Dear Editor, October 16, 2001 To drill or not to drill; that is the question. While there are still environmental issues concerning this topic, there are multiple benefits to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. By choosing to open the refuge to oil drilling, we would be doing our nation a huge favor. If we opt to begin drilling in the minute portion of ANWR, we would drop our dependency on oil from foreign countries, create thousands of jobs, bring in billions of dollars worth of revenue and harvest one of the greatest assets our country has ever seen.
ANWR is an enormous area of land that is located in the northernmost western corner of Alaska. Contrary to what many citizens may believe, the area that the oil companies want to develop is only 8% of the total land. This is a mere fraction of the wilderness that is located on the northern Coastal Plain.
The remaining 17.5 million acres would remain closed for any sort of exploration. As the oil companies have developed more land over the past decades, they have also developed more conservative and resourceful ways to extract the petroleum from the ground. After visiting Alaska's Arctic Slope, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said, "The oil industry has learned how to drill with impressive technology. They've downsized the area that they occupy. They are now opening an oil field in the Alpine Delta, where there will be no gravel roads, the drilling and transportation is done in the winter when the tundra is frozen and cannot be damaged, and they make a pretty impressive case that they too have learned." And if we're going to be safe about extracting our oil, why don't we also keep in mind our countries safety from terrorists organizations over seas.