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Alaska Oil Drilling Approved

Alaska Oil Drilling Approved

In news that has environmental activists very concerned, the United States Interior Department has approved Shell oil’s request to drill exploration wells in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea. Alaska oil drilling, of course, was a very hot button issue during the last presidential campaign.

Drilling for oil in Alaska continues to be a hotly debated issue, and the news that Shell Oil will be allowed to perform tentative drilling there has environmentalists worried about the continued abuse of the fragile ecosystem in Alaska. Without a doubt, Alaska oil drilling has passionate opponents – and very powerful proponents.

The debate against drilling for oil in Alaska

Despite Shell Oil’s approval for Alaska oil drilling in the Beaufort Sea, environmental activists are voicing major concerns about the proposed activity. Athan Manuel, an important member of the Sierra Club, has already gone on record expressing his concern over Alaska oil drilling. According to Manuel, drilling for oil in Alaska – specifically amid the broken sea ice of the Arctic Ocean – will invite all sorts of terrible repercussions for this fragile region of the world. Manuel says that drilling for oil in Alaska – and cleaning up the oil spills that are bound to happen amid that broken ice – will be catastrophic.

In spite of the fervent opposition of environmental groups – including Manuel’s Sierra Club – Shell Oil intends to go ahead with its plans involving drilling for oil in Alaska. The company is convinced that parts of the Beaufort Sea and along the western part of Camden Bay hold untapped treasure troves of oil. For them, Alaska oil drilling could be a way to lessen the strain that is happening on oil reserves around the globe – and it could lessen the financial burden on cash-strapped consumers.

Drilling for oil in Alaska: the problem

Although Shell Oil is understandably enthusiastic about being granted permission to perform Alaska oil drilling, it faces steep opposition and negative publicity from those who worry about the fate of the many wild animals in that region of the world.

According to the Sierra Club’s Athan Manuel, animals including polar bears and bowhead whales could suffer terribly from such an operation. For environmentalists, any benefits to drilling for oil in Alaska are far outweighed by the very real problem of harming innocent animals and further threatening the integrity of the natural environment there in general.

Alaska oil drilling debate rages on

Shell Oil undoubtedly won an important victory in being granted permission to drill for oil in Alaska. However, it is only the latest victory in a long running battle in which no end is in sight. Drilling for oil in Alaska is bound to continue to be an important topic during future presidential elections, and environmental activists will undoubtedly continue to fight against Alaska oil drilling with all of their might. Their goal of achieving clean alternative energy sources, though, may be put off by current Alaska oil drilling projects.

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