Recently, the Trump administration decides to start massive oil drilling in the Alaskan region. The recent plan violets the plan made in 2013 to restrict the developmental activities in the region. The National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, covering around 23 million acres of area, is considered as the country’s one of the most valuable spots in terms of ecology.
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management recently revealed its plan that currently, it is considering four possible options. The administration might find a minimum of 11.7 million acres to a maximum of 18.3 million acres to be eligible for development.
On the other hand, the Obama administration put a restriction on half of the total area for development in 2013. These areas provide habitat to millions of migrating birds at different times of the year. But studies also suggest that these areas are full of oil deposits. Reports indicate that the regions possibly carry a whopping 8.7 billion barrels of undiscovered crude oil.
Details of Plan and its Environmental Impact
In one of the four plans, the BLM would reduce the area eligible for development to 11.4 million acres from previously proposed 11.8 million acres. But, two other projects aimed to increase the city available for developmental activities to either 17.1 million acres or 18.3 million acres. If the Trump administration allows 18.3 million acres for development, then 80% of the reserve will be wasted.
If the last plan becomes the final, the impact on the environment will be extremely severe. Once the government approves to drill around Teshekpuk Lake, thousands of breeding shorebirds will be killed, as they are staying in the lake. Along with them, environmentalists are predicting that many polar bears and lakhs of caribou and moulting geese will be killed.
As it is only the initial time of the development, one can expect several protests from social workers and ordinary citizens in the coming days.