The drilling of oil ANWR is a controversial topic among the oil industry, politicians, and environmentalists. The North Slope, where the drilling for oil is highly observed, is the home of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Naval Petroleum Reserve No.4, and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field. The expansion of oil drilling in ANWR is associated with many arguments. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of drilling for oil in ANWR.
Top 4 Advantages of Drilling in ANWR
1. Economic Gains
Oil is a commodity that is highly sought after by many industries. Despite the rise of much advancement in “green” energy, oil continues to the primary raw material used to power machineries, planes, trucks, equipments, and cars. Oil is also the primary source for power of heating and cooling utilities to home and commercial buildings. The expansion of drilling for oil in ANWR can provide America with a safe source of energy in short term. Also, the expansion of drilling for oil can increase the employment opportunities for people living within and around the site.
2. Positive Sociological Impact
The drilling in ANWR can have significant sociological impacts. The positive sociological impact includes better schools and improved health care for children and people living within and around the oil-drilling communities.
3. Alternative Energy Resource
The drilling for oil in ANWR can help develop alternative energy resource in the future. The oil from ANWR supports the world economy for the meantime, but it is expected that it can lessen the United States dependence on foreign oil overtime.
4. Increases National Defense
Every dollar that the United States spends from importing oil from Russia, Venezuela, and Middle East can help strengthen terrorists and communists that can pose threat to the national security of the U.S.
Top 3 Disadvantages of Drilling in AWR
1. Negative Sociological Impacts
The negative sociological impact of oil drilling in Alaska include increased rates of diabetes and alcoholism among the people living within and near the oil-drilling communities.
The release of pollutant in high amounts increases the risks of pollution in ANWR and in its surrounding areas. High amounts of pollutants are released during the developmental stage when workers setup roads, crew habitations, and derricks. Pollutants are also released during the drilling process when high-powered drills are used to bore the earth.
Pollutants are also released during the transportation processes including the shipping of oil for distribution. The oil distribution in ANWR can cause severe impacts to the environment. Oil spills can pose threat to the lives of people living within the oil-drilling communities. Also, boring through the earth can lead to the emission of nitrogen oxides, methane, and other airborne particulate matter that can cause acid rain or smog.
3. Endangers Animal Habitats
Drilling in ANWR involves processes that can cause explosions deep into the earth. These explosions or the release of seismic pulses can scare animals, and lay them off from their natural migratory patterns. This can lead to increased mortality rates of animals such as polar bears and caribou. This can also increase the risks of these animals to human contacts, which is dangerous to both parties.