With gas costs rising, i was arguing with a friend over Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and gas taxes. I stated two things that i had heard, that taxes were about fifty cents a gallon, and that ANWR had about thirty years worth of oil. He challenged on both, and then provided the studies.
GasPriceWatch has information on gas taxes. Using their information, Michigan taxes, and $2 per gallon:
$0.18.400 Federal Gas Tax
$0.19.000 Michigan Gas Tax
$0.00.875 Michigan Environmental Regulation Fee
$0.12.000 Michigan Sales Tax
So, if you're paying $2.50 a gallon (i'm paying more) just over fifty cents of that is tax. Or, in another way, the tax is 25%.
As for ANWR, noone can ever know. But, we can estimate. The U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) has a report on the recent assesment, which is 7.7 billion barrels (with a 90% chance that the amount is between 4.3 and 11.8 billion barrels).
Now that we have an estimation, how much does the US use? For that, we go to the Energy Information Administration, part of the Department of Energy. (They have a specific page on petroleum.) Here's the 2005 report, in Excel format, for petroleum usage in the US. (I'm not quite sure where he found this link.) The report has the 2005 snnual average at 20.66 millions of gallons per day.
Total ANWR oil / Usage per day = Days of oil in ANWR.
7,700,000,000 / 20,660,000 = ~373
373 days of oil is just over a year. Or as he put it "Thus, ANWR oil amounts to 1.0 years (between 0.6 and 1.6 years, allowing for the uncertainty in the reserve amount) of current American oil consumption."
So, i was dead wrong on that thirty year thing. I have no idea where i got it from, and i'm glad he put an end to that.
He also pointed out that oil is drilled slowly so things don't collapse and for other reasons. So, the extraction time would ultimately need to be figured, and is likely more than a year.
The question is, how can about one year's worth of oil cause so much for people to talk about? And, how could this possibly put a dent in the price in the long run? With so little at stake, i'm wondering if it's even worth it. A Wildlife preserve isn't a bad thing.