with snow and ice and practically void of life.

Three of the months are in total 24 hour darkness.


It’s not about my husband having a job—there is enough oil in Prudhoe to see him through to retirement.

It is about not understanding why our government chooses to rely so heavily on overseas petroleum when we could be getting it right here at home.

And why do I just keep paying $4 gallon at the pump and just say I’ll worry about it tomorrow?

Just some info and thoughts that keep running around in my brain—thought I would share/vent—

How do you all feel about the oil crisis in this country? (Did you see how brave I was there? Opening myself up to rejection?? Ack! Be gentle!)


Mikki said...

Girl, I am so on board with your way of thinking on this issue! I just don't get it!

Cheeseboy said...

Very interesting. I would love to visit Alaska, but certainly not the barren, oil rich land you are talking about. Not sure how I feel about it all, other than I am sick of paying $4/gallon too.

tammy said...

I love you for speaking up about this. It drives me and Luvpilot insane. More people need to know the real truth. Would it freak you out too much for me to link to you?? I won't if you don't want me to. I get the rejection thingy.

Sue said...

When I hear that the land is barren, I have to agree with your questions about what we're protecting. My main concern is that they follow regulations and don't cause damage with spills.

Thanks for speaking up about this. You make some very good points here.


PS. And I truly dislike being dependent on foreign oil.

onlymehere said...

I have to agree 100%. It's like if I have the food in my pantry but won't use it but have to run out to the store every time I need a can of cream of chicken soup even though I have cases of it already (wish I truly had that much but you get my point). It's just insane. I'm so angry about gas prices right now bz there just is no sense in why we're paying so much for it. We're starting to see it refelected in the price of groceries too. Bacon just went up to $5.00 plus around here. I passed it by and thought okay, we'll have eggs but no bacon. I can't economize enough to make up for how much the prices have jumped while my income goes down thanks to the recession that has supposedly ended. We only drive if we absolutely have to now too. It's insane especially when the solution is so simple. Open up our oil drilling and let the oil flow! The EPA is killing us!

When they redid the canyon to our home and put in a wider safer road with more lanes there was a huge uproar that it would harm the plants and wildlife for years to come! Well within a couple of months of completion the weeds were growing back (with help from being replanted by the road) and the deer were still trying to cross the highway in parts. You'd never even know that UDOT had just done some major road work.

Okay, Lisa now you really have my head spinning! I just don't know why politicians, etc. don't use some good old common sense about these things.

By the way, did you notice the world didn't end Saturday at 4:00 like it was predicted? I'm just sayin'...............

Garden of Egan said...

I agree with you 100%. I can't quite figure out who the heck is makinng these lame decisions....oh ya, it's the idiots in their cushy offices in Washington DC and their awesome retirement, health care benefits and children that don't have to repay student loans.

Don't EVEN get me started.

karen said...

I agree with you. It sounds like theres a lot of oil, proper safety precautions are being met, and so why do we prefer to be dependent on foreign oil? Something's not right here, and we're going to be in trouble if we don't wake up.

Diaper Diva said...

I could not agree more! I drive a 12 passenger van (lots o kids) It's like taking out loan to fill it up and I think of it every time I turn it on. Makes me sick.

Pedaling said...

way to be brave!
i had no idea that's where your husband worked.
great info and insight...
how do i feel?
the same as you.
one possible good thing though,
it's this economy and these gas prices that is going to get this administration OUT!

DesertHen said...

My gas card screams at me everytime I pull up to the pump! There are times it refuses to come out of my wallet!

Great post! I too am very, very tired of paying these outrageous prices at the pump! It just makes no sense at all! I get very grumpy as well when I start to think about it all!

The pictures are amazing! I got to see something today that I will never see in person.

Lene said...

It's insane. When I put $100 to fill up my suburban I want to cry. I want to cry even more knowing that it doesn't need to be that way.

annie said...

I feel the same way about tapping into ANWR, but I am also good friends with The Deputy Director of the US Arctic Research Commission and she has talked to me about it as well from the other point of view. She has met regularly with Shell, BP, and the like and I think one of her main beefs isn't that the environment would be disturbed- it's the oil companies and their politics/procedures that she has had to deal with. Some are not very honest. Most are not American companies with American's interests at heart.

