Environment: Arctic Debate: To drill or not to drill?

To drill or not to drill?

It promises to be a classic struggle. On one side: environmentalists, guardians of the 18 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which sits on Alaska's North Slope near the Canadian border. An untouched domain of musk oxen, polar bears, golden eagles, wolves and a cherished herd of 180,000 caribou, the preserve is one of the nation's last pristine animal ranges. The opposition: developers who seek the vast energy riches believed to lie beneath the refuge's 1.5 million-acre coastal plain. These reserves may hold as much as 5 billion to 30 billion bbl. of oil and 64.5 trillion cu. ft. of natural gas.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!