Introduction

The Energy Story

  Energy Is Born
  Energy Types
  Energy Changes
  Energy Generation

The Energy Problem

  Conservation of Energy
  Aging of Energy
  Finite Resources
  The Oil "Crisis"
  Energy Pollution
  Discussion Topics

The Energy Solution

  Conserving Electricity
  Appliance Efficiency
  Heating Conservation
  Renewable Energy

Web Links

Teacher Guide

About the Author


Secret Lives Title - The Energy Problem


Topic

TOPIC QUESTION: Should our country restrict drilling for oil in the arctic and national parks?



Introduction

"The 19 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) lies in the northeast corner of Alaska. The entire refuge lies north of the Arctic Circle and 1,300 miles south of the North Pole."

"February 6, 2002 Washington, DC - Arctic Power announced today that a recent poll shows 48% of Americans favor opening part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to energy exploration."

arctic national wildlife refuge map
Courtesy of Arctic Power, a nonprofit citizen's organization
From
ANWR website


"Multinational oil companies and some members of Congress insist on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, on the last five percent of Alaska's northern coastal land not already open to oil exploration or drilling."

From Alaska Wilderness League website


This is an issue that draws passionate supporters from both sides of the issue. The Senate recently rejected a bill that would have allowed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but there is little doubt that the debate and efforts to drill here will continue.

 


Some Pros and Cons
Cons
Pros
The amount of oil in these areas would only supply a fraction of what the United States needs. The oil from these areas would help the United States lessen its dependence on foreign sources of oil.
Drilling in these areas would spoil the fragile environment and potentially kill many species of life. The national parks would lose their beauty and be unavailable for use by the general public.
With modern drilling techniques and the proper safeguards, there would be minimal impact on these wilderness areas.