Sheet: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge And Oil Drilling
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Covering more than 20 million acres, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) includes the largest designated wilderness area (8 million acres) in the National Wildlife Refuge system. In dispute is permission to drill on the 1.5-million-acre coastal plain, the biological heart of the Refuge.
Absent of roads, lodging and campsites, ANWR has been dubbed "America's finest example of an intact, naturally functioning community of Arctic/sub-Arctic ecosystems." Teeming with wildlife (more than 160 bird species, 36 kinds of land mammals, nine marine mammal species and 36 types of fish), the Refuge is a breeding ground and habitat for caribou, polar bears and other animals.
About one in four jobs in Alaska (some 55,000 jobs total, or twice the number of jobs in the petroleum, mining and construction industries) depend on a clean environment. These jobs are in the commercial and sport fishing, tourism and hunting sectors.
Drilling for oil in the Refuge
The United States holds less than 3 percent of the world's proven oil reserves, yet Americans consume 25 percent of the world's produced oil. Opening the Arctic National Refuge would increase world reserves by only
0.3 percent. Even opening all our refuges, parks and coastlines to drilling would not satisfy our current energy demands.
The amount of oil that could be recovered economically from the Arctic Refuge over a 50-year span -- approximately 5.3 billion barrels --amounts to less than a nine month's supply for the United States.
Drilling in ANWR would provide consumers with little or no price relief, since the amount of oil involved provides no leverage against OPEC market control. For example, when Alaska's Prudhoe Bay increased production in the 1970s, OPEC was still able to double oil prices by curtailing their supply. Various estimates put the amount of economically recoverable oil -- that is, after production costs are balanced against the price of oil -- at less than what could be saved with just a 3 mpg increase in the average fuel economy of American cars and trucks.
Sources: Alaska Conservation Foundation, Energy Information Administration, Environmental Defense, Environmental Media Services, Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Wilderness Society
The work of Chief Looking Horse calls for Global Healing in many aspects that encompasses Peace with all Mitakuye Oyasin (all living beings, relations)