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.

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