Arctic national wildlife refuge

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is a 19 million-acre wildlife refuge located on the coastal plain of Alaska’s North Slope. Environmentalists say that ANWR is one of the last pristine wilderness areas remaining on Earth. They want this extraordinary and untouched ecosystem to be protected forever. Wildlife such as polar, black and grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep, seabirds and golden eagles all call ANWR home. Advocates say that ANWR is our only conservation area with a complete range of arctic ecosystems including coast, tundra, mountains and taiga and boreal forests. The question of whether to drill for oil in this preserve has been an ongoing controversy for over 40 years. What is not in dispute is the amount of oil that lies beneath this refuge. Estimates show that ANWWR contains about 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil and could yield more than 800 million barrels of oil per year. And although the Biden Administration has recently announced it would suspend oil and gas leases in this pristine ecosystem, this could change under a future administration.

Drilling opponents claim environmental damage will occur not only during drilling operations, but when storing and transporting oil, disposing of wastes, and constructing roads, buildings, airstrips and ports - to say nothing of the potential for oil spills.

Drilling proponents counter that great precautions were taken to protect the environment and wildlife during the construction of the Trans-Alaska pipeline. They claim oil can be safely extracted from ANWR in a way that does not destroy its beauty.

Pending Legislation: Reintroduction of H.R.724 - Arctic Refuge Protection Act
Sponsor: Rep. Jared Huffman (CA)
Status: House Committee on Natural Resources
Chair: Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR)

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Poll Opening Date
May 22, 2023
Poll Closing Date
May 28, 2023

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