|Congressional Research Service Reports
Redistributed as a Service of the NLE*
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: The Next Chapter
M. Lynne Corn and Bernard
Resources, Science, and
American Law Division
April 2, 2001
The 107th Congress is considering
approving energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in
northeastern Alaska. ANWR is an area rich in fauna, flora, and commercial oil
potential. Shortages of crude oil and natural gas and resulting prices have
renewed the ANWR debate for the first time in 5 years; however, its development
has been debated for over 40 years. Current law forbids energy leasing in the
refuge, but the recent spike in oil prices has led to renewed interest in
various responses to high oil prices, including additional U.S. drilling. The
election of a President who has spoken out for drilling in the refuge has also
invigorated the debate. Few locations stir as much industry interest as the
northern portion of ANWR.
Development proponents argue that ANWR oil would
reduce U.S. energy markets' exposure to recurring crises in the Middle East;
boost North Slope oil production and the economic viability of the TransAlaska
Pipeline System; and create numerous jobs in Alaska and elsewhere. They maintain
that ANWR oil could be developed with minimal environmental harm. Opponents
argue that any intrusion on this ecosystem cannot be justified on any terms;
that it should be designated as wilderness; and that oil found (if any) would
provide little energy security and could be replaced by cost-effective
Some early efforts to allow development of the
coastal plain of the ANWR ended with the Exxon Valdez oil spill in
1989, though the 1990-91 crisis in the Persian Gulf aided development arguments
In May 1998, the U.S. Geological Survey released new
estimates of oil in the refuge. If at least one field big enough to make
development worthwhile can be found, the agency estimates that there is a 95%
chance that 11.6 billion barrels or more would be present. However, not all oil
present could be recovered: the agency estimates a 95% chance that 2.0 billion
barrels or more would be economically recoverable at a market price of $24 per
barrel, and a 5% chance that 9.4 billion barrels or more would be economically
recoverable at the same price. The amount actually recovered would vary with
several factors, including cost and market prices for oil. The higher the price,
the larger the amount recovered. The Energy Information Administration assumes 7
to 12 years from approval to first production.
The main legislative options can be divided into
three categories: (1) authorizing development; (2) designating the area in ANWR
as wilderness, which, under current law, usually ends the potential for
development (unless Congress specifies otherwise); and (3) taking no action.
This third choice also prevents development, since current law requires
congressional action for oil development to occur.
Two bills (H.R. 39 and S. 388) to open
the area have been introduced as have two bills (H.R. 770 and S. 411) to
designate it as wilderness. The House-passed budget resolution (H.Con.Res.
83) did not assume any revenues from ANWR leasing.
MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Budgetary considerations, the increasing price of
oil, and maintaining the investment in the Alaskan oil infrastructure are key
considerations in the renewed interest in energy development in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Bills have been introduced to open the area to
39 and S.
388), and to designate the area as wilderness (H.R. 770 and S. 411). On March
28, the House passed a budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 83) which did not assume
any revenues from ANWR bids.
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) consists
of 19 million acres in northeast Alaska. It is administered by the Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) in the Department of the Interior (DOI). Its 1.5 million
acre coastal plain is currently one of the most promising U.S. onshore oil and
gas exploration and development prospects. Together, the various fields on this
federal land could hold as much economically recoverable oil as the giant 11
billion barrel field at Prudhoe Bay, found in 1967 on the state-owned portion of
the coastal plain west of ANWR.
At the same time, the refuge, and especially the
coastal plain, is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The presence of
caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, migratory birds, and many other
species in a nearly undisturbed state has led some to call the area "America's
Serengeti." The refuge and two neighboring parks in Canada have been proposed
for an international park, and several species found in the area (including
polar bears, caribou, migratory birds, and whales) are protected by
international treaties or agreements. The analysis below covers, first, the
economic and geological factors that have triggered new interest in development,
followed by the philosophical, biological, and environmental quality factors
that have triggered opposition to it.
The conflict between high oil potential and nearly
pristine nature creates a dilemma: should Congress open the area for oil and gas
development or should the area's ecosystem be given permanent protection from
development? What factors should determine whether to open the area? If the area
is opened, how can damages be avoided, minimized, or mitigated? To what extent
should Congress legislate special management of the area (if it is developed)
and to what extent should federal agencies be allowed to manage the area under
existing law? (Basic information on the refuge can be found at the FWS web site,
it includes links to a number of other organizations interested in the area. A
presentation of development arguments can be found at http://www.anwr.org/, sponsored by a consortium
of groups. Opponents arguments can be found at http://www.alaskawild.org/, http://www.protectthearctic.com/, or
http://www.tws.org/arctic/ . Maps of
the coastal plain showing existing oil development areas on state land can be
found at http://www.dog.dnr.state.ak.us/oil/products/maps/maps.htm.)
History and Congressional
North Slope energy resources have raised controversy
for decades, from legislation in the 1970s, to a 1989 oil spill, to more recent
efforts to use ANWR resources to address energy needs or to help balance the
Early History of the Arctic
Refuge. Much of what is now ANWR, including the coastal plain, was set aside
in December 1960 by Public Land Order 2214; protection of wildlife was named as
one of the refuge's purposes. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation
Act of 1980 (ANILCA, P.L.
