To Invest in Drilling or to Invest in Our Future?
You've almost made it. The captain says that around these mountains, in about 15 minutes, you should see it, the great coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: birthplace to caribou, polar bears, and much of the other arctic wildlife. You've been looking forward to seeing this for as long as you can remember and when you do it's breathtaking: crisp clean white plains, just like you'd seen in the National Geographic. You listen to the sounds surrounding you, the ocean lapping along the boat, the air whistling through the mountains, thewhat's that? That mechanical noiseit sounds likelike engines, but what are machines doing on this remote, beautiful, peaceful, and highly important land? As you turn your focus to the east, where the noise is coming from, you see it. Among the fragile tundra and substantial mountains lining the plain you see a giant oil field. In the middle of this pristine territory there it is, a mechanical giant: drilling and moving to it's own ominous sound. And then you remember it all12 years ago during the Bush administration, our president pushed for the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to stop our dependence on foreign oil and to boost our economy with new employment after the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
This scenario tragically could happen. Sure it sounds like a great plan, let's stop supporting the terrorist countries and drill our own oil, let's provide thousands of new jobs after so many people are being laid off, let's drill in the last remaining untouched American Arctic coastline. It sounds good, but it's not reasonable, environmentally or economically. It would take years before we could even reap the profits of destroying one of the most important birthing grounds in the Arctic. And when we did, do you seriously think what is located in the Arctic could sustain the American need for petroleum products? And what about these jobs that are being promised? There is little to no job security when working with something that so deeply depends on what the Earth has provided. Once the oil is gone, all the jobs would be gone as well. Drilling in the ANWR may sound very intriguing but with evidence concerning actual oil amounts, time for oil production, environmental disasters, insecure employment, and alternative energy sources the Bush administration's solution to our oil shortage has stopped far from expectations.
The battle over drilling in the ANWR to decrease our dependence on foreign oil has been debated since the park first opened in 1960 during the Eisenhower administration; however, it has reached a new peak with the recent terrorist attacks and the very pro-oil administration. With both our President and Vice President being former oilmen, the opening of the ANWR has been proposed (and heavily fought for) in their new energy bill (Kadlec). The section, which the Bush administration wishes to open, is located on the...