As the population continues to grow, so too does the need for energy. In order to meet this demand, it’s up to humanity as a whole to effectively use the natural resources at our disposal. This means that countries should be more open to accessing the natural gas and oil hidden away in pristine places. The United States should be more open to the idea of extracting natural resources from the Arctic areas near Alaska.
Why the Natural Resources in the Arctic are so Important
In order to find out more about where natural gas and oil is located around the world, the National Petroleum Council performed a study. The conclusion of their study was that around a quarter of all the world’s natural gas can be found in the Arctic. The United States Arctic holds approximately 48 billion barrels of oil – at the very least. The wealth of natural resources hidden away in the Arctic could potentially offset the prediction decreases in domestic oil production. However, should the United States outright refuse to drill for oil in the arctic, the country will almost definitely lose the energy security the Arctic offers.
Looking Towards the Future
We will no doubt reach a point where Arctic energy has to be developed with an eye towards the future. It’s not a matter of if, but when. When will we reach that point? Politicians must decide on a policy, and they have to do so with posterity in mind. If their decisions are short-sighted, then they will surely backfire in the years to come. We must prepare for our future, and one way to do that is to take advantage of the natural resources in the Arctic.
Arctic Offshore Leasing
The presidential administration reserves the right to withdraw Arctic offshore leasing at their discretion, whenever they want. However, such an administration would surely jeopardize the energy security of the United States. Cancelling Arctic offshore holding would also be detrimental to the Alaskan economy. It’s not a risk worth taking.
Even native peoples in Alaska are dependent upon the gas and oil development in the region. They need it to support their continued way of life, which will no doubt be at risk of we stop extracting natural resources. These communities aren’t about to disappear entirely if we end offshore leasing, but it is true that they would no longer be able to support their traditional way of life anymore. For example, the mayor of Alaska is on record as saying that the way of life of the native Iñupiat people would be jeopardized unless ecological conservation is effectively balanced with the development of resources to build a sustainable future for all.
The Voices in the Debate
Around two dozen business, consumer, native, and labor groups in Alaska have come together to form a coalition to further reinforce how important Arctic offshore drilling is. The coalition has begun an educational campaign across the beltway to spread their message.
Former military personnel and defense experts are joining the debate on Arctic drilling. Some of them have even written articles for the Washington Post that argue continued investment in industry and a permanent presence in the Alaskan Arctic is of vital importance to the future security of the United States.
It’s Easier and Safer to get to Arctic Resources than You Might Think
Energy companies have been developing resources, including oil and natural gas, safely in the Arctic – and around the world – for over a century. Modern energy companies have practically perfected their natural resource extraction methods. As long as the companies that conduct the fracking, drilling, or other extraction methods do so safely and responsibly, there’s no reason for concern. The latest technologies and the increased standards of operation – as well as an overall commitment to protecting the environment – will be mutually beneficial to both energy businesses and the general population. There’s no need to worry so much about the potential dangers of extracting oil and gas. Energy companies have considered these risks and developed methods with them in mind.
Let’s not shut the door on potential energy options for the United States. It’s important that we keep an open mind about the different energy sources available to us. That means that we shouldn’t rule out obtaining natural gas, oil, and other resources from the Arctic in order to survive – and thrive – as a species.