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Ethics and the Legal Environment: Drilling in the Alaskan Wilderness

For years, policy makers have been arguing about the drilling of oil in ANWR for the study of petroleum production potential. Proponents believe that with this, dependency on foreign oils will be minimized, and in consideration with the environment, new drilling technique will be used in order to minimize environmental effects of oil extraction.

Opponents, on the other hand, believe that negative environmental effects have greater impact than the benefits of the drilling of oil, particularly on caribou herd that will starve due to lack of resources, and pointed out the Native Americans who were against the drilling such as the Gwich’in Indians who consider the area sacred (Ladenson, 2006). The issue has not been solved by the policy makers (decision maker) due to ethical issues concerning the drilling and their impact on the environment (stakeholder).

The environment is an important consideration in this issue. Both pro- and opponents are interested in giving solutions to increasing oil consumptions while preventing any negative environmental effects that would be caused by the drilling. The drilling of oil will either be implemented or not. The drilling may increase the oil production but will affect the herd living in the area. On the other hand, without this drilling, herd will live naturally in the area but advancement in oil production will be hindered.

The corporation should continue to pursue the drilling of oil. It will be greatly beneficial to the country’s domestic oil production, would minimize the dependency from foreign oils, such as from Middle East which has unstable diplomatic situation (Ladenson, 2006), the country would be able to compete with other oil producing countries and may become the petroleum provider to other countries.

On the contrary, implementation of the drilling would affect the environment particularly the herd living in the area and would also invade the sacredness of the area for some Native Americans.

Reference

Ladenson, Robert F. (2006). Case #82: Drilling in the Alaskan Wilderness. Ethics Update – Ethics Case Study Detail. Retrieved June 5, 2008, from http://ethics. sandiego. edu/resources/cases/Detail. asp

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