Fall 2014 11AM
Drilling for Oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
In recent discussions of drilling in the arctic national refuge, a controversial issue has been whether to drill or not to drill. On the one hand, some argue that drilling for oil can bring many benefits both economically and politically to America, it creates jobs and makes us less dependent on foreign oil. Also in the last two decades their have been many laws to improve the drilling, transport and clean up of oil. We as Americans have a comfortable lifestyle. A large part of which comes from using natural resources. There are a lot of reasons why earth conscious people would want to prevent oil drilling in an area that is protected called The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Spills are probably the first thing on anyone’s mind when they talk about oil drilling and transportation. So why would anyone, besides greedy, millionaire oil company executives, want to drill and transport oil? Drilling for oil can bring many benefits, both economically and politically, to America. It creates jobs and can make us less dependent on foreign oil. Also, in the last two decades there have been many laws and reforms to improve the drilling, transport, and cleanup of oil. These insure a greatly reduce possibility of harmful contamination to the Earth as a whole.
We Americans have a comfortable lifestyle, for the most part. A large part of being comfortable comes from the use of natural resources. Freon keeps your refrigerators and homes cool in the summer. Liquid propane, kerosene, and other natural gases keep your houses warm in the winter. Oil is used for so many products it is mindboggling. Not only is it used to create the gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, and other fuels to propel our transportation, but is used to lubricate those engines as well. It’s not just transportation engines it is used to lubricate; it is used for lubrication in all sorts of everyday equipment you wouldn’t think about. Factories use it daily to keep their machines running so they can produce all sorts of your favorite objects; even some of the food you buy at the supermarket at some point went through a machine that used oil to lubricate its parts. On top of that, but the trucking industry transports 90% of goods in value (iru.org). You would not be able to even receive those favorite objects and food if not for oil. BP estimates that the world has only 53 years of oil left in the world (USA today), with the drilling in ANWR we could potentially increase that time by three years. In numbers: the Energy Information Administration estimates the US consumes 20.8 million barrels of oil a day (Gertz). The ANWR has a 5% chance of containing more than 25 billion barrels of oil (anwr.org). This would also decrease our dependency on foreign oil. During his campaign for president, John McCain said he would like to do more drilling to “stop sending $700 billion a year (for oil) to countries that don’t like us very much” (Gertz). That is a lot of money spent to outsource a product that we potentially have large quantities of if we would just utilize it. It is also estimated that there is over a trillion ft3 of natural gas in the ANWR (anwr.org). Because of the oil currently being drilled in Alaska, the local populace benefits greatly. I personally received a dividend at tax time in 2007 of almost $2300 as a single male as a result of this dividend. The money peaked in 2008 with an average of $3269 a person; that averaged out to be about $16,345 for a family of five (usbig.net). But Alaskans are the only ones that will benefit financially by accessing this oil, by accessing these resources we could lower the price of both fuel at the pump and fuel for the home. This project would also provide hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs with only a minimal amount of land (appx. 8%) would be utilized during the...
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