The debate continues in the United States over what to do about potential oil and gas production in Alaska. This is a steep endeavor in the first, due to leasing so much land which is currently protected for the sake of several species of wildlife, and due to how expensive laying so much pipe line would be. Fortunately, neither side has gained a permanent upper hand as of yet, since this is such a sensitive issue and has the potential for benefitting both humans and wildlife in the future. What are the two issues at stake here, and how can the decision be best agreed upon?
To begin with, if Alaska does indeed possess vast amounts of oil and gas resources, then this would be a worthy investment, especially considering U.S. issues with oil production, shipment and prices that are affecting them today. However, one must also consider the enormous expense of laying all of that pipe line, and whether or not the resources would be better than the money spent, if the two would balance each other out, or if more money would put into the endeavor than benefits received from it. Unfortunately, this information is not as readily accessible, since it requires engineering and the work of private oil prospecting companies to determine the actual cost of production and shipment.
On the other side of the issue lies the preservation of an incredibly vast expanse of Alaskan wildlife, water areas, and natural beauty which is considered one of the last frontiers for exploration and preservation available in the U.S. today. Some of the biggest oil drilling and rigging operations exist in Texas, the second largest state in the U.S., and these have had little impact on the immediate environment surrounding the drilling operations, but this is a different eco system, altogether. Much of Texas’ resources lie in dry plains and desert-like conditions, and this contributes to the hardiness of the local eco system regarding these drilling operations.
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