96-487, 1003) prohibits oil and gas development in the 19-million-acre
refuge unless authorized by Congress. Under 1002 of ANILCA, Congress required
DOI to report on the plant and animal resources and the oil and gas potential in
1.5 million acres of the coastal plain portion of ANWR. This region, now called
the "1002 area," forms 8% of the refuge. It is where any oil is most likely to
be found, and where critical wildlife resources are judged most abundant. This
information was presented in DOI's Final Legislative Environmental Impact
Statement (FLEIS or 1002 report), in April 1987. While acknowledging significant
impacts to wilderness values, wildlife, and water resources in the area, DOI
described leasing alternatives and recommended full leasing. The report (like
nearly all reports on the 1002 area) drew criticism, in this instance primarily
by environmental groups.
Since 1987, many hearings on development proposals
and on wilderness designation of the 1002 area have been held, and many bills
have been introduced. Issues covered have included the adequacy of the FLEIS,
the environmental effects of oil development in ANWR or at Prudhoe Bay,
assessments of the need for additional sources of oil, and the biological
resources of the coastal plain. Before 2000, peaks of interest occurred in the
100th, 101st, 102nd, and 104th
Congresses. (For the issues and bills considered since 1987, see CRS Report
88-380 ENR, CRS Report 89-266 ENR, and CRS Report 91-325 ENR.) In between, low
oil prices dampened enthusiasm for energy development in the refuge. Other
exploration opportunities (e.g., the Caspian Sea, parts of Latin America, and
elsewhere) have attracted industry attention. Industry has also focused on lease
sales held in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA), to the west of the
Prudhoe Bay area. These sales were supported by industry and the Clinton
Administration, but not by the environmental community.
Exxon Valdez: the
Political Spillover. The grounding of the Exxon Valdez on March 24,
1989, near the southern terminal of the TransAlaska Pipeline System (TAPS) in
Prince William Sound played the major role in placing the development debate on
hold for several years. Damage at the time included an estimated 300,000 to
645,000 dead seabirds; 4,000 to 6,000 dead marine mammals; and $100 million in
other losses. Possible damage awards remain in litigation. Scientific
disagreement persists over the legacy of the spill. Environmentalists continue
to cite the accident in their recent opposition to ANWR drilling.
ANWR Consideration in the
104th -106th Congresses. Congress attempted to
authorize the opening of ANWR in the FY1996 reconciliation bill ( H.R. 2491,
5312-5344), but the measure was vetoed. President Clinton cited the ANWR
sections as one of his reasons for vetoing the measure. (For key provisions of
that legislation, see Archived Issue Brief 95071.) Key Senate votes occurred on
May 24 and October 27, 1995, on motions to table amendments that would have
stripped ANWR development titles from the Senate version of the bill (Roll Call
#190 and #525, respectively). Both motions succeeded.
In a closely related debate, diminished concerns
about the security of oil supply, coupled with new leadership in the 104th
Congress, led to renewed interest in lifting the ban on Alaskan oil exports. P.L.
104-58, lifting the ban, was signed by President Clinton on Nov. 28, 1995.
As a result, Alaskan oil prices rose to world market levels, and the West Coast
crude surplus ended. If oil were found in ANWR, it could legally be exported;
however, no oil is being exported now from the North Slope. (See Oil Export
While bills were introduced, the ANWR issue was not
debated in the 105th Congress. In the 106th Congress,
bills to designate the key northern portion of the refuge as wilderness, and
others to open the refuge to energy development were introduced. Assumptions
about revenues from ANWR leasing were included in the FY2001 budget resolution
101) as reported by the Senate Budget Committee on March 31, 2000. An
amendment to remove the language was tabled (51-49) on April 6, 2000 (Roll Call
#58); however, conferees rejected the language. The conference report on H.Con.Res.
290 did not contain this assumption, and the report was passed by both
Houses on April 13. On May 16, 2000, S. 2557 was
introduced; it included a title to open the refuge to development. These three
roll call votes, all in the Senate, are the only recorded votes on refuge
development from the 101st Congress to the present.
Legislative Choices in the
Legislative choices can be divided into three
categories. One category is passing legislation such as H.R. 39 and S. 388,
permitting oil and gas leasing in the 1002 area. These two bills, which are
broadly overlapping, both repeal 1003, and create a leasing program for the
1002 area, with specified deadlines for lease offerings (at a somewhat faster
pace in H.R.
39), Secretarial designation of up to 45,000 acres of Special Areas for no
surface occupancy, a determination that the leasing program is compatible with
the purposes for which ANWR was designated, and other similarities. Differences
include provisions in S. 388 specifying
(a) the adequacy of the FLEIS for compliance with the National Environmental
Policy Act (not found in H.R. 39); (b) an
apparent 50:50 federal:state revenue split (H.R. 39 does not
have this language); (c) specific enforcement provisions for safety and
environmental compliance with leases (not found in H.R. 39); and
(d) disposition of the federal share of ANWR revenues (not found in H.R. 39), among
A second category is designating the area as
wilderness, as in H.R. 770 and S. 411.
Wilderness designation, under current law, usually ends the potential for
development unless Congress specifies otherwise, which is not the case in these
two bills. (For the ramifications of wilderness designation, see CRS Rept.
RL30867). Wilderness designation would add a layer of restrictive management, in
addition to the provisions of 1003. (Congress could later explicitly allow
development, or reverse the designation. Such reversals are quite rare.)
