Case-In-Point - Energy Summary

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Energy Summary P � PAGE �2�

Case-In-Point - Energy Summary

Jamila Lewis

University of Phoenix

SCI362 - Environmental Ethics

Facilitator: Steven Goldsmith

August 23, 2010

Energy Summary

Chapter 11


The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the largest entity in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Refuge is America's finest example of an intact, naturally functioning community of arctic/subarctic ecosystems. The Arctic Refuge is the only area on Alaska's North Slope where petroleum development is specifically prohibited by Congress. "The proposed opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration has been a major environment-versus-economy conflict off and on since 1980" (Raven, Berg, & Hassenzahl, 2010, p. 249).

Even though there have been technological advances in oil and gas exploration and development, reducing some of the harmful environmental effects associated with those activities, oil and gas development remains an intrusive industrial process. Drilling in ANWR would benefit our economy, but would not eliminate the trade deficit.

It would increase our domestic oil production and in turn, increase jobs in the United States, specifically in the refineries, transportation industry, processing plants and other industry-related jobs, reducing the federal unemployment rate, and the number of people on welfare, which would boost the economy.

Those opposed to drilling in ANWR feel that it would harm the environment, no matter how safe the oil companies claim to be, there will still be spills in the area. These spills would affect the local economy and wildlife. There are several arctic-adapted species that remain in the area during winter which would likely be affected, most notably muskoxen and polar bears, but also wolverine, arctic fox, and arctic grayling. Winter exploration could also impact the sensitive arctic tundra vegetation. "The organisms living here have adapted to their environment, but any additional...