By Nicholas Cunningham
Due to rising global temperatures, sea ice in the Arctic is melting quickly, opening up vast new frontiers to oil and gas development.
This paper evaluates several reasons why the rush by oil companies into the Arctic should be considered more closely. Harsh drilling conditions, unproven oil spill response, inadequate science, and fragile ecosystems pose real reasons for caution.
Whether or not the U.S. government allows a full exploitation of the Arctic, both onshore and offshore, and whether private companies fully embrace oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, this paper presents important issues that should be considered by supporters, opponents, and policymakers looking at opening up the region to drilling.
There should be a full examination of the issues raised in this paper. In order to safely exploit the untapped energy resources in the offshore Arctic region, a new legislative, safety and technological framework will need to be established.
The views presented in this perspective paper are the author’s alone, and do not necessarily represent the views and policy of the American Security Project or its board.
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