Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Oil Drilling

Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Oil Drilling
Issue #7 was debating whether the oil reserves in the Arctic Circle should be drilled or not. First argument was presented from Dwight R. Lee, who strongly encouraged the drilling process. Amory B. Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins opposed Lee?s argument with their own. Both arguments have similar and different points. "Both views agree that nature has a value; however, they disagree on the form that value" (pg118, 1st paragraph). Viewing from an anthropocentric perspective, conservationists say that nature?s value lies mainly on its benefits on humans. Preservationists strongly disagree with this. Dwight R. Lee opens his argument with suggesting "the oil in Alaska would help to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources such as Middle East" (pg120, 2nd paragraph). Furthermore, he admits the fact that environmental drills will cause some harm; however, he also states that this harm caused is decreasing proportional with the technology. He then talks about the Audubon Society, which own the Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary, a giant sanctuary that provides home for fish, crab, deer, ducks, and wading birds. The sanctuary also contains some good amount of natural gas and oil.
The Rainey Sanctuary let the commercial firms to build wells. Their decision had gotten them a profit of $25 million and the ecosystem was not disturbed a lot. Their strategy is simple: by helping other promote their businesses, they promote their own business. The tradeoff between nascar races and bird watching activities stand as a similar example, as well. Most powerful argument in this case is the car example. Here Lee states that just not to drill oil people build more fuel-efficient cars. More fuel-efficient cars mean one thing lighter cars. Lighter cars mean less security. He is in a way ending his argument with he question: is human life less valuable than the nature? Lovins? argument starts with three imperatives that shape up the natural energy policy: economic vitality, secure supplies, and environmental quality. Overall, they are suggesting that drilling oil does not match any of these three above. Even if it did, it would only benefit U.S. economy for just a little bit and the effects would be seen after a decade. Their main arguments lie upon two major points. First, more fuel-efficient cars would reduce the need for drilling more oil. Second, the cost of drilling oil from the remaining areas such as the Arctic would be too much because of the best-first principle. Not finding either of the arguments powerful, I thought the first argument made more sense. However, oil is a non-renewable natural resource and if depleted too quickly one day we might not be able to use it. Also, its harms to the environment should be taken into account before the drilling starts. Weighing the costs and benefits for both the economy and the ecology would help to make the right decision.

Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Oil Drilling 7.2 of 10 on the basis of 1592 Review.