Debate Club

There Will Never Be a Time to Drill in ANWR

By SHARE

For many years now, politicians have used the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a rhetorical prop when talking about oil prices. "Oh, we would have cheaper gasoline, if only we could drill in the Arctic Refuge," more or less sums up the sentiment. Fortunately, there have been enough level-headed officials to more than counterbalance this thinking, and the refuge continues to be protected (which is what one would expect from a National Wildlife Refuge).

[Read about how competition impacts gas prices.]

Even so, year after year there are attempts to open the Arctic Refuge to oil rigs, pipelines, airstrips, and all of the other development that comes with them. Meanwhile, often from the same people arguing to drill the Arctic Refuge, we don't see fuel conservation measures or the pursuit of renewable, clean energy like wind and solar that can be produced without willingly destroying a national treasure.

The oil and gas industry is already sitting on tens of millions of acres of American land that it isn't using--and it has more than 7,000 final drilling permits sitting by unused. Clearly, the oil industry's problem is not a lack of access.

[Check out our Energy Intelligence blog.]

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is truly one of a kind. It is one of the few remaining intact ecosystems in the world--one of the last places on the planet that has not felt the heavy hand of industrialization. It is home to more than 100,000 caribou that make up the Porcupine caribou herd. These animals are the cultural lifeblood of the Gwich'in people and their primary food source. For the Gwich'in, the Arctic Refuge--specifically the coastal plain, where the caribou go to birth their calves--is the "sacred place where life begins." The coastal plain is also designated critical habitat for the threatened polar bear, and provides the most important land denning and nursery habitat in the United States for polar bears.

Putting a drill rig or pipeline in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would be the willing destruction of an American treasure and, for the Gwich'in, and end to their way of life, which has spanned millennia.

There will never be a time to surrender and drill the Arctic Refuge. Now is the time to reduce fuel consumption and reinvest in clean, renewable energy that can power America, create jobs, and keep our national treasures intact.

William H. Meadows

About William H. Meadows President of The Wilderness Society

Tags
Arctic
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
energy
gas prices
environment
oil

Other Arguments

#1
289 Pts
Drilling in ANWR a Disaster Waiting to Happen

No – Drilling in ANWR a Disaster Waiting to Happen

Jessica Ennis Legislative Representative at Earthjustice

#3
103 Pts
Oil and Wildlife Do Not Mix

No – Oil and Wildlife Do Not Mix

Dan Ritzman Alaska Program Director for the Sierra Club's Resilient Habitats Campaign

#4
88 Pts
America Is Not Prepared to Safely Drill in ANWR

No – America Is Not Prepared to Safely Drill in ANWR

Frances Beinecke President of the Natural Resources Defense Council

#5
81 Pts
Drilling in ANWR Will Not Solve Our National Energy Crisis

No – Drilling in ANWR Will Not Solve Our National Energy Crisis

Cindy Shogan Executive Director of the Alaska Wilderness League

#9
-87 Pts
Majority of Alaskans Agree With Drilling in ANWR

Yes – Majority of Alaskans Agree With Drilling in ANWR

Dan Sullivan Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources

#11
-91 Pts
Developing Domestic Oil Resources Is Part of the Solution

Yes – Developing Domestic Oil Resources Is Part of the Solution

Marilyn Crockett Executive Director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association

#12
-93 Pts
With ANWR We Can Take Immediate Steps to Boost Domestic Production

Yes – With ANWR We Can Take Immediate Steps to Boost Domestic Production

Robbie Diamond Founder, President and CEO of Securing America's Future Energy

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