Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

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The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), is a large area of pristine wilderness area in Alaska, set aside for preservation by President Jimmy Carter. The area is estimated to contain about 7.7 billion barrels of oil[1], and in recent years the potential recovery of this oil has become a matter of controversy.

Advocates of drilling in ANWR point out the benefits of being less dependent on foreign oil, and that this would lower the price of petroleum products (especially gasoline). Critics, however, note that new drilling generally requires five or more years in order to begin producing oil, and that the total amount of oil estimated to be present would suffice for America's oil needs for only a little over a year, making it a relatively small amount.[2] For some critics, however, this is still significant enough to help ease prices, so the issue comes down to a matter of weighing the natural wildlife and beauty of the region and the economic and security interests the oil would bring. It is as yet unresolved.