Finally, Congress could choose to take no action.
Because current law prohibits energy development unless Congress acts, this
choice allows continued management for the purposes for which the refuge is
Oil Export Legislation. Until
1995, ANS crude could not be legally exported and the export ban contributed to
a West Coast oil glut, reducing the price received by ANS producers. The market
effect of the ban, combined with high TAPS and shipping costs, resulted in
producer revenues often below $10.00/barrel, according to a Department of Energy
study. In 1996, exports began to flow after a lifting of the ban. West Coast
prices rose, as did the prices paid for Alaskan crude. (For further details on
ANS and the history of the West Coast crude oil pricing and export issue, see
CRS Report RS20540, Alaska
Oil Exports.) Exports peaked at 7% of production, and have since
declined to zero. Some have proposed a return to laws restricting export of
Alaskan oil in order to ease oil prices on the West Coast - the primary market
for Alaskan crude if foreign sales are forbidden. (See CRS Rept. RS 20540.) In
the 107th Congress, H.R. 660 would
prohibit any future export of North Slope crude. Oil companies operating in
Alaska oppose such a move.
Oil Revenues and the Budget
Resolution. In its Budget Options, issued February 2001, the Congressional
Budget Office assumes that there would be revenues of $1.5 billion from bonus
bids for ANWR leases in FY2005. (See http://www.cbo.gov/.) It assumes no further ANWR
revenues through FY2011. The inclusion of this revenue assumption in the FY2002
budget resolution could be the first legislative test of congressional interest
in ANWR oil development. On March 28, 2001, the House passed H.Con.Res.
83; it did not contain assumptions about ANWR revenues.
Geological Variables, Economics,
and Development Options
ANWR's Geology and Potential
Petroleum Resources. Parts of Alaska's North Slope (ANS) coastal plain have
proved abundant in oil reserves, and its geology holds further promise. The
oil-bearing strata extend eastward from structures in the NPRA, to the 2 billion
barrel Kuparuk River field, past the Prudhoe Bay field (originally 11-13 billion
barrels, now down to about 4 billion barrels), and a few smaller fields, and may
continue through ANWR's 1002 area. Further east in Canada's Mackenzie River
delta, once promising structures have not produced significant amounts of oil.
These smaller accumulations include some fields that have produced
intermittently and others that are currently noncommercial due mainly to lack of
transportation infrastructure. The 1002 area contains one of the most promising
undrilled onshore geologic structures with petroleum potential known in the
United States; there is no evidence of oil elsewhere in the refuge.
Estimates of ANWR oil potential, both old and new,
depend on limited data and numerous assumptions about geology and economics. New
geological data from outside ANWR and the interpretation of the old, limited
FLEIS information can change estimates of ANWR's oil potential. Another
important factor in recovery estimates is the projected price of oil, which the
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 1987 assumed would increase steadily
(excluding inflation) over coming decades. In actuality, except for short
intervals of spiking, the price of oil has not risen to the extent assumed by
BLM until recently. (Proven world reserves of oil have increased 45% during the
same period, primarily early in the interval.) A third factor is falling
production cost. As technology improves, once unprofitable structures may become
profitable, and this has occurred at Prudhoe Bay.
1991-Present: Understanding the Numbers. In 1991, BLM reviewed its 1987
estimate of ANWR's recoverable petroleum resource. The review was based on
updated geophysical information and four wells drilled near ANWR, as well as
applicable technology used in the development of the Endicott and Milne Point
fields on the ANS frontier. Based on this study, BLM increased its estimates.
BLM estimated that the smallest field that could be developed economically was
0.4 billion barrels, and that there was a 46% chance of finding at least one
such field. It estimated that if such a field is found, the mean estimate of
economically recoverable oil would be 3.57 billion barrels, with a small chance
(5%) of finding 10 billion barrels or more in the area.
In June 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
revisited BLM's 1991 estimates, relying upon several geologic studies and data
from one new well, the Tenneco Aurora, at a federal offshore location north of
the 1002 Area. USGS reduced its estimates of recoverable oil reserves in the
area to between 0.148 billion and 5.15 billion barrels.
|What the Numbers
Mean. There are many widely varying estimates of oil quantity in
the 1002 area. Here is a guide to these estimates and their meaning.
Minimum field size is the amount of oil that must be present
in at least one field to make a defined area likely to be profitable.
Embedded in this concept are assumptions about future oil prices,
technology development, and costs of production and transportation; if
these change, this threshold will change. At ANWR, the minimum field size
is usually estimated at a few hundred million barrels. Many little fields,
very close together, might substitute for a larger one.
oil might be present? This number is just a starting point, since it
is not possible to extract every drop of oil in a field. The response is
almost never given as a single number, but instead, usually as two and
sometimes three numbers. First, scientists ask "what quantity of oil are
we confident of finding?" There is a good chance of finding a small amount
(or more), and a small chance of finding a large amount (or more). The
probability levels used are fixed (by tradition) at 95% (chance of at
least a certain small amount), and 5% (chance of at least a certain large
amount). The third number is the mean estimate: it is the average of all
of the estimated amounts. The numbers could change with better data or
How much oil is technically recoverable?
