to our wilderness crown jewels — has been tax cuts.
Those salivating over the taxcut stew should know that ravaging the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would not make it fiscally responsible. As implied earlier, recent Arctic
lease sales would point to a haul in the range of $145 million, nowhere near the $1 billion projected by the Congressional Budget Office.
It’s unclear that drilling in the refuge would even make economic sense for the players. Analysts say the price of oil would have to top $70 a barrel to make drilling worth the companies’ efforts. The U.S. benchmark price recently
stood at about $57. Some think the price will rise, but others see it falling. This would be a risky bet.
One doesn’t know how to put a price on the continued survival of arctic foxes, musk oxen, caribou and polar bears. Some cost-benefit analyses of environmental protections present tough choices. Sacrificing America’s natural birthright to partially offset a
rich person’s tax cut would be a messof-pottage deal.
Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @ FromaHarrop. She can be reached at email@example.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www. creators.com.