I'm all for paying less at the pump too and it makes me grumpy that I live 20 miles from an oil refinery along the pipeline and I still have to pay $4.20 a gallon for gas. That's ridiculous. I am also not a big fan of corporate greed so there just needs to be a better balance cause right now it's NOT in the American's favor, in my opinion. :o)

Cherie said...

This post is AWESOMENESS!!! I totally do not understand why we don't use our own oil - seriously!!
And those thoughts of mine were floating around before I read this post and now with this knowledge I am TOTALLY wondering why our government is dorkin' around!!! Why? Why? Why? is all I can say.

I had no idea this is what your husband did for a living. Very very interesting and very informative!!!

" Hit It......." said...

Tammy recommended that I take a look at your site and I am glad I did. Good job exposing the truth. It irritates me that we don't use our own resources.

It also bothers me that we fund wars instead of making countries (i.e. like Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq) pay for their own war in oil. Retarded! I have seen your blog on Pedaling's side bar. I hope you don't mind if I come back and check out your blog.

Lisa Loo said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! I think it is so important that we keep dialougues like this going--even the ones that don't agree--carry on!!!!

Jess said...

I couldn't agree more- my answer is that all of the politicians, and government agencies are suffering sever cases of cranio-rectal inversion. It's treatable, but difficult to truly cure since the relapse rates are 95%.

M-Cat said...

Popped over from Tammy at Time Flies and wondering why I haven't "met" you before....

SO with you on the whole thing. I don't know much about Alaska but I know we have oil there to sustain our country for a long time, and yet for some asinine reason, we are paying someone else for something we have RIGHT HERE!

Makes me insane!

Great post

Karen Sue said...

Thanks Lisa, for being brave enough to say what needs saying. With a big family and snow from Oct to April, Large & 4Wheel Drive are often neccesities around here. We are not city people, but country folks. My kids' school is 1-1.5 gallons away from home, along with one of my jobs, my church, and that's just one way. Another job is more like 2+ gallons from home. We work because we can, we should, and we need to. Buses, trains, and subways are not an option here. I am cutting the trips down as much as possible, but they are necessary to life. My first husband was in a family fuel business. They don't make more money when the price goes up, usually less and they get stuck more by people who can't pay. I don't consider myself old, but I remember when the price first went over $1 and none of the pumps were geared over 99.9 cents!!

JennyLynn said...

Came over to read your post from Tammy's blog.

This pisses me off! I hate paying so much for gas. There have many times that my car has not been working over the past few years. So, I end up walking every where. Now that I have a good working car, I may need to park it. Since I only work 10 month out of the year, at an elementary school. I won't be able to afford to put gas in my car at the rate it is going up.

onlymehere said...

Thanks for stopping by. There's absolutely nothing I'd rather do in this life than hang out with my kids and grandkids! How's the mission preparations going? I know it's a hard time for you right now and your emotions probably run pretty close to the surface, at least they did with me. Remember I'm just an email away if you need anything during this time!

Carla said...

I agree. Totally! Texas itself is oil rich, but most areas have been closed up (during Cartertimes) to encourage buying from other countries. Now those countries either have issues, or attitude. We have the oil, we need the jobs, where is the problem??? And why is diesel, the cheapest grade of gasoline, now costing the most? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

onlymehere said...

It is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I'm the kind of person though that has to get myself busy and keep busy so I don't dwell on it. That's been the hard part for me since my husband goes to bed at 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. and I'm all alone at night. I promise it does get better though and you find a "new normal." Sometimes I just have to remind myself that he's doing the right thing at the right time in his life. He's grown so much spiritually it's just unbelievable. We told him to be honest with us and not pretend to be what he wasn't while he was there so we've seen the frustrating as well as rewarding times and have felt that growth. Of course, having him home for surgery we saw first-hand the glow and light in his eyes. You'll see that too in a short time. She's going to do awesome. Hang in there and just remember I'm only an email away!

