Drilling in ANWR Will Not Solve Our National Energy Crisis
Oil speculated to be beneath the Arctic Refuge would add less than 1 percent to global oil production
November 3, 2011
For decades, drilling proponents have touted drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as the answer to the national crisis du jour. Today, facing three national crises--energy, jobs, and the deficit--the sad truth is that Arctic Refuge drilling will do nothing to alleviate any of these crucial challenges, despite what Big Oil and its supporters will tell you.
Here are three indisputable facts:
- Oil prices are set on a global oil market, and the amount of oil speculated to be found beneath the Arctic Refuge's coastal plain would add less than 1 percent to total oil production. And, as the government's Energy Information Administration noted in a 2008 report, OPEC could just turn the spigot a little higher to eradicate any slight increase in U.S. production that might come from the Arctic Refuge.
- Any claims about job growth from domestic drilling are met with this stark reality: The top five largest oil companies have actually cut their work force by 11,200 employees in the past five years, despite the fact that this country is producing more oil and gas now than at any other time in our history. And, they are making record profits.
- Estimates of revenue generated from drilling in the Arctic Refuge are wildly speculative and hugely inflated. According to a 2008 Congressional Research Service report, any revenue estimates from Arctic Refuge drilling are "highly uncertain" and "subject to major limitations."
And then there's this fact: Some places are just too extraordinary to drill--and the Arctic Refuge is one of them. For 30 years, pro-drilling proponents have been pushing to drill in the Arctic Refuge, and for 30 years millions of Americans have stood up and said "No way!" The Arctic Refuge--with its vast expanse of divergent terrain, and the abundant wildlife that depends on it--is our nation's greatest wilderness icon. We have a moral responsibility to save wild places like the Arctic Refuge for future generations, which is why our country has remained committed to its protection for over a half century.
The Arctic Refuge is one place that must remain off-limits to drilling--now and forever.