This number assumes that cost of recovery and price of oil are irrelevant,
and that only current technology is used. Like the previous estimates, it
gives the large (95%) chance that a certain small amount (or more) of oil
is present, the small chance (5%) that a large amount (or more) is
present, and the mean estimate. These three numbers are always smaller
than the estimates of oil that might be present. As technology advances,
this number could also change.
How much oil is economically
recoverable? These numbers are the most useful. They include
assumptions about oil prices, costs of production, etc. They also are
given as 95%, mean, and 5% estimates (of small or more, mean or more, and
large or more amounts). If technology later advances, costs decrease, or
prices rise, then these numbers could increase, and vice-versa.
What area is being measured? Some estimates of oil include
the inholdings of the Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation and those of other
native corporations, as well as state owned lands offshore. (In general,
this report refers to estimates on federal lands
The most recent government study of oil prospects in
ANWR is a 1998 study by USGS (Open File Report 98-34). USGS scientists gathered
new data from nearby fields both onshore and offshore and examined the
reprocessed seismic data collected in the refuge in 1984-1985. Table 1 shows
some of the results of this study. The results assume that at least one
commercial-size field is discovered. (The USGS study does not give a probability
that such a minimum field would be found.)
According to USGS, there is an excellent chance (95%)
that at least 11.6 billion barrels are present on federal lands in the 1002
area. There is also a small chance (5%) that 31.5 billion barrels or more could
be found. With current technology, and if cost were no object, USGS estimates
that there is an excellent chance (95%) that 4.3 billion barrels or more is
technically recoverable. And there is a small chance (5%) that 11.8 billion
barrels or more could be technically recoverable. (If state offshore lands and
native corporation lands are included, these numbers become 5.7 and 16.0 billion
However, in the extreme conditions of the North
Slope, cost is inevitably an object. Thus, the third question is how much
oil can be extracted profitably? The higher the price of crude oil, the
greater the proportion that would be economically recoverable. High prices could
also provide incentives to improve extraction technology thereby reducing
extraction costs. The USGS estimated, at $24/barrel (in 1996 dollars) there is a
95% chance that 2.0 billion barrels or more could be recovered, and a 5% chance
of 9.4 billion barrels or more. (For comparison, West Texas crude ranged from
$11.35/barrel in late 1998, to $34.34/barrel in November 2000, according to the
Energy Information Administration (EIA).)
Table 1. Probability of the Presence
of Given Quantities of Oil and the Recoverability of the Oil on Federal Lands in
the 1002 Area.
(billions of barrels)
||95% chance this much or
||5% chance this much or
|Economically recoverable at
|... at $24/barrel
|... at $30/barrel
Source: U.S. Geological Survey.
The Oil and Gas Resource Potential of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
1002 Area, Alaska. 1999. USGS Open File Report 98-34. Summary, and Table
EA4. (Report available on 2 disk CD-ROM.)
The projected price of oil is only one of many
factors entering into the decision on bidding for a lease. Efforts to reduce
exploration and production costs through new technologies play a key role, for
example. Each prospective bidder will do its own analysis of the economic and
physical factors of lease offers, and company analyses historically have
differed from government analyses. With geological evidence pointing to the
presence of recoverable oil and gas, developers are expected to be eager to bid
on ANWR leases.
Economics of Alaskan Oil
Production. While crude oil prices and production costs affect the economics
of ANWR production, transport costs and regional market conditions - unique to
North Slope production - also bear on an oil prospect's commercial viability.
Over the years, low wellhead prices exacerbated the natural decline in North
Slope production by diminishing the incentive to drill more wells and otherwise
enhance output from existing reservoirs. Low prices reduced investment in
producing reservoirs and caused the abandonment of some exploration and
development work outside the Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk fields. Even so, some
development continued, with discoveries as recent as 1998, and development has
begun in the eastern portion of the NPRA. The new Alpine field, just outside the
NPRA, has already exceeded expectations. The expansion into these areas in the
last few years has required capital intensive expansion of the infrastructure,
but has also helped offset falling output at Kuparuk and Prudhoe Bay. At the
same time, falling investment has meant that this offset is less likely to
continue. Production can also be maintained by the improvement of production
efficiency at existing sites, and this too has been pursued. Neither alternative
can maintain production levels indefinitely.
Industry interest in the 1002 area is based in part
on interest in keeping TAPS operating efficiently. Pipeline costs are largely
fixed; a smaller flow of crude means higher pipeline rates per barrel. The
effect of declining ANS oil output on transportation economics in turn
aggravates the negative effect on production. Lower output and rising unit costs
could erode the outlook for existing oil fields. Rising oil prices might provide
some respite from cost pressures from declining volume, as could cost reductions
(e.g., through better technology), or increased volume (whether from the 1002
area or elsewhere in the ANS).
Natural Gas Development on the
North Slope. Construction of a pipeline to transport natural gas to North
American markets and/or a warm-water port could enhance the commercial prospects
of the 1002 Area (and the rest of the ANS). The prospect of being able to sell
its abundant gas (now being reinjected) would also enhance Prudhoe Bay
economics. Until recently, estimated costs of transporting the gas precluded
serious consideration of pipeline construction. However, a recent doubling in
the price of natural gas and projections of continued high prices relative to
the average of the past 15 years have improved the relationship between market
price and the cost of known gas resources in the North Slope. The Alaska state
legislature strongly supports proposals for a pipeline to the south.