LKP said...

i'm right there with ya sista! my hubby worked on the oilfields of western-wyoming for a couple years, when we lived in idaho. i can relate on so many levels, no lie. wyoming isn't alaska, nor ANWR, however we are just as frustrated at the government's refusal to use what God's given us here at home to be self-sufficient. choosing to drill in such areas in the future will be too late. if we start establishing now, then when things get EXTREMELY SEVERE with us against the world, we'll be able to take care of our own! i could go on & on for days about this subject. but frankly, you've said it all perfectly. thank you, from a former oil-wife. ::hugs::

on another topic, i can't imagine the hair-turmoil you're experiencing with the thought of your daughter and her pending mission! but good for her. :)

Sandra said...

You aren't going to get too much rejection from me. I'm Canadian. Are gas prices are even higher than yours. And we apparently have oil in Alberta. I get your point. Good for you for voicing it!

Leanna said...

I have worked up north paving, and I've made some of the same observations: Work does not go on if there are animals around (ex: animals near a road) - the environment comes first. Animals don't mind the buildings or pipes. It is a hard place to work, but they make it as nice as possible for the people there. How I wish gas was cheaper. The Flint Hills' line is that they produce mostly airline fuel (which goes on to Anchorage), so it doesn't help gas prices much. I wouldn't mind if there was something to be gained by the higher prices, but I do believe the money is making politically corrupt companies greater profits, and not doing anything to improve exploration, research, environmental safety, alternative energy - ANYTHING - but lining the pockets of rich foreign corporations.

Darlene said...

I'll never understand why we don't develope our own oil resources. We have so many, not just in Alaska. It seems to make the ordinary American angry, but the administration doesn't care about the ordinary American. We are all sick to death of paying so much for gas. We're also sick to death of spending so much money keeping troops in the Middle East when they obviously hate us and want us to go home. Why we ever thought we could change a system that has been in place for centuries, I'll never know. As soon as we leave Iraq, those people will go right back to where they were. There are so many factions, three big ones and they have always been fighting. Whichever is the strongest will take over and we will have spent years and billions for naught. The frustration is so great, but what can we do?

imbeingheldhostage said...

Lisa for President!

Nana said...

I loved that post.
I loved your pictures.
I loved getting to see your handsome husband.
Most of all I loved you message!!
No rejection here.

onlymehere said...

Been thinking about you with your new missionary. So how's mom holding up? It's rough, I know. It's been much harder than I ever expected it would be. I'm here if you just need to have somebody listen. Email me or leave a comment any time you want. :)

Cynthia said...

I'm late to the party but I appreciate your opinionated self! I think this post was very educational on a topic most of us know little about- other than the rhetoric that flies on tv etc. I also happen to agree with you. It's not always an "all or nothing" proposition- there's always appropriate middle ground on issues and I think you've pointed it out.

onlymehere said...

Lisa, are you doing well and adjusting to having a missionary? I haven't heard from you in awhile and just want to say that I hope all is going fine for you. :)

Pedaling said...

where are you?
everything okay?
thinking about you.

Cherie said...

I see Pedaling and I are having the same thoughts.
I also just came looking for you.
Hope you are having a good summer and that the pipeline didn't suck you in!!

karen said...

Me too (three) - I've missed seeing you and hope you're just having a fun summer, and that all is well.

imbeingheldhostage said...

ok, that's it. I'm taking a stand against this injustice. WHERE ARE YOU?!! Where's the posts I so desperately need to read in the middle of the night? I've been patient long enough!! ;-)

I hope your silence is because you are having too good of a summer to pull yourself away from. I miss you. xx

onlymehere said...

Are you okay? I hope all is well in your little corner of the world. I think of you all the time when I write Trav and wonder how you're doing. Take care. I'll quit stalking you now.

DesertHen said...

Hey Lisa,

Just stopped by to say hi. I hope all is well and that you are having a very busy, fun filled summer! (((HUGS)))

Miss ya!

Anonymous said...

You are so cute ~ rejection pansy. I don't do politics in my blog for much the same reason, I suppose. You posted a lovely, logical presentation. Three years ago 27.00 to fill my VW bug. Today, 47.00. 47.00 for a VW bug...and I am a commuter. Have a lovely day ~ Alexandra

♥ Braja said...

Hey come back!

onlymehere said...

I'm wondering how your missionary is doing. I think of you often and hope that you're doing okay. I miss your posts.

Sue said...

I am missing you, Lisa. And wondering how you are.


onlymehere said...

Our son just got home. It was a rough two years for us but entirely worth it as I see the man he has become. Hope all is well with you and yours.