Congress Passes Bill to Drill in Arctic

Posted on December 22, 2017 by

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While many political issues have flooded social media as of late, Congress has been quietly attempting to open an oil drilling area in the plains of the arctic refuge.  Six house Republicans just voted in favor of a tax bill that allows the drilling over a massive area of the reserve.

The bill allows the lease of land to oil companies. These land leases are no less than 400,000 acres out of the 1.5 million acres of the coastal plain area. This refuge is home to caribou, polar bears, moose, and many more. The refuge covers more than 19 million acres in Alaska.  

“I do not think they should do it. I think that, just because one resource is there, that does not mean you should risk another. Once the resource is gone, the damage will be done, and there is no telling how severe it will be,” history teacher Ms. Becky Jarosynski said.

Many negative results could come from allowing the oil drilling to take place. 

Scientists, environmentalists and a bipartisan group of former Interior Department officials have warned that fossil fuel extraction there could spoil the landscape and harm the species that call it home,” the Huffington Post argued in an article, Arctic Refuge Tax Oil Bill.  

However, oil drilling has also been known to provide hundreds of jobs. Nevertheless, drilling into the arctic landscape will disrupt the fragile ecosystem surrounding it. Species subjected to a potential oil spill will be put at a large risk. This also includes plant life. Entire species could be wiped out if an oil spill were to occur. Drilling by itself is harmful to the environment, but an oil spill will devastate the surrounding ecosystem.

“I do not think that we as a country should drill in the Alaskan refuge. The risk of an oil spill is too great,” junior Melissa Deida said.

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