World Oil Prices and Foreign
Oil. In addition to uncertainty about future oil prices, and the
complexities confronting ANS development and production, U.S. dependence on
imported oil is another important factor in the ANWR debate. Development
supporters cite recent oil import levels of 57% of the U.S. market, and project
increases to 65% by 2020. While prices were low or falling, little interest was
focused on oil potential in the 1002 area. However, in 1999, the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and certain other oil-exporting nations,
agreed to cut crude oil production. World oil prices went from $10 to $33 per
barrel in 5 months and back down to about $26 per barrel in early 2001. While
ANWR development would be one of the longer term responses to the increased
price of crude oil prices, interest in Alaskan oil has increased markedly.
Recent OPEC production agreements have renewed demand for U.S. policies that
might reduce dependence on foreign oil. (For additional information on world oil
prices and the OPEC agreement, see CRS Report RS20487 (pdf), OPEC Oil
Production - Facts and Figures.)
Supporters cite recent high oil prices and increasing
oil imports, as well as $8 billion in annual benefits by the petroleum industry
to Alaska's economy in 2000, and declining U.S. and North Slope output among
their major reasons for wishing to open the refuge. Many factors contribute to
high prices, but domestic and world supplies and increasing demand are central
to the issue. While U.S. proven crude reserves have declined, reserves elsewhere
in the world grew during the 1980s. Between 1980 and 1990, proven reserves world
wide increased from 659 billion barrels to just over 1 trillion barrels, an
increase of 52%. But reserves increased less than 1% in the subsequent decade,
starting 2000 at 1,016 billion barrels. Those concerned about global oil supply
and its effect on prices contend that there have been virtually no net reserve
additions during the past 10 years. The opposing view holds that a trillion
barrels comprises about 35 years of supply at current consumption levels, and
that, as in the past, additional oil in place will be converted into proven
reserves as geological information grows, technology improves, and economic
conditions change. (For additional discussion of energy policy options, see CRS
Report RL30459, Coping With
High Oil Prices: A Summary of Options.)
ANWR and the U.S. Oil
Market. Crude oil production in the 48 states has declined 50% since its
1973 peak of 9.0 million barrels per day. If ANWR were leased and developed and
a significant ANS production increase resulted, how would the nation's energy
supply and security situations be affected? ANWR development would constitute a
long-term response to current oil supply problems, since, according to EIA, the
time from approval to first production for that area is assumed to be about 7 to
12 years. Peak annual 1002 Area production under the assumption that 9.4 billion
barrels are economically recoverable at a world market price of $24 per barrel
would be very roughly 1.4 million barrels per day (b/d), (1) compared
with projected U.S. oil imports of 15.25 million b/d and petroleum use of 24.26
million b/d in 2015 (according to EIA). If 2.0 billion barrels are economically
recoverable at the same price, peak annual production would be roughly 300,000
b/d. (There is a 5% chance 9.4 billion barrels or more will be found and a 95%
chance that 2.0 billion barrels or more will be found according to the U.S.
Geological Survey. See table 1.)
Exploration and Leasing
Options. The main federal law governing leasing and production of petroleum
on federal land is the 1920 Mineral Leasing Act. Conventional federal leases
permit exploration and, after discovery, usually extend until production ceases
39 and S.
388 both direct that leases be conducted under provisions within the bills
themselves; they specify procedures, deadlines (slightly longer in S. 388), terms
and conditions, and other provisions. (See also Revenue
Allocation, below.) To reduce uncertainty about the presence of oil,
Congress could authorize exploration, without proceeding automatically to
development. In the past, such a strategy was widely opposed by both industry
and environmental groups because all sides thought they had something to lose.
To date, no such bill has been introduced in the 107th Congress,
although a few analysts have mentioned the possibility.
Pristine and Untrammeled?
For opponents of development, the central issue in
the refuge debate is whether the area should be maintained as an intact
ecosystem - off limits to any development - not whether development can be
accomplished in an environmentally sound manner. In terms that emphasize deeply
held values, supporters of wilderness designation argue that few places as
untrammeled as the 1002 area remain on the planet, and fewer still on the same
magnificent scale. Any but the most transitory intrusions (e.g., visits for
recreation, hunting, fishing, subsistence use, research, etc.) would, in their
view, damage the "child-like sense of wonder" they see the area as instilling.
The mere knowledge that a pristine place exists, whether one ever visits it, can
be important to those who view the debate in this light.
Thus, even if a number of measures of biodiversity
were to remain stable in the face of development, from their perspective, the
nature and peace of the area as a place where a larger truth may be sought would
be seriously corrupted. Similarly, when told that the total "footprint" of
development (the area actually occupied by drill pads, roads, pipelines, etc.)
would be smaller than Dulles International Airport, they note that the
infrastructure would be scattered with pads interconnected by pipelines over the
entire area, disrupting the terrain, the ecosystem, and the sense of lonely
grandeur. They also question the ability of the area to return to its previous
state, once energy production is no longer profitable.
Development advocates counter this argument by
arguing that the 1002 area is not pristine. They note the presence of the Native
village of Kaktovik, the nearby DEWline (Distant Early Warning line, for missile
detection) station (both on Barter Island on the coast), and the remnants of
former or uncompleted DEWline installations scattered in or near the 1002 area.
