The Last Wild Place: How Much Is Under The Tundra?

THE GREAT OIL DEBATE

Is there enough oil beneath the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to help secure America's energy future? President Bush certainly thinks so. He has argued that tapping ANWR's oil would help ease California's electricity crisis and provide a major boost to the country's energy independence. But no one knows for sure how much crude lies buried beneath the tundra, with the last government survey, conducted in 1998, projecting output anywhere from 3 billion to 16 billion bbl.

The oil industry goes with the high end of the range, which could equal as much as 10% of U.S. consumption for as long as...

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