What Is an Advantage of Oil Drilling in Alaska?


Quick Answer

The biggest advantage of oil drilling in Alaska is economic. The oil industry pays the state of Alaska billions of dollars yearly in taxes and also provides jobs and income for many state residents. Oil produced domestically keeps the price of petroleum products down and reduces the need for the United States to import foreign oil.

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Full Answer

Despite investment and research in green technology, the United States is heavily dependent on oil to power its industries and utilities. A U.S. Geological Survey report estimated that the amount of recoverable oil in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was about 10.3 billion barrels, and that the area could produce about 1 million barrels a day, which was 20 percent of national consumption at the time of the report in 2005. Despite the optimistic appraisal of the amount of available oil, however, legislation to allow oil drilling in the area has stalled in Congress. As of 2014, the oil in the region is still unexploited.

Most Alaskans are in favor of drilling for oil at ANWR, as the oil industry is so important for Alaska's economy. Not only do jobs result from the exploration and production of oil, but all Alaskan citizens receive an annual dividend from the Alaska Permanent Fund, which was created to divide the profits from oil exploitation in Alaska among its legal residents.

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