North Shore Oil Exploration and Drilling
There is some evidence that oil exists under the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This has led to a huge debate as to whether or not companies should be allowed to drill for this oil. A law was passed by congress in 1980 that states “production of oil and gas from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is prohibited and no leasing or other development leading to production of oil and gas from the [Refuge] shall be undertaken until authorized by an act of Congress.” If these oil companies do succeed in abolishing this law, then a land that has stood virtually untouched would be destroyed for what the United States Geological Survey has estimated is only 6 months worth of oil.
Much of Alaska’s North Slope has been open for oil exploration and drilling. Since the late 80’s however, oil companies have been lobbying congress to open the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge. This is the remaining 5 percent of the refuge that has been untouched. Because of all the problems in the Middle East and here with Hurricane Katrina, opening ANWR to oil exploration and drilling has never looked so tempting. Only one thing is keeping congress and oil companies out of the refuge, wildlife. There are many rare animals that depend on this area for survival. By infiltrating this area with human activity, we would be sending these animals possibly to their death. We must ask ourselves is it worth threatening herds of caribou, polar bears, and many other animals for just 6 months of oil?
Congress has said that any tangible benefits to consumers from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will take at least a decade to come into full effect. Because of the fluctuating price of oil, congress wants to time any drilling in ANWR with the highest world market prices. But because of the problems facing the United States currently, congress feels like now is the best time to tap into our oil reserves. Congress would have liked to time the drilling in ANWR in correlation with the highest world market prices for oil. Since those prices are so hard to predict, America feels like now is as good of time as any. Elliott Negin, spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, said “the oil in ANWR will have no effect on the global price of oil because it is to small an amount.” Even pro-drilling lobbyists agree that the amount of oil in ANWR would not affect America’s oil problems. Why then do they continue to lobby pro-drilling in the refuge?
What are some benefits of drilling in ANWR? Unemployment is currently at an all-time high. With the establishment of oil rigs and drills around the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, there would be a total of 700,000 new jobs for Americans. True, these jobs will disappear in a few decades when the drilling in completed, but maybe by then there will be new opportunities for the workers. By drilling in ANWR, we would reduce the amount of imported oil by 5 percent which is...