Together with Kaktovik, the DEW site operates a garbage dump and a runway. Many
Natives of Kaktovik (population about 250) add that an argument about the value
of pristine nature relegates their village to the margin of the debate.
Taken together, these issues mean that the 1002
debate sometimes takes on a feud-like aspect due to a culture clash: those who
believe in wilderness (statutory or otherwise) as a place where "man is a
visitor who does not remain" and that any intrusion into the area would spoil
its wilderness value, versus those who place a higher value on job creation ,
domestic oil supply, economic development, or who reject the "pristine" concept
for sleighting the natural environment's human dimension. The re-injection of
drilling wastes and similar issues is not likely to raise the temperature of the
debate higher than these issues.
Under ANILCA (P.L.
96-487, 303(2)(B)), one of the purposes of ANWR is to "conserve fish and
wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity...." The other
three purposes cite fish and wildlife treaty obligations, subsistence use, and
maintenance of water quality and quantity. In the case of ANWR, energy
development was specifically forbidden unless authorized by Congress (1003).
Under current law (16 U.S.C.668dd), additional activities are allowed on refuges
to the extent that they are compatible with the purposes for which the refuge
was designated. (2) Both H.R. 39 and S. 388 declare
that energy development is compatible with ANWR's purposes.
Technology has changed impacts considerably since the
FLEIS was issued in 1987. Arctic oil exploration takes place in winter, via ice
road. (See Advances in Technology, below.) Modern 3-D seismic
exploration requires vehicles to leave the thick ice roads and travel in a fine
grid across the frozen tundra. Impacts then are an issue for those few species
(e.g., musk oxen and denning polar bears) that are winter residents, and for
tundra vegetation. Summer impacts would be small at the exploration phase (due
to reduced activity), peak during construction, and drop or change during
production. Advances in technology result in fewer gravel roads and greater
aircraft use and thus would change impacts relative to those considered in 1987.
Some of these management impacts are outlined below.
Refuge Purposes: Plants and
Animals. Development advocates note that 92% of the Refuge would remain
closed to development. Environmentalists counter that, while the 1002 area is
only 8%, the 1002 report said it "is the most biologically productive part of
the Arctic Refuge for wildlife and is the center of wildlife activity." The
importance of these resources (such as caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears,
wolves, snow geese, wildflowers, water quality and quantity, etc.) in the debate
derives from their value for aesthetic enjoyment, sport hunting and fishing,
ecological roles, and/or subsistence take, depending on the observer's point of
view. H.R. 39
and S. 388
would authorize a leasing program that would "result in no significant adverse
effect on fish and wildlife, their habitat, subsistence resources, and the
environment" and provide that leases shall contain terms and conditions relating
to these requirements. Section 513 of S. 388 requires
the Secretary to enforce the regulations, stipulations, etc., and to hold
specified on-site inspections. Lease-holders are required to provide access.
Penalties for violations are not specified. H.R. 39 has no
similar provisions. (See also Long-Term Cleanup, below.) Both bills
authorize the Secretary to select up to 45,000 acres of habitat in which surface
occupancy would be prohibited. H.R. 770 and S. 411 address
these issues by designating the entire area as wilderness.
Different Listed Species
than in 1987. In 1987, when the 1002 report was issued, three species
were listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA): the endangered bowhead and
gray whales, and the threatened arctic peregrine falcon. The bowhead is still
listed as endangered; according to the report, the development activities most
likely to affect it would be summer noise and disturbance offshore, though these
effects were not deemed to be serious in the 1987 report. (See Subsistence
Use and Access, below, regarding a recent Native lawsuit over effects of
offshore activities on this species.) The gray whale population for this area
was de-listed on June 15, 1994. The Arctic peregrine was de-listed on October 5,
1994. Two other species have been added as threatened. The spectacled eider (a
large diving duck) was listed throughout its range on June 9, 1993; it was once
found in the 1002 area, but may not be present any more. Stellar's eider was
listed on July 11, 1997. The latter once nested in significant numbers in the
1002 area, but it too may not be present any more. In neither case is the cause
of the decline well understood.
Caribou and Other
Species. Opponents of development argue that the entire ecosystem of
caribou, polar and grizzly bears, wolves, falcons, wildflowers, etc., is worth
preserving intact, especially since it represents the least disturbed Arctic
coastal area under U.S. ownership, and one of the "wildest" habitats of any type
left in the United States. Scientists and sport hunters both stress the
importance of the summer habitats on the coastal plain for migratory game birds
taken in Canada and the United States. Game birds, especially snow geese, use
the area for summer feeding, and some hunters fear that summer development,
especially aircraft overflights, could interfere with feeding enough to prevent
the geese from gaining adequate weight for migration. In 1987, the 1002 report
noted some studies supporting that view and said that this and other possible
consequences to birds could be minimized by controlling transportation and
siting of facilities. Control could be more difficult if summer air traffic
increases to compensate for fewer gravel roads.
