The House voted late Wednesday to allow oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge as part of a broad energy bill that Democrats said would funnel billions of dollars to highly profitable energy companies while doing little to promote conservation or ease gasoline prices.
The bill’s sponsors said oil from Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as much as a million barrels a day, will be needed to help curtail the country’s growing dependence on oil imports. Opponents argued the oil wouldn’t be available for a decade and even then at levels that would not significantly affect oil prices or imports.
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(Not a bad job by CNN, today… only two liberal talking points in the first two paragraghs!)
Russia may gain benefit from the exploration of the Arctic’s vast vaults would be unlocked by global warming. The freeze-up period on the Northern Sea Route is expected to shorten significantly in the next 10-15 years and therefore mineral resources of the North will be much easier to carry both to Europe and Asia. The estimated value of the Arctic’s minerals totals $1.5-2 trillion. The Russian government has recently started drawing up a law on the Arctic economic development to boost the economy of northern regions.