On the coastal plain, the Arctic winter lasts for 9 months. It is dark continuously for 56 days in midwinter. Temperatures with the wind chill can reach 110 degrees F Below Zero. It’s not pristine. There are villages, roads, houses, schools, and military installations.
It’s not a unique Arctic ecosystem. The coastal plain is only a small fraction of the 88,000 square miles that make up the North Slope. The same tundra environment and wildlife can be found throughout the circumpolar Arctic regions. The 1002 Area is flat. That’s why they call it a plain.
The residents of Kaktovik, the only people living on the Coastal Plain of ANWR, support oil and gas development in their ‘back yard’. Alaska’s indigenous people have benefited greatly from North Slope production. In addition to providing a tax base for the local government, oil development has provided jobs, funding for water and sewer systems and schools.
So much for the Eco-Freaks claim that drilling kills off wildlife.
One million barrels is what might today be flowing from ANWR if in 1995 President Clinton had not vetoed legislation to permit drilling there. One million barrels produce 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Seventy-two of today’s senators — including 38 other Democrats, including Obama, and 33 Republicans, including John McCain– have voted to keep ANWR’s estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil off the market.