What is the danger of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?

I’m a huge animal activist and want to know how it will effect the wildlife that lives there. I just know of oil spills and tearing up their homes.
I don’t want a lecture about how we need the oil because of high gas prices. In my opinion, this won’t solve high gas prices forever.

9 Responses to “What is the danger of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?”

  1. Eco_Dave_011 Says:

    Here are just a few of the "acceptable dangers":
    Disruption of migratory patterns
    Pollution of the site
    Pumping of fresh water into the well to extract the oil
    Reduction of land for use by local citizens
    Pollution along the pipeline (yes pipelines leak crude oil as a normal part of operation).

    All these impacts are well documented and add that to the fact we really don’t have any data on the geology and that we don’t do a good job being stewards for the land and you can see why there is cause for concern.

    Estimates vary between 7-16 billon barrels of oil there. Why the variance? That depends on who is estimating pro or con. The USGS is reporting between 4.6B (95% probability) and 11.2B (5% probability) barrels which sounds more realistic and impartial.

    Next up the funny notation that the companies awarded the right to drill do not have to actually drill or produce any crude for up to 50 years. At current prices the value of the oil in the Arctic Refuge is over 1.7 trillion dollars and rising, thus the strong desire to drill there. It would bolster a company’s value (stock price) to have that oil "in the bank" gaining value rather than pumped out to reduce the consumer’s price at the pump.

    Of the existing 229m acres of land leased for oil/gas production only 13% have ever produced oil or gas.

    Also curious is that under President George W. Bush 45million acres of land have been removed from the list of "No Drilling" Protected Areas in the years from 2000-2004 alone.

    There is legislation in the works to make Oil companies pay for leases they are not using or producing on. That might spur them into making extracting oil from existing lease more a priority.

    Finally, the US would consume the entire Arctic Refuge area in as little as 7 months at current rates or 5.5 years at more realistic extraction / processing rate. It would only impact our reduction of "outside sources" of oil by 5%. Since the world’s consumption of oil and lower value of the dollar is what is influencing prices, I think waiting 10 years for at best a 5%-10% discount on gas is not worth the impact.

  2. M Says:

    the animals wont have a place to live because if you drill the ice will make big cracks then the ice will getting smaller.

  3. Plaster Pasta Master Says:

    Actually they’ve found that around some oil drilling platforms in Alaska, the caribou population has increased by a large amount and they sort of hang out near these areas. The Alaska Pipeline also attracts wild life for unknown reasons and several animal poplations have increased.

  4. -RKO- Says:

    The danger lies in the fact that we’re destroying one of the few remaining pristine regions on Earth, all for the sake of profit.
    Whether you’re a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic or atheist, you must believe that every plant and animal species on this Earth has its purpose. It should not be man’s privilege to decimate the land and its inhabitants for his own comfort and convenience.
    Whether you believe in an evolutionary ‘big bang’ theory, a ‘god’, an ‘intelligent designer’, ‘Mother Nature’ or ‘fate’, you must agree that all the bounty, beauty and balance on this planet is more than just an ‘accident’. It obviously was some kind of purposeful evolution that caused all these elements to merge and become co-dependent on each other.
    The danger lies in mankind’s egotistical, arrogant, selfish, greedy, ignorant attitude that we are somehow ‘superior’ beings and that we are entitled to squander all of Earth’s resources just because we can.
    What happens when the caribou migration patterns are disrupted and those remote Eskimo tribes can’t depend on caribou for their food, clothing and shelter? What happens if the polar bear, glaciers, ice caps, penguins, whales and sea lions all become extinct? When will we know how valuable the lowly tsetse fly, Venus fly trap, rain forests, horse shoe crabs*, wetlands, mangrove forests and poisonous amazonian frogs were to our civilization – only after we’ve eliminated them from nature’s balance?
    The danger lies in our own avarice and stupidity. Once we’ve over-fished the oceans; refused to REduce, REuse and REcycle; chopped down all the trees; stripped-mined into the mountains; created giant oil spills; polluted all the waterways; poisoned all the air; minimized the amount of fresh drinking water there is available on Earth; killed off all the birds and bees; slaughtered all the wild elephants and tigers, and sucked the planet dry of all minerals and natural gas, HOW DO WE EXPECT TO SURVIVE??
    We’ve been terribly poor stewards of the planet, and – sooner, rather than later – we will end up paying a heavy price for our neglect.
    All because we wanted to tool around in gas-guzzling SUVs and Hummers; buy all kinds of [petroleum-based] plastic junk at WalMart for ‘low prices – everyday’; and stay comfy-cozy year ’round in our five-bedroom houses with six bathrooms for two people. -RKO- 06/18/08

  5. Pedro S Says:

    read a little will you..the drilling area they want is the size of washington dc airport…they slant drill..the "footprint" is tiny…if you are old enough to drive wait until rationing…i remember 1977/1979…10 dollar limit…odd and even days..

  6. Ronald P Says:

    Drilling in Arctic is all a political game. Republicans want it Democrats do not want it. Oil Company’s have 68,000,000 acres on lease and could drill, but will not drill.

  7. groingo Says:

    If it is done right the impact can actually be minimal but with the reputation of Big oil and gas…(See American Mid West), the impact is horrendous while big energy figures "out of sight out of mind".
    With global warming reality and depleting oil based reserves world wide, this is NOT the time to keep making more of the same mistakes, it is time to learn and move on to better ways of producing energy which are constantly being stifled in the US by the government itself and special interests (one in the same).

  8. irish mafia Says:

    It would require very little land to develop the capabilities to pump oil out of the reserves in that area. The amount of land required is well under 1%. With current technology it is very safe to drill there.

  9. roadhazzards Says:

    In fact (something the "environmentalists" aren’t using) there is little danger in drilling for oil in ANWR.

    Look at how insignificant the environmental impact has been with the Trans Alaska Pipeline, virtually all the wildlife along the pipe line has remained stable if not actually improved.

    Now consider the improved technology we have to reduce the chances of spills and to clean up any actual spills Also considering the HUGE fines that would be levied against any company that does screw up it’s highly unlikely that oil companies would anything less that very cautious in their actions.

    While we cannot completely eliminate the potential for environmental damage we’re left with few other REAL options right now other than to do NOTHING and Hope we develop alternative energy sources.

    BTW those who like to throw around the words "a pristine wilderness" when discussing ANWR have likely never been to that part of Alaska or have even seen pictures of this barren frozen desert landscape.