• Megha Patel

Student activists support arctic climate protections

Within the last few months, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil and gas drilling became a

topic of growing concern. Numerous groups have clashed over whether the land should be protected or sold for drilling.

The Arctic is home to many animals and humans. Selling the Arctic off to oil and gas drilling endangers the life of polar bears, caribou, beluga whales, and many more animals.

These animals are already endangered, and this will cause their lives to be more at stake.

Another group that oil and gas drilling will disadvantage are the indigenous people. These groups will be forced out of their native homes and continue their lives elsewhere.

On January 6 there was an auction for oil and gas leases. The auction did not turn out to be as successful as they expected it to, as there were only three bidders. The main bidder was the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority. Half of the leases that were offered attracted no bids. The sale on the leases was $14.4 million in bids, and

almost all of these bids came from Alaska’s agency.

Drilling in the Arctic is greatly expensive. The drilling companies would have to get a loan from the bank. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Goldman Sachs are only a few of the banks that refuse to fund drilling in the Arctics. Although many people don’t support gas/oil drilling in the Arctic refuge, there are still countless others who feel that drilling will do good. They claim that opening this land up to drilling will increase jobs and oil production, which has decreased in the North Slope.

In the months since the drilling plans became public, a change.org petition was initiated and gained over a million signatures. Often, however, these types of petitions are largely symbolic.

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