Essay on the role of ANWR in the artic

Essay by ludacrispychicknUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2004

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Finding Black Amidst the White

One hot topic among today's environmentalists, conservationists, and everyday people alike is the debate on whether drilling should occur in ANWR (Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge). One of the largest wildlife refuges in Alaska, ANWR is 19.6 acres and contains large amounts of petroleum. Drilling in ANWR is not a new debate as it has continued for years, but it has been heating up as of late. People have always speculated that this petroleum, if harvested, would harm the environment. That is not necessarily true. With new methods of retrieval and increased technology, environmental risks can be greatly reduced, and as a result, drilling could prove to be a positive step in providing Americans with a reliable source of oil.

The argument has stood that drilling in the ANWR is not worth the money the oil brings in. But the value of the oil is far beyond monetary: harvesting oil from an American source means that the U.S.

does not need to cross the Atlantic Ocean and risk American lives just to get oil. The only problem lies with environmentalists who feel that the Alaskan wild is an environmental gem and only natural home to the caribou. They feel that drilling could ruin the area and the habitat of many Alaskan animals, not just the caribou. The ANWR "...contains hundreds of species of mosses, grasses, wildflowers and shrubs, and it is a prime habitat for caribou, moose, wolf, lynx, fox, wolverine, musk ox, three species of bear, and many others," (E Magazine). The main concern is that the native caribou would be removed from their natural habitat a move that would possibly lead to their extinction.

Of the ANWR's 19 million acres, only a very small portion of the area would be

necessary to...