The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) or Arctic Refuge, located in northeastern Alaska is a approximately 20 million acres in area and is the largest national wildlife refuge in the United States. However, for almost four decades, it has been in the middle of political and media controversies because of the drillings done in search for oil. With oil being an important commodity on a global scale and with the projected 10 billion barrels the ANWR drilling presents, it necessitates for those concerned that careful consideration on its advantages and disadvantages be taken.
List of Pros of ANWR Oil Drilling
1. Added Oil Reserves
With ANWR oil drilling, the U.S. will have more resources when it comes to oil and increasing the oil reserves of the country offers several benefits. Consequently, the nation does not really have to rely on other countries for petroleum. There have been situations when the lack of oil supply had hit the economy and prices of commodities have escalated, making it hard for average-income earners. Moreover, with more oil, there will be no need to be on the beck and call of oil suppliers who dictate on its price in the global market.
2. Job Opportunities
Just like other oil drilling methods, ANWR oil drilling offers numerous job placements for skilled workers, professionals and other people looking for work. There are about hundreds of thousands of workers needed to perform different jobs, from engineers to drivers. With these opportunities, many American families who used to be struggling financially will be given the chance to improve their lives.
3. Additional Energy Resource
Advocates for the oil drilling claim that these activities are important since they can be used in the future and that its benefits can be enjoyed by the future generations. It can also be a great way to improve lives of the people living within or near the areas.
List of Cons of ANWR Oil Drilling
1. Affects Wildlife
Being the largest national wildlife refuge, the ANWR is the home to thousands of species, even the endangered ones. With the ongoing oil drilling, the lives of these animals are disrupted and they will be displaced from their normal environment. Critics find this inhumane and abusive of the right of animals. Moreover, this drillings also cost the lives of animals that either die from hunger or from killings.
2. Depleting Resources
Opponent of the ANWR oil drilling not only argue that oil is not an infinite resource but also something that the U.S. already have. Continuous drilling will only use up the oil at a time when the drilling is not of utmost importance, considering that there are other oil drilling options. For critics, it is important to put off these activities until such time oil supply will be needed.
Critics contend that just like other oil drilling techniques, ANWR oil drilling can cause pollution as a result of operating heavy equipment as well as the clearing process. Oil spills are also possible especially when it comes to transporting the product and these can be harmful to the people.
ANWR oil drilling has its advantages and disadvantages. President Obama, himself, has expressed his disagreement about this issue. It is important for leaders and government agencies concerned to consider these pros and cons carefully.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.