Drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Chris Ingram 5-7-01

Figure 1. Coastal Plain. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2000)

In 1979 President Carter signed the Alaska National Interests Conservation Act (ANILCA), which set aside 104 million acres as national parks and refuges. Within this area, Congress noted the possibility of oil reserves in the coastal plain. They created section 1002, which set aside 1.5 million acres of coastal plain for further study and possible development.

Section 1002 is now the focus of a large energy debate due to its possible oil reserves. With up to 16 billion barrels of oil, equaling roughly five years of oil imports, the area could be productive. Yet, more likely as little as three billion barrels equaling five months consumption exist for potential recovery.     (Carter 2000)

President George Bush is planning on passing an energy policy that includes drilling section 1002 of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Drilling this land will lead to the destruction of an ecosystem that has been unharmed by man throughout its existence.

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