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紐時賞析/保護區開放探油 川普政府美化收益

2019-09-18 16:54紐時賞析

阿拉斯加州「北極國家野生動物保護區」海岸平原的北極熊。 路透
阿拉斯加州「北極國家野生動物保護區」海岸平原的北極熊。 路透
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U.S. Sales Pitch To Open Arctic Falls Far Short

保護區開放探油 川普政府美化收益

When the Trump administration first pushed to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration, it predicted that drilling would generate a windfall for the federal Treasury: $1.8 billion, by a White House estimate.

川普政府首次推動開放阿拉斯加州「北極國家野生動物保護區」供石油探勘時,預估鑽油可為國庫帶來可觀的額外收入,根據白宮的一項評估,金額(在十年之中)高達18億美元。

But two years later, with the expected sale of the first oil and gas leases just months away, a New York Times analysis of prior lease sales suggests that the new activity may yield as little as $45 million over the next decade. Even the latest federal government estimate is half the figure the White House predicted.

不過,兩年後的現在,保護區第一張油氣租約料將在數月內拍賣之際,紐約時報分析先前拍賣阿拉斯加其他地方租約的結果顯示,在保護區鑽油的新活動未來十年可能只會為國庫帶進4500萬美元。就算聯邦政府最新估計的收入,也比白宮當時預估的少一半。

The original lofty projection was just one element of a campaign within the administration to present in the best possible light the idea of opening the refuge’s coastal plain after decades of being stymied by Democrats and environmentalists, according to internal government communications and other documents reviewed by The Times.

紐時檢閱的美國政府內部通訊紀錄和其他文件顯示,川普政府原本預估的龐大收入,只是宣傳攻勢的一部分,在民主黨與環保人士阻擋數十年後,川普政府想以最好的包裝呈現「保護區海岸平原開放鑽油」這個點子。

Opponents of exploration have said the 19-million-acre refuge, one of the largest expanses of pristine land in the United States, could be forever damaged in pursuit of oil that would bring little benefit to U.S. taxpayers.

反對鑽油的人說,這塊1900萬英畝的保護區是美國最大片的處女地之一,一旦開放鑽油,可能受到永久破壞,卻不會給美國納稅人帶來什麼收益。

The administration, bent on proving them wrong, turned to the federal bureaucracy to help make its case, the records show.

紀錄顯示,川普政府決心證明他們是錯的,要求聯邦行政體系提出有利於政府的論據。

Even before plans to allow the lease sales were completed and approved by Congress in late 2017, the Interior Department pressed for new — and possibly rosier — assessments of the prospects for oil discoveries that would entail field research in the environmentally fragile refuge, according to the documents.

文件顯示,甚至在2017年底政府擬妥油氣租約拍賣計畫並經國會同意之前,內政部就迫切要求重新(而且可能更樂觀地)評估在保護區發現石油的前景,讓政府有理由在這塊環境脆弱的保護區內開放實地探勘。

In revising a draft plan for the new assessments, officials played down evidence that the refuge might not have much oil, deleting references to disappointing wells nearby.

官員修改計畫草案並重新評估時,淡化了保護區石油儲量可能不多的證據,並把提到附近油井開採成果令人失望的字句刪除。

They also pushed scientists to provide studies and other information so quickly that some expressed concern over the speed of the process, according to the documents, which were obtained through public records requests by Trustees for Alaska, an environmental law firm that has opposed oil exploration in the refuge.

文件還顯示,官員還催促科學家在極短時間內提供相關研究結果和其他資料,以致有些科學家擔心程序走得太快。這些文件由反對在保護區鑽油的環境法公司「阿拉斯加受託人」透過申請政府紀錄而取得。

Republicans made major advances toward drilling during the first two years of the Trump administration, when they controlled both Congress and the White House. But Democrats, since winning a majority in the House last November, have tried to slow or halt the drive toward lease sales.

在川普政府剛上台的兩年,共和黨掌控參眾兩院與白宮,在開放鑽油方面取得重大進展。不過,民主黨自從去年11月拿下眾院多數席次後,就致力延緩或阻止油氣租約拍賣。

Government studies in the 1990s estimated as much as 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the 1.5 million acres of the refuge’s coastal plain, the area that could be opened to drilling.

1990年代政府研究估計,這塊保護區海岸平原廣達150萬英畝,可採油量為110億桶,可以開放鑽探。

But data from the only exploratory well ever drilled there — the so-called KIC-1 well from the mid-1980s — has been kept confidential. (Henry Fountain and Steve Eder)

不過,當地唯一鑽探過的一口油井,開鑽於1980年代中期的KIC-1,相關資料卻一直保密。

文/Henry Fountain and Steve Eder 譯/李京倫

說文解字看新聞

川普政府想開採阿拉斯加州野生動物保護區的油氣,所以極力美化鑽油的收益以影響輿論。

標題的spin為非正式用法,指特別的觀點或偏見,尤其是政治人物用來影響輿論的,如:The campaign put a favorable spin on the story.也可以當及物動詞,是指朝某個方向引導旁人的看法,如:His assignment was to spin the reporters after the president's speech.

oil and gas leases是油氣租約。在美國,礦權所有者(聯邦政府、州政府、私人或私有機構)透過拍賣、招標或談判,把待探勘的油氣區塊租給油氣公司,油氣公司在支付費用後,就擁有在固定期限內這區塊的專營權。

油井(well)主要用於開採油田(oil field)的石油,鑽井時會依用途決定地點,若是生產油氣用,須選擇能讓產量最大化的地方,若是鑽探用,就要選擇能證實可採油氣存在之處,若是注入用,就要選擇可滲透的地方。注入井(injection well)是在油田開發過程中,為保持或恢復油層壓力,往油層中注水或注氣的井。

野生動物保護區川普阿拉斯加

紐時賞析

精選紐約時報精彩報導譯為中文並刊出原文,配合賞析導讀,讓讀者除了學英語也能深入了解全球文化。

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