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Oil Drilling and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Essay Example

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The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) on the North Slope of Alaska is one of the few pristine wilderness areas remaining in the world. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the refuge contains about 3 billion bbl of recoverable oil. …
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Oil Drilling and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
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Download file to see previous pages al Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Updated Assessment, states that the coastal plain region harboring the 1.5 million-acre 1002 Area is "the largest unexplored, potential productive onshore basin in the United States." The oil industry has long argued in favor of the drilling for oil in the ANWR, but the idea was unpopular for decades among many members of the public and the U.S. government and no drilling was permitted. (Botkin and Keller, 2003)
Analysis of Benefits and Costs
As with all industrial developments especially in oil projects, issues actually revolve on just two opposing forces: environmental and social impacts. We are aware that ecological importance has become a major issue that must be included in our ventures due to the fact that we can not tolerate pollution anymore. However, most job generating and welfare increasing measures are only possible with the introduction of business that may have environmental repercussions. This dilemma is further highlighted by the ANWR issue. In this section, we take a look at the arguments in favor and not in favor of drilling in the ANWR.
Arguments in Favor of Drilling
a) The United States need s the oil and it will help us to be more independent on imported oil
In the introduction, it was mentioned that oil prices rose dramatically in the United States due to problems in supply and legislation. However, this was actually just the fourth oil shock since 1973. The first one occurred when the Arab oil embargo of 1973-1974 occurred. Arab oil producing countries cut back productions and imposed an oil embargo on shipments forcing Americans to wait in lines to receive limited amounts of gasoline. Prices of oil more than doubled. The second occurred in 1978 with the overthrow of the Shah of Iran which...
After having known both sides of a coin, we are now in a position to state our recommendation. In many industrial issues, a point where both sides supposedly found equal footing has been made. Suffice it to say, the developments pushed thru. In this study, however, we cannot find such point because in the developments where they were able to find one, immediate and long term environmental degradation became prominent. For sure, developments will bring about wealth and increased economic activity and we certainly do not want our country to be dictated by other countries. However, hard science and numerous experiences have proven that the development can negatively affect the wilderness as what had happened to Prudhoe Bay. Once development starts, there will be no stopping companies and those who benefits from it from finding a way to skip all those legal limitations. The development is actually a black hole problem where development results to further developments which results to further expansion and so on and so forth. Congress voted not to drill in 2002. I agree with them. It is not that I do not want Alaskans to prosper. It is because there are technologies available already which are cleaner and greener. Alternative energy sources such as solar, geothermal and wind power are proving themselves to be business friendly and sufficient for customer demand.
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