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Oil drilling in the ANWLR - Essay Example

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The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was designated in 1960 by the then Secretary of State, Fred Seaton, for the protection of its pristine wilderness, diverse wildlife and recreation qualities. In 1968, oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay and consequently led to immense national…
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Oil drilling in the ANWLR
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Download file to see previous pages The necessity of oil in driving the local economy cannot be understated. Many Americans need it for fuelling their vehicles, farm and industrial machinery. According to the ANWR website, a majority of Americans continue to experience the burden of expensive gasoline prices. This ironically occurs in a country with over 21 billion barrels of unexploited oil reserves but still spends billions of dollars in importation of oil (Arctic Power). However, past polls conducted by the ‘Dittman Research Corporation’ among the Alaskan populace, showed that over 78% are in support of oil exploration and development in the ANWR (Arctic Power).
The opponents against oil drilling in ANWR argue that it would destroy and deface the natural landscape as well as threaten wildlife survival (Natural Resource Defense Council). However, the argument is further from the truth due to several reasons. Foremost, technology advancement has led to the development of oil drilling equipment that cause less “footprints” on the surface. Consequently, oil drilling in Prudhoe Bay would affect less than 60% of the natural landscape (Arctic Power). Moreover, the argument on disturbance or extinction of wildlife is fallacious since past drilling projects on Alaska have not harmed wildlife in the area. Furthermore, the drilling plans for ANWR are scheduled to occur during winter months when wildlife activity is scarce (Corne & Gelb).
The other alternative proposed to oil drilling has been the investment in alternative and renewable sources of energy by Congress. It is a fact that investment in renewable energy is far much cheaper compared to oil exploration and development. However, the possibility of Congress devoting more investment to renewable energy at the expense of oil is quite a challenge. Foremost, a significant portion of Congress members benefit from oil ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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