To Drill or Not to Drill, That is the Question:
Finding Common Ground in the Battle Over ANWR
The Alaskan National Wilderness Refuge has been the topic of political debate for decades. A large, beautiful piece of the world, ANWR as it is often referred to, is not a only a refuge for hundreds of species of birds, fish and mammals, but also a political battleground that is used to ignite the debate on America’s dependence on foreign fuel sources. The possibility of drilling for oil in ANWR brings with it the promise of jobs, dependency from unstable countries for our fuel needs and a boost to our declining economy. However, drilling in this land also brings the possibility of destroying the habitat of birds that migrate to this area yearly, caribou that use this haven as a calving ground, fish that fill the rivers and lakes, as well as grizzly bears, wolves, elk and hundreds of other species that depend on this habitat for food, shelter and safety. There is no debate that there are passionate debates, important facts and amazing possibilities that concern both sides of this argument. And even if it were possible to remove political agenda from the table, it would still be a very difficult debate to win for either side. My hopes are to come to a conclusion that would benefit both parties involved. I strongly feel that any drilling in this area would be detrimental to the surrounding area, as well as bring possible harm to the countless animals, birds and fish that use this safe haven yearly for migration, calving and egg laying and feeding. The decision to either drill or not to drill may not have a direct impact on us now, but in the years to come, good or bad, we will all see the changes that this decision will have resulted in.
There are many others, like you, that believe that drilling in ANWR is the perfect solution to our current economic situation. The possibilities of new jobs and freedom from purchasing oil from unstable and hostile countries is tempting and seems like a wonderful alternative to our current circumstances. I’ve read reports that state that we could create up to 736,000 new jobs. The assessment of these numbers was broken down into jobs such as manufacturing, mining, trade, services and construction. In addition the plethora of new employment opportunities there are reports that show that drilling in ANWR could produce up to 1,000,000 barrels of oil a day. These same reports claim that producing such a large amount of oil each day would replace the oil that we purchase from Saudi Arabia, which in turn would put about $50,000,000 back into the United States Economy. There are many believable reports that technology has far advanced itself in relation to the process of drilling oil and that the new equipment and processes for obtaining the oil from underground would be incredibly safe and un-invasive to the surrounding area. In addition, I understand that the size of the area that is being considered for drilling is about the size of the state of South Carolina and that the land is barren, windswept and that this particular area is desolate of any wildlife or vegetation. The Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge is quite a large area so I can see how drilling in such a small part seems like a good idea. In fact, I think it’s quite tempting to dream of one day not having to purchase oil from hostile countries. It would be wonderful to finally be able to reduce the U.S. Federal deficit and at the same time boosting the local economy and putting American’s back to work. I can see the benefits to drilling in this land if the results would be as extensive as they appear to be in these reports. Of course for every report that lists the benefits of drilling, there is another that refutes it.
In doing my research I actually switched positions from being pro-drilling to anti-drilling. I realized that although the process of drilling in recent years has become a much safer method for both...
Cited: Biello, David. "Can Ethanol from Corn Be Made Sustainable?" Scientific American Global RSS. Scientific American, 20 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 May 2014.
Krupnick, Alan J
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