The species which has drawn the most attention in
this debate is the caribou. The Porcupine Caribou Herd (PCH) calves in or near
the 1002 area in most years http://www.r7.fws.gov/nwr/arctic/pchmaps.html
, and winters south of the Brooks Range in Alaska or Canada; it is the subject
of a 1987 executive Agreement Between the United Sates and Canada on the
Conservation of the Porcupine Caribou Herd. In 1994, the herd numbered 152,000
and is currently estimated at 130,000 according to the international Porcupine
Caribou Management Board. In both countries it is an important food source to
Native people and others - especially since other meat is either expensive or
unavailable. Some scientists cite studies that show a reduction in density of
cows with calves near roads and developed areas around Kuparuk (Nellemann and
Cameron, 1998). They fear that development and production in the 1002 area could
cause cows to calve in less desirable locations or prevent the herd's access to
sites where they can escape from the voracious insects common in early summer.
Development proponents counter with a comparison to
the Central Arctic Herd (CAH) that summers near Prudhoe, whose population grew
from about 13,000 when oil was discovered to about 25,000, and in 1995 declined
to about 18,000. Environmentalists and some Natives note that the CAH has a much
larger area than the PCH in which to calve, that caribou cows with young calves
tend to avoid developed areas, and that predators have been controlled in the
CAH's area. The effect of oil development on the PCH is likely to remain one of
the hotly contested issues in a new round of debate over the refuge.
Review of 1987 Assessment.
On August 25, 1995, DOI released a Preliminary Review of the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, Coastal Plain Resource Assessment. Examining
especially biological impacts, the report concluded "there would be major
environmental impacts from oil and gas development on the coastal plain." (The
report noted that it joined the earlier 1987 FLEIS in that conclusion. However,
the 1987 report held that most of these could be mitigated and that the energy
and security benefits outweighed the negative impacts.) The primary new
information was the greater dependence of the PCH on the 1002 area for calving
(due to lower calf survival in years when calving occurs elsewhere) and for
insect relief after calving. It further noted that if development displaced the
herd, calving was likely to shift to areas of higher predation. Muskoxen were
reported vulnerable to winter disturbance, when their low, energy-conserving
metabolism would make movement difficult. Polar bears, according to both the
1987 and 1995 reports, are vulnerable to disturbance in their maternity dens.
The newer report considers revegetation to be a difficult and unproven
technique, and notes that a "showcase" effort to revegetate an exploratory well
site near Kaktovik still bore a visible scar 8 years later. (For a history of
this well on an area of Native inholdings within the 1002 area, see Archived
Issue Brief 91011.) The report (like nearly all reports on the 1002 area) drew
criticism, in this instance primarily by oil interests.
Areas of Special Environmental
Significance. The wildlife debate has focused mainly on the areas important
to the migratory Porcupine Caribou Herd. However, some believe other species,
such as polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, or migratory birds, may be at
greater risk. Bills in some previous Congresses have included special protection
(e.g., wilderness designation, delayed exploration, or a special regulatory
regime) of the most important habitats. The areas most often mentioned for some
special status include the major calving area of the PCH, the area around
Sadlerochit Spring (a warm spring that flows all year), and the overlapping
areas near the coast where substantial bird populations occur in the summer and
where pregnant female polar bears often make their winter dens. From 1981-1991,
90 dens of female polar bears were found in the latter area, making up about 43%
of the dens of this Beaufort Sea population of eastern Alaska and western
39 and S.
388 would allow the Interior Secretary to designate up to 45,000 acres in
which surface occupancy is forbidden as a response to some of these concerns.
Control of Access. One
access issue could be the logistical conflict between the area's management as
an oil production site versus its current management as a refuge devoted not
only to wildlife conservation but also to recreation (including sport fishing
and hunting) and subsistence uses, among other functions. This conflict could
become more intense as human populations and road networks increased with
development. In contrast to the current open but difficult access at ANWR,
access to the state-owned Prudhoe Bay complex is strictly (if not always
effectively) controlled. Visitors' and workers' belongings are searched for
firearms, alcohol, and drugs, which are prohibited. (None of these requirements
now applies to the 1002 area.) Moreover, hunting, even for subsistence, is
forbidden at Prudhoe and limited in other developed areas. Similar restrictions
are not found in the 1002 area and such restrictions may conflict with the
refuge's purposes as currently interpreted. However, with the advent of new
technologies, gravel roads could be more scarce in ANWR, even in the production
phase, and might be unconnected to the main network at Prudhoe. If the network
is unconnected, summer tourism pressure is less likely. The pressure of tourism
on the winter ice roads seems likely to be very small. Due to the larger area
that can be explored and produced from a given pad, the number of wells is also
likely to be fewer than at older fields. (See Advances in Technology,
Environmental quality management issues can be
divided into three categories: resource management, pollution, and waste
disposal. Congress could choose to leave these matters to administrative
agencies under existing laws. Alternatively, Congress could impose a higher
standard of environmental protection because of the area's biological resources
or because of the fragility of the Arctic environment. Another issue would be
the use of gravel and water resources essential for oil exploration and
development; another would be setting fees for and allocating any revenues from
exploiting these resources. H.R. 39 and S. 388 do not set
specific standards in these areas, but specify the leasing program must be
"environmentally sound" and must ensure that there will be "no significant
adverse effect on fish and wildlife, their habitat, subsistence resources, and
Air and water pollution (whether chronic or acute)
may involve questions of subtle, long-term ecological effects. Potential
legislative issues include the adequacy of existing standards, research needs,
monitoring, prevention and treatment of spills, the adequacy of current waste
disposal requirements, the development of alternatives to landfills, and
liability concerns that can make consolidation of disposal facilities
unattractive to oil companies.
