Letter: Alaska drilling not worth it

By The Daily Illini

It is no secret that President Bush is in favor of drilling for oil in America’s Arctic Refuge. What many don’t know is that the oil cultivated from drilling in this area would only render a six-month supply of economically recoverable oil and would not be available for ten years. Needless to say, this would not deter the rising gas prices nor lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

More importantly, we must consider what drilling for this meager amount of oil would compromise. This land is home to a variety of wildlife, many of which have disappeared from the rest of the country. The porcupine caribou is one of these animals, and is a staple of the Gwich’in lifestyle, a culture that has existed for thousands of generations in Northeast Alaska and Northwest Canada. Drilling in the refuge would disrupt its fragile ecosystem and the migratory patterns of the caribou, and inevitably damage if not destroy the subsistence of these people’s culture.

The truth is obvious. President Bush’s plan to drill in America’s Arctic Refuge would produce little oil, and would cause environmental and social devastation. It is simply not worth it.

Melissa Raquepo

senior in LAS

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