Environmentalists argued that opening up the refuge to oil exploration and drilling would damage the fragile arctic environment and possibly injure the diversity of arctic species.

Past presidents have had differnt views on this issue. For Example, during the Bush administration a proposal was made to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil exploration as part of the President’s energy policy to promote less dependence on imported oil. Environmentalists argued that opening up the refuge to oil exploration and drilling would damage the fragile arctic environment and possibly injure the diversity of arctic species. The administration argued that there were an estimated 5.7 to 16 billion barrels of oil in the ANWR and that only a small amount of land the reserve would be used for drilling and damage to the environment and wildlife would be very small.
For Critical Analysis:
What is the opportunity cost to the economy of the decision to prohibit development of oil reserves in the ANWR? Do you think congress should have passed the bill that would of permitted oil exploration and development in the ANWR? Why? Where does the current administration stand on this issue?

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