Should the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Be Opened to Oil Drilling?

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Issue 8
Should the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be opened to Oil Drilling?

Taking Sides: Environmental Issues by Thomas A. Easton
Pgs. 134-151

Summary Yes:
In his piece, Dwight R. Lee explains that with oil drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, there would be many benefits as compared to the cost. He doesn’t deny that there would be risks associated with the drilling. However, he feels that they do not begin to compare to the benefits. He explains that the main reason that this has become such a hot topic is because of the high prices of gasoline and oil. One company that he looks at is the National Audubon Society. They are against opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling because they feel that it will “destroy the integrity.” This is the same company that owns the 26,000 acre Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary and opens it to drilling. By allowing this drilling, the Audubon Society has received more than $25 million. This has allowed them to own other wildlife and wilderness land.

Lee goes on to explain that technology has allowed for there to be fewer risks involved with the drilling. There are fewer mistakes made and therefore less destruction left behind. He also explains that with the extra gas from ANWR, this will allow us to have safer vehicles. If our vehicles are 100 pounds heavier it would decrease the amount of deaths drastically. However this would in turn cause more gas to be used.

Lee states that “Certainly, environmental risks exist, and the society considers them, but if also responsibly weighs the costs of those risks against the benefits as measured by the income derived from drilling. Obviously, the Audubon Society appraises the benefits from driller as greater than the costs, and it acts in accordance with that appraisal.” Summary No:

To open up, the Minority Members state “We believe we should tap alternative sources of oil and gas and develop alternative energy technologies, rather than...
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