Oil Drilling in the Arctic

Topics: Petroleum, Petroleum industry, Synthetic fuel Pages: 3 (1013 words) Published: November 15, 2005
The Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge is one of America's last great wilderness areas. It is home to many animals such as polar bears, wolves, and grizzly bears, caribou herds, snow geese, musk oxen, and dozens of other species. If your oil companies keep drilling in the Arctic, most of these beautiful creatures will die, and some will become extinct. The Coastal Plain is home to these animals. Annually, a herd of 129,000 caribou gather on the Coastal Plain to bear and nurse their young. Polar bears rely on the Coastal Plain as their most important on-land denning habitat. Musk oxen, grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines, foxes, golden eagles, and snowy owls gather here to hunt and den. In the fall, the Coastal Plain 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 they begin migration.

Imagine someone coming into your home and ruining everything you have and possibly killing you. This is what you are doing every time you drill in the Arctic. Oil spills average one spill per day. If your oil industry becomes more developed on the Coastal Plain, hundreds of miles of roads and pipelines leading to dozens of oil fields will block wildlife movements and disturb many species. Toxic wastes may leak from pipelines onto the tundra, contaminating wetlands. Rivers and stream beds, the main habitat for fish and wildlife, will be stripped of millions of tons of gravel to be used to construct roads, airstrips, and drill pads. How are these precious animals supposed to survive under these conditions? Where are they supposed to go? For an example of what your heavy machinery would do to the refuge, just look sixty miles west to Prudhoe Bay, one of the largest oil fields in North America. This giant oil complex has turned one thousand square miles of tundra into an industrial zone containing miles of roads and pipelines, over one thousand wells,...
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