Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has become a controversial issue when Republicans included the measure in a major defense bill. According to Democrats and moderate Republicans the piece of legislation was embedded in a major defense bill that couldnÂ’t be turned down. The total bill passed 306 voting for it and 106 against (House Approves drilling, 2005).
The new defense bill will hopefully reduce the federal deficit by 40 billion over the next 5 years (House Approves drilling, 2005). In addition to deficit reduction some of the money will go for military supplies, helping hurricane victims and subsidizing heat to those in poverty. Republicans feel that the measures are necessary if the White House fiscal obligations will again be on track.
In 1987 a report directed to Congress indicated that there were 26 major oil fields in Alaska (Adams, 1995). These oil fields could potentially supply 10 billion barrels pumped at 365 million barrels a year (Cowen & Doggett, 2005). It would take over 27 years to remove all of the oil.
Even though, without doubt, that the oil revenues would help the economy and the local Alaskan population, the necessity of protecting one of the U.S.Â’s largest natural reserves remains unresolved. Native peoples who are strapped for cash and rising oil prices which damper the nationÂ’s economy are pitted against environmentalists who want to protect the multitudes of endangered species.
Since humans love to consume and make little effort to conserve natural resources there must be a balance against damaging natural preserves further in an attempt to furnish peopleÂ’s needs and protecting unspoiled land. By keeping the area relatively untouched businesses and governments will be forced to upgrade their fuel efficiency reducing the nationÂ’s dependence on natural resources. By opening the ANWR to only a small amount of oil mining instead of the full array of oil companies proposed by the government we can help push the nation into a stronger economic future that is less dependent than competing nations.
Adams, Jacob (1995, June). Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, Barrow, Alaska. Artic Circle. Extracted December 19th, 2005 from http://arcticcircle.uconn.edu/VirtualClassroom/asrcadams.html
Cowen, R & Doggett, T. (2005, December 19th). Senate Takes up Alaska Drilling. Netscape News. Extracted December 19th, 2005 from http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/news/story.jsp?idq=/ff/story/0002/20051219/1134963690.htm&ewp=ewp_news_1205alaska_drilling
House Approves drilling in Alaskan Refuge. (2005, December 19th). Associated Press. Retrieved on December 19th, 2005 from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10509565/
U.S. Votes to open ANWR (2005, December 19th). Anwr.org. Retrieved on December 19th, 2005 from http://www.anwr.org/archives/us_house_votes_to_open_anwr.php
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Murad Ali is a two time published author and owner of the Muslim Times magazine. For more interesting information please visit www.muradenterprises.org