Term Paper: Oil Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Pages: 4 (1160 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Topic: Energy  ·  Buy for $19.77

¶ … drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Specifically, it will discuss the issues of greenhouse gases and the importance of maintaining wilderness in America today. Proponents of drilling in the area note the 1002 area, where drilling would occur, is just a small area of the entire Refuge. However, Americans now know how dangerous greenhouse gases from fossil fuels can be, and alternative energy sources are what the country should be investigating now, rather than more dependence on national (or foreign) oil. Drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a stopgap measure at best, and ruining one of America's last pristine wilderness areas is not worth the cost of a few barrels of oil.

The ANWR has been considered a source for additional U.S. oil since the 1980s, and in fact, in 1980, Congress postponed making a decision about oil and gas reserves on 1.55 million acres of the Reserve (known as section 1002). They could have designated this area wilderness, along with the rest of the Reserve, but they chose not to do so (Stanke). Thus, this decision to drill for oil in the Refuge has been a long time in the making, and continues to inspire debate and contention today. There are many reasons why opponents so vehemently oppose drilling in the area. Greenhouse gas emissions and American dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels is one significant argument.

By now, just about everyone in America has heard about global warming, the not so gradual warming of our planet that will someday make it uninhabitable for most life as we know it, unless we act today. Global warming is due in large part to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which remove the "sunscreen" from the atmosphere and allow the sun's rays to warm the planet more than they would normally. Greenhouse gases come in large part from the burning of non-renewable fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil. In addition, at its peak estimates show drilling in the area would produce about 1.5 million barrels of oil a day (Herndon). Considering the U.S. uses about 19.7 million barrels a day, Arctic drilling would produce a relative drop in the barrel, certainly not worth disturbing and forever damaging a pristine wilderness forever (Herndon). Thus, developing oil-producing areas, especially when they lie in a natural wonder such as the ANWR, simply does not make sense.

On the other hand, using the resources and funds that would be utilized in the Arctic to develop alternative forms of fuel does make sense. America desperately needs to stop depending on foreign oil imports, and begin developing alternative forms of energy for mass consumption. This development is not simply about saving natural resources. It is a necessity to reduce greenhouse gases and stop the rushing tide of global warming. Drilling for oil is so last millennium; instead, America needs to develop renewable, clean forms of energy, such as solar, wind, and electric-powered vehicles, along with alternative fuels, such as hydrogen or bioethanols.

In addition to the problem with rising greenhouse gases, there is another compelling reason not to drill in the ANWR. The Refuge is one of the last pristine wilderness areas on the planet, and as such, it should be protected rather than disturbed. Many studies indicate that wildlife in the area would be severely impacted by drilling in the area. However, the Refuge itself is one of the last remaining truly… [END OF PREVIEW]

Increased Access to Offshore Oil Exploration Term Paper

Natural Gas Drilling Thesis

Arguing Against Drilling for Oil in Alaska to Protect the Natural Wildlife Term Paper

US Oil Dependance Its Cause Its Effect and a Solution Research Proposal

Environmental Ethics Humans Term Paper

View 19 other related papers  >>

Cite This Term Paper:

APA Format

Oil Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  (2007, March 3).  Retrieved November 15, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/oil-drilling-arctic-national-wildlife/8211

MLA Format

"Oil Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."  3 March 2007.  Web.  15 November 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/oil-drilling-arctic-national-wildlife/8211>.

Chicago Format

"Oil Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."  Essaytown.com.  March 3, 2007.  Accessed November 15, 2019.