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Fri, Feb

How the Alaska Pipeline Is Fueling the Push to Drill in the Arctic Refuge

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The war over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) — one of the most contentious and enduring environmental fights in U.S. history — is once again heating up. 

The war over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) — one of the most contentious and enduring environmental fights in U.S. history — is once again heating up.  

Congress is considering a budget bill that permits oil drilling throughout the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge. With Republicans controlling the executive and legislative branches of government, proponents like Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski believe now is the best chance in decades to develop the refuge.

The debate over drilling in ANWR — a wilderness area nearly as large as South Carolina — has long pitted protecting this pristine environment against American energy security and creating jobs.  But behind these talking points is a material infrastructure, the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, that has been incentivizing Arctic development for decades.

Read more at Yale Environment 360

Photo: The 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline passes through the rugged Brooks Range. Credit: PHILIP WIGHT