ANWR is an acronym for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Over the years, ANWR has been at the crux of intense debate where politicians, industrialists and corporate lobbyists have teamed up at one end and environmentalists with support from various nongovernment organizations have raised the concerns of drilling and exploring oil wells in the region. The North Slope is always under watch which is where the ANWR lie, along with Prudhoe Bay Oil Field and Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4.
List of Pros of Drilling in ANWR
1. Drilling in ANWR is economically rewarding.
Oil is one of the most precious commodities in the world, regardless of the drop in the prices of crude in recent times. All major industries are heavily dependent on oil. Alternative sources of energy, the renewable sources in particular, have become more preferred and we have made some progress in exploring the various greener and more sustainable options. However, we are yet to find a fitting substitute of oil. Till we have an abundant source of energy that is as readily available, reliable and potent as oil, the dependence will exist. Drilling in ANWR certainly offers North America with its own oil reserves and that is good for the economy.
2. Drilling in ANWR is a constructive development in the region.
People living in the area get jobs, better roads are constructed, there is enhanced connectivity and transport, schools and better hospitals are developed as a natural side effect of improving economy and people get access to a more prosperous lifestyle.
The dependence on oil rich countries and paying numerous suppliers not knowing well how they spend the money earned is not viable forever. It doesn’t augur well for national security or world peace. There is a lot of educated guesswork that oil money gets pumped into terror organizations, trafficking is encouraged and new economic superpowers emerge who don’t always have the best interests of the world at heart.
List of Cons of Drilling in AWR
1. The environmental impact has to be the most concerning disadvantage of drilling in ANWR.
There is an obvious and unprecedented increase in pollution in the region. Drilling along with the associated manmade developments, from the construction of roads to setting up various facilities, everything causes a dent in the natural scheme of things in a region that is already at risk. From pollutants released during drilling to oil spill and the carbon footprint itself, there are serious ecological concerns of drilling in ANWR.
2. Drilling in ANWR threatens the wildlife in the region.
Exploring more oil wells will only lead to the animals receding and moving away from their natural habitat. Seismic pulses caused by earthquakes can scare the wildlife away. There can be direct attacks on animals which could be conscious and intentional. Migratory patterns of animals are also affected.