Drilling for Oil in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge

Topics: Petroleum, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Oil well Pages: 6 (2442 words) Published: October 11, 2005
The United States should not drill for oil in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge because it would harm the environment, disrupt the animals, and destroy plants. The United States Congress created the Artic National Wildlife Refuge in 1980 (To drill or not to drill?: 6). The Artic National Wildlife Refuge is also known as ANWR (To drill or not to drill?: 6). The Artic National Wildlife Refuge is 19.6 million acres of wilderness (Scalzo, Jim Lo.: 37). Of the 19.6 million acres in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge 17.5 million acres are permanently closed to development. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is often called the "American Serengeti" (Defenders of Wildlife). The Artic National Wildlife Refuge lies in the northeast corner of Alaska (Predger, David). The entire refuge lies north of the Arctic Circle and 1,300 miles south of the North Pole (Predger, David). The Artic National Wildlife Refuge is the size of South Carolina (Predger, David). If ANWR was a state it would be bigger than ten other states (Predger, David). If the United States did drill for oil in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge there is an estimated 10.4 billion barrels on the North Slope (One state's free lunch: 28-32). The North Slope covers 89,000 square miles (Experts say Alaska Oil Drilling Hurts Wildlife: 43). The North Slope extends from the top of the Brooks Range to the Artic coast (Experts say Alaska Oil Drilling Hurts Wildlife: 43). The United States Congress wants to drill for oil and natural gas in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (Battles loom in Congress Over ANWR.: 2) The United States Congress is split in half, give or take, on whether to drill for oil in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge or not to drill (Schneiderman, Emma: 4). Approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil a day are being produced from the fields that are already tapped (Predger, David).

Another reason why the United States should not drill in the Artic National Wildlife Reserve is because it would harm the animals living in the reserve. Another indirect effect of oil drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge is global warming would increase (One state's free lunch: 28- 32). The Porcupine River herd of 129,000 caribou gathers annually on the Coastal Plain to bear and nurse their young. Polar bears rely on the Coastal Plain of the Refuge as their most important on-land denning habitat on American soil. There are many types of wildlife in the refuge. These animals include caribou, polar bears, musk oxen, millions of birds, wolves, foxes, black bears, grizzly bears, and several species of whales (One state's free lunch: 28-32). Musk oxen, grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines, foxes, golden eagles, and snowy owls gather here to hunt and den. In the fall, the Coastal Plain of the refuge supports up to 300,000 snow geese which detour to feed from their nesting grounds in Canada. Millions of other birds use the Arctic Refuge to nest and as a critical staging area before journeying through every state. Wolves, foxes, and musk oxen raise their young there (To drill or not to drill?: 6). Golden eagles and snowy owls nest there (To drill or not to drill?: 6). Enormous herds of caribou and moose roam there (To drill or not to drill?: 6). The vast artic plain is home to grizzly bears, polar bears, and black bears (To drill or not to drill?:

6). Oil development has already affected caribou herd geographical distribution and reproductive success (Experts say Alaska Oil Drilling Hurts Wildlife: 43). The increased human presence has attracted scavenging animals and birds that also prey on nestlings, eggs and bird species (Experts say Alaska Oil Drilling Hurts Wildlife: 43). Bowhead whales have changed their fall migration pattern to avoid the noise of seismic exploration activities (Experts say Alaska Oil Drilling Hurts Wildlife: 43). Scientists use seismic waves to determine if there is oil under a certain place of land. If the United States was to...

Cited: "Battles Loom in Congress Over ANWR Energy Bill." The Oil Daily 4 January 2005: 2.
"Come on in." The Economist 19 -25 March 2005: 38.
"Defenders of Wildlife." Help save the Artic National Wildlife Refuge A project of Defenders of Wildlife. 30 March 2005.
"Experts Say Alaska Oil Drilling Hurts Wildlife, Local Culture." The Oil Daily 5 March 2003: 43.
"One state 's free lunch." The Economist 11-17 December 2004: 28-32.
Predger, David. "Artic National Wildlife Refuge." 2005. Artic Power. 30 March 2005.
Scalzo, Jim Lo. "Poking an Environmental Hot Spot." Us News & World Report 21 February 2005: 37.
Schneiderman, Emma. "Alternative energy Sources. (No Drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge!"). Skipping Stones January – February 2003:4.
"The Artic National Wildlife Refuge." Alaska Wilderness League. Your Voice for Alaska 's Wilderness in the Nation 's Capital. Alaska Wilderness League 30 March 2005
"To drill or not to drill? Should oil companies drill for oil in the remote Alaska wilderness?" Know Your World Extra 12 March 2004:6
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