Oil in Alaska

Drilling oil in Alaska would have serious negative impacts and risks that out-way the benefits. A new oil rig is not a good option, and an alternative source of energy can and should be used.

Hazardous Materials

Oil, heavy metals, radioactive material, and other harmful wastes are released into the environment by oil drilling. These can have serious negative affects on the environment.

Oil Spills

Oil spills are a very serious risk when dealing with oil.
Only a maximum of 15 percent of any oil spill can be recovered.
When oil enters the environment, it can:
  • damage ecosystems
  • kill organisms
  • damage local businesses
  • harm humans.
The recent BP oil spill is an example of just how damaging a spill can be.

Endangered Species

There are two endangered species of birds and three endangered species of whales living in Alaska. A new oil rig would put all five of those species at higher risk.

Land Use

The oil rig and other machinery used would:
  • take up land, which may already be occupied by plants and animals
  • change the characteristics of the area used
Causing it to be:
  • less visually appealing
  • less useful for things such as recreation and grazing.

Alternatives

There are several renewable energy sources that could be used effectively in Alaska instead of oil.
For example:
  • hydroelectricity
  • wind
  • tidal energy