Over the last thirty years the United States has been faced with the problem of dependence on foreign countries for oil and the tight control that these exercise on the energy policies and economics of America. Many of these instances include: the oil embargos of the 1970s, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Since the 1970s, one solution offered to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign countries for oil has been opening up drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Proponents say that drilling in ANWR would make the United States more self-sufficient in the area of energy, while at the same time not doing excessive damage to the environment of the area.
Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the crowned jewel of the nation’s 544 refuges is in danger of destruction (Lamar and Markey 12). ANWR has been in existence since 1960 and has slowly become one of the most controversial topics to hit Congress. ANWR is composed of 19 million acres on the northeast coast of Alaska. Although the government has been provided with this immense land they are fighting to gain more land. Why? ANWR is the second biggest oil field that is owned by the U.S. Now the government wants more land to construct oil reserves. The refuge is home to many endangered species such as migratory birds, polar bears, and wolves (Lynne and Roberts 1). Most of ANWR’s designated oil area is owned by indigenous Alaskan
In 2004, Questar sent a proposal to BLM to invest in directional drilling that would minimise the land occupied by wells, required roadways and distribution pipes. The innovation would reduce any harmful effect on the wildlife. However, the drilling method is costly but can be justified by continuous drilling all through winter.
The world, as we know it, is in the midst of having an oil crisis. Our nation starves and bends at the will of this dreadful calamity. Our deprivation for this atrocious corruption has led us to look for oil deposits in the Alaskan Wilderness. The US needs oil and by drilling for oil on our own land, we would help our economy, but in doing so would destroy the beauty of the wilderness and harm many others. The matter on hand is that should we drill for oil in Alaska’s wilderness? My opinion and answer to this question would simply be no. The United States of America should not drill for oil in the Alaskan wilderness.
Environmentalists are one the biggest critics against the notion of increasing domestic oil drilling. By increasing the amount of drilling we do in the United States, we increase the risk of disasters like the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Disasters are hardly the only source of economic damage either, to find oil reserves under the ocean, seismic waves are generated into the ground. These waves bounce off the ground back up to the ship, where computers and scientist can use the results to make educated guesses on whether or not oil is located under the surface. These seismic waves can wreak havoc with marine animals like whales; where in one case over 100 whales beached themselves to get away from the painful experience (Nixon). Using seismic waves does not even guarantee that oil might be located underneath the surface, the only way to tell is to actually drill into the potential finds causing even more destruction for what might be for no gain. Once oil is found and drilling has begun, the amount of damage done to the environment can become unimaginable. The recent example is that of the Deepwater
In his foreword, President Jimmy Carter proposes his thoughts on oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge. He contends that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should not be developed for the oil industry. He believes in the preservation of wildlife and the natural beauty that it provides. His argument is solidly structured by a personal anecdote, historical evidence of actions taken towards preservation, and a refutation to advocates of the drilling activity.
Lee, Professor of Economics. In his argument claims, “that the Economic of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil is so great that even environmentalist should agree to drilling, and they would probably stand to benefit.” There would be many benefits as compared to the cost. He does not deny the fact that there would be risks associated with the drilling. In spite of this, he feels that they do not begin to compare the benefits. Lee explains that the main reason that this has become such an intense issue is because of high prices of oil and gasoline. Lee goes on to explain that technology has having fewer risks involved with the drilling. This is why it is an important issue. Drilling would help reduce the U.S. dependence on foreign sources. Richard Pombo, a Republican from California argued that “there is no logical reason” to oppose ANWR drilling (Easton, 2009).
America must wean itself off of dependence on foreign oil, and one valid solution to this problem is offshore oil drilling and production. America’s economy is heavily based on petroleum, as though it is the nation’s blood; a necessity for survival. About 25% of oil produced in the U.S. comes from offshore rigs. Most of the U.S. coastline has been off limits for oil drilling since the early 1980s. Due to environmental concerns after an oil spill off the coast of California in 1969, an offshore drilling moratorium was imposed. Since then, the U.S. has amplified its energy consumption to where it uses nearly 25% of the world's oil. Meanwhile, the U.S. produces about 10% of the world's oil. That has made the U.S. heavily reliant on imported
As a young girl comes out of the ocean from swimming, suddenly she notices the brown oily stains on her bathing suit. When she looks back into the water, tar balls flow with the current of the water. The girl automatically washes the toxins off of her body, and she no longer wants to go to the beach for vacation. This results in lower tourist rates. Although accidents happen, the coastal workers continually strive to keep the beaches clean for the tourists that visit regularly. The recent British Petroleum oil spill that ravaged the Gulf Coast has turned people away from offshore drilling, but this type of drilling can really benefit the United States without great destruction.
Oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a very controversial topic. On one end you have the people who want to drill for oil to help out our economy, and on the other end there are the environmentalists and the Alaskan natives who do not want their land destroyed. Our economy needs help; oil prices keep rising, gas prices have reached an all time high, and America is depending too much on foreign trade. Drilling for oil in Alaska will solve these problems. There are ways of drilling without disturbing the environment and keeping the animals in their original habitat.
The question is should we drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. While there are downfalls to drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, the benefits to the country and to Alaska far outweigh them. These benefits include lower gas prices, more jobs, energy independence.
I recently read an article in Scientific American (May 2001) titled “the arctic oil & wildlife refuge.” The article addresses the issue of whether or not science has the ability to clarify the potential economic benefits and the ecological risks of drilling into the nation’s last great coastal wilderness preserve. What I began to wonder after reading the article is, if we humans should continue our scientific and technological petroleum endeavors even though we are causing irreversible harm to our earth. My feeling is that we should not drill in Alaska’s Arctic.
America Should Reject the Oil Businesses Plan and Permanently Protect The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Since the past few decades, owning a car has become a necessity in order to commute from one place to another. However, cars do not work automatically, they require fuel. Since the past decade, the petroleum industry has become one of the leading industries impacting the nation’s economy. Oil has become an essential commodity as it is utilized in transportation vehicles, serves as a raw material for manufacturing plastics, and is utilized in homes for cooking. America’s economy is greatly dependent on petroleum as it is the “black gold” of the nation. The considerable significance of oil has led to the drilling of it, which is not only limited to land, but also the oceans. Offshore drilling is a method in which petroleum is extracted from underneath the seabed. It is one of the significant technological advancements in the past few decades. However, the ones who are involved in the process of offshore oil production are humans, and humans tend to make mistakes. In 1969, due to a human error, an oil spill occurred and natural gas, oil, and mud shot up the well and oozed into the ocean (“Offshore Drilling”). The oil spilled led to an environmental disaster which killed thousands of marine animals and distorted the environment. In order to prevent the same error, the government passed a moratorium in 1981, banning more than 85 percent of the country’s oil drilling sites (“Offshore Drilling”). The moratorium restricted the United States to mass-produce its natural resource.