Drilling Oil in our National Park System College: Drilling Oil in our National Park System The debate on whether the government should focus on the economy or the environment has sparked a great controversy. Evidently, exploiting natural resources can lead to considerable economic improvement. On the other hand, it contributes to environmental depletion, which has long-term impacts on eco-balance. A good example is when there exists an oil reservoir in a national park and the government has to weigh on whether to exploit or maintain the natural environment. While exploiting oil may provide employment and economic wealth for a country, it leads to pollution and loss of natural resources that would have long-term benefits to the environment. From this perspective, there is need to conserve the environment since it has sustained long-term benefits to the society. It is indisputable that the environment has had positive economic contribution to the economy. By sustaining the environment, the government benefits from tourism, which is a major economic contributor (Cato, 2011). Besides, the government can exploit natural resources from the environment, which will contribute to employment and foreign income (Dupler, 2006). Therefore, it remains a dilemma whether the government should focus on environmental conservation or economic development that has short-term drawbacks. When such a situation arises, there is need to conserve the environment as it has long-term benefits rather than exploit the land, which would have short-lived benefits. In situations where there are natural resources within a national park system, such as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in North East Alaska, there arises the need to evaluate the costs and benefits of either course of action. First, given the increasing cost of oil, exploiting the reservoir will attract high income from exporting oil besides providing employment (ORourke amp. Sarah, 2003). However, income from tourism, however small, will be lost and the land may be destroyed permanently. Others cost will include soil and air pollution, which have long-term impacts on land and the environment. Besides, on depletion of the non-renewable oil resource, the land will be left to waste (Wiese et al., 2001). From this viewpoint, drilling oil will have long-term costs on the environment and hence this project should be shunned to protect the environment.In conclusion, the government should refrain from drilling oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in North East Alaska. While drilling oil will give the country an economic boost and provide employment, it will lead to soil, land and air pollution that will have prolonged impacts on the society. Instead, the government should protect the natural resources within the national park, not only to sustain eco-balance but also to accrue long-term benefits that come from the industry. Since the tourism sector is gaining ground in the country, the National Park system will be a major economic contributor and a major employer in the country. The government needs to improve the National Park and to market it as an important tourism destination to attract people from all walks of the world, which will greatly improve the benefits accrued from the park. References Cato, M. S. (2011). Environment and economy. London [etc.: Routledge.Dupler, D. (2006). Conserving the Environment. Greenhaven: Greenhaven Press.ORourke, S., amp. Sarah, C., (2003). Just oil? The distribution of environmental and social impacts of oil production and consumption. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 28.1 : 587-617.Wiese, F. K., Montevecchi, W. A., Davoren, G. K., Huettmann, F., Diamond, A. W., amp. Linke, J. (2001). Seabirds at risk around offshore oil platforms in the North-west Atlantic. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 42(12), 1285-1290.
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