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Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Debate There are many arguments on both sides of the debate over whether or not to drill for oil in ANWR Located in the northeast corner of Alaska 90 of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ANWR has been protected since Congress passed a bill in 1980 What makes the debate so heated is the fact that no one knows exactly how much oil is available there The last time anyone investigated this was back in 1986 when the lack of technology prevented exact numbers from being produced Supporters of the drilling estimate that there are 16 billion gallons worth of oil in ANWR That is enough to provide the west coast with oil for 20-25 years People against the drilling however argue that there are probably only 3-5 billion barrels of oil an amount that they say is not significant enough to drill for The debate centers around the safety and protection of that environment and its wildlife ANWR seems to be barren but is actually home to many species of animals Herds of caribou live and breed in this area and are very sensitive to drilling Different species of birds and animals including polar bears could also be affected The oil companies claim that drilling would take place in the winter when there would be little to no impact on the environment because they would be working on the ice Opponents on the other hand fear that the drilling in ANWR would turn into another Prudo Bay an oil-drilling facility that was extremely sprawled out and covered acres of land However new technology may reduce this effect Directional drilling allows one rig to drill oil up to 5 miles away With this technique 96 acres of developments could drill 40000 acres of land Environmentalists and other opponents fear this interference could cause serious damage much like the Exxon Valdez oil spill Their argument is that any human interference
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