• ANWR likely has one • ANWR is one of the
of the largest untapped last true ``wilderness’’
oil deposits left in the areas left in the U.S.
Trans Alaska Pipeline
Built in 1970s
• ANWR was established in 1960, ``for the purpose
of preserving unique wildlife, wilderness and
recreational values. . .’’
President Richard Nixon signed the Alaska Native
Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The Act gave the
Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation (KIC) surface rights to
92,160 acres of federal lands adjacent to the village.
ANCSA allowed 69,120 of these acres to be selected
within the Arctic Range and the remaining lands to
be selected outside the Range.
• 1980: President Jimmy Carter signed the Alaska National
Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). The Act
expanded the Arctic Range to approximately 18 million
acres, renamed it the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,
designated eight million acres as Wilderness, and
designated three rivers as Wild. It also called for wildlife
studies and an oil and gas assessment of 1.5 million acres
of the Refuge coastal plain. In addition ANILCA allowed
KIC to relinquish their selected lands outside the Refuge
and instead to select the remainder of their Corporation
lands within the Arctic Refuge.
In 1978 and 1979 during debate on (ANILCA):
• the House passed legislation to designate the north part of the Arctic
Refuge as wilderness
• but the Senate wanted to keep the options open for oil development
•When ANILCA became law in 1980, most of the Refuge coastal plain
was not designated wilderness. Instead, it was decided that only
Congress could decide whether to allow oil exploration and drilling in
the area. Section 1003 of ANILCA reads "production of oil and gas
from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is prohibited and no leasing
or other development leading to production of oil and gas from the
[Refuge] shall be undertaken until authorized by an act of Congress."
Because of this 1980 law, the decision about development or protection
of this northern part of the Arctic Refuge rests in the hands of the US
– The governments of the United States and
Canada signed an international agreement for
management and long-term protection of the
Porcupine Caribou herd.
Porcupine caribou herd
Calving locations, June-July
How much oil?
• Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, in 2003:
• ``A constant refrain by those opposed to oil development is
that ANWR contains only a “short-term speculative supply of
• ``The Coastal Plain is this nation’s single greatest onshore
prospect for future oil. The USGS estimates that it contains a
mean expected value of 10.4 billion barrels of technically
• ``Let me put that into context for you. The potential daily
production from the 1002 area alone is larger than the current
daily onshore oil production of any lower 48 state. In 1968,
Prudhoe Bay was estimated to hold 9 billion barrels of oil.
Today, its production level is at 13 billion barrels and it is still
producing. If we look at the mean calculations of 10.4 billion
barrels of oil, ANWR would supply every drop of petroleum
for the entire state of Arkansas for 144 years, Missouri for 71
years or South Dakota for 479 years.
10.4 billion barrels
• US uses about 21 million barrels per day
• How long would the ANWR oil last, at that
• About 500 days (work it out).
• Oil for America
– How much? Estimate by USGS have been
– 1998: 4-12 billion barrels
– 2002: 6-13 bbl
• Less is ``technically recoverable’’
• But, as prices rise, more is ``economically
• Jobs for Alaskans
Why not to drill
• Although drilling sought on a small part of
ANWR (the ``1002 site’’), the impact on
this coastal plain could be great.
• Roads, off-road development, drilling pads
• Pollution from equipment, spills
• Polar bears den on the coastal plane; many
in the 1002 area.
• Two groups in the refuge
– Inupiat: live mainly on the coastal plain, tend
to support development of oil rights
– Gwich’in: live mainly in interior and have
tended to oppose opening ANWR for drilling
• 4 towns, nearly 100,000 acres
• If drilling authorized, could become
• Athabascan Indians in NE Alaska and NW
• 7,000 or so people
• Inland, depend on the caribou
• Live on the coast and get their subsistence
from the sea
• Gwich’in Indians made
spruce-log fences to
help corral the caribou,
where they could be
• Notice the
• 1002 area
• Requires vote
of Congress to
• 1.5 million
will remain wild
8 million acres
If you had to decide whether to allow
drilling in ANWR:
HOW would you decide?
WHAT would be your decision?