Examine the costs and benefits of countries and TNCs exploiting energy resources in technically difficult and environmentally sensitive areas

Topics: Petroleum, Water, Exxon Valdez oil spill Pages: 2 (601 words) Published: September 22, 2014
Examine the costs and benefits of countries and TNCs exploiting energy resources in technically difficult and environmentally sensitive areas (15) There are both benefits and consequences when extracting energy resources. Humans still need energy to function in day to day life as well as to keep global markets and the economy going, so it is beneficial and necessary to obtain it, and with the USA alone importing 10 million barrels of oil a day, new sources need to be discovered and recovered. However, there are controversial issues when it comes to energy. It is an expensive and complex process to extract resources from the ground and can have damaging effects on the environment, particularly in untouched national parks and extreme sensitive areas. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is a remote area in Alaska owned by the USA. It was stated a national monument in 1996 by Bill Clinton after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 caused environmental damage in the Arctic Circle. It was named ‘Area 1002’ being the USA’s last wilderness, but there are talks over whether it should be used to drill oil. This is an environmentally sensitive area as being an untouched wilderness there are many indigenous or reliant species in this habitat. The Caribou is one species who migrate here and would be affected if the area became a drilling site and there was environmental degradation from oil leaks, CO2 emissions from the rig etc. The USGS have estimated 4.3-11.8 billion barrels of oil are recoverable, and this would only contribute between 0.4% and 1.2% of the world’s oil market, so the large costs would potentially be for little benefit. However, benefits will come with drilling in the area. There will be a tax base for the local government which would benefit local residents, and it would provide employment and generate income. There could be funding for water and sewer systems, schools etc, and increased scientific research on the area would increase understanding...
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