Advances in Technology. If
ANWR were opened to development today, many environmental effects would likely
be less than in 1987. Among the chief advances are smaller gravel pads to
support the wells, greater distances that can be reached from a single pad from
a diameter of 2 miles to 8 miles (thereby reducing the number of pads necessary
to drain an oil field), the re-injection of drilling wastes (thereby obviating
the need for large waste pits), and a reduction in the need for gravel roads.
Together, these advances decrease the "footprint" of development. The industry
points with pride to the Alpine field, just east of the NPRA. The road between
the two pads also serves as a runway, and in summer, only pipelines connect the
field to the remainder of ANS development. Heavy equipment needs are met in the
winter via ice road. Equipment or personnel arriving in summer are flown in.
In addition, 3-D seismic exploration, 4-D time lapse
imaging, ground-penetrating radar, and enhanced computer processing of resulting
data on geological structures, and other advanced technologies, have increased
the number of successful wells from about 10% to as much as 50%. The higher
fraction of successful wells decreases the number of pads and exploration costs.
However, in contrast to earlier seismic exploration, a 3-D seismic convoy of
vehicles travels a much finer grid across the frozen tundra to obtain the
necessary level of detail. Mitigation to avoid an impact on winter residents
such as musk oxen or denning female polar bears could be necessary. Damage to
vegetation could occur more readily on open tundra than through a thick ice
While these developments would mitigate impact,
development opponents argue that even so, the "most biologically productive
part" of the refuge would no longer be called "pristine wilderness" even under
the most optimistic scenario.
Management of Support
Services. Activities of the independent support service industry (repair,
cleaning, laundry, aircraft supply, etc.) in the Prudhoe Bay area, particularly
at Deadhorse, have been widely criticized. At Deadhorse, the state leases land
for these independent services. Firms in this industry are generally employed
by, rather than part of, major oil companies, and the oil companies have played
a role in reducing their impacts. Industry, the state, and environmentalists
have agreed in the past on the need to manage and control support facilities.
39 nor S.
388 place specific conditions on support facilities; each has general
provisions on environmental protections.
Section 1003 of ANILCA does not cover the role the
1002 area might play as a land base for state or federal offshore activity. Both
the United States and Alaska are proceeding with offshore leasing near the 1002
area. But despite occasional small flurries of interest, no well has been
commercially developed offshore from the refuge.
Long-Term Cleanup. Congress
may consider various proposals on assuring the long-term environmental quality
of the area. Central to any decision on these proposals is determining what the
ultimate rehabilitation goal(s) should be. Environmentalists would presumably
want strong standards, but would simultaneously argue that complete recovery is
nearly impossible. Development advocates would presumably argue that existing
and future ANS practices are adequate.
If no commercial quantity of oil were found, recovery
of the ecosystem would involve the melting of ice roads and ice pads, as well as
recovery from the effects of 3-D seismic exploration over open tundra. In the
north, recovery is slowed by the very low growth rate of plants. Plants
protected by thicker layers of ice might recover more quickly. If creation of
ponds near rivers is required to provide sufficient water for ice roads and
pads, recovery in those immediate areas would be lengthened further.
If major oil deposits were found, development would
probably last for decades and, if production of associated natural gas became
commercially feasible, perhaps even a century. Recovery from the much higher
level of disturbance might then take substantially longer in the harsh Arctic
environment. Thus, Congress might be debating rehabilitation that would not
begin until 2070 or 2100. Furthermore, some types of cleanup might not be
desirable or practical: deep gravel production pads, for example, might be
impossible to remove without further damage, and thus might necessarily become a
permanent feature of the landscape. No existing federal laws (e.g., concerning
performance bonds or fees) are known to cover such long terms in planning for a
future cleanup, the exact nature of which is unknown.
S. 388 addresses
these issues in 509, requiring the Secretary to establish bonding requirements
to ensure reclamation of the lease tract. The duration of the lessee's
responsibility would continue until the Secretary determines that "there has
been compliance with the terms and conditions of the lease and all applicable
law." It is unclear how such potentially long-term bonding would work in
39 has no similar provisions.
Subsistence Use and Access
The village of Kaktovik and the lands of the Kaktovik
Inupiat Corporation (KIC) lie along the coast within the refuge and mostly
adjacent to the 1002 area. KIC owns significant land (surface rights) along the
coast of the 1002 area, and, along with the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation,
the subsurface rights to these areas. Current law prevents developing any energy
resources that may underlie its lands. Natives of Kaktovik are the major users
of the resources in the coastal plain, although they focus significantly on
marine resources. (For example, on Dec. 19, 2000, they joined other North Slope
native villages in suing Phillips petroleum for a proposed offshore development
in the Beaufort Sea, based on new data suggesting possible harm to their
subsistence whale hunting.) Kaktovik Natives support ANWR leasing generally.
However, they oppose both leasing in the primary caribou calving area in the
east-central 1002 area and restrictions on discharging firearms.
In contrast, subsistence hunters in the interior of
Alaska and Canada (especially the Gwich'in people who hunt the herd in its
winter range) and the Canadian government oppose leasing in the 1002 area, since
it is the main calving area of the herd in most years and support wilderness
designation. If the area is opened to leasing, Congress may be asked to consider
whether the current access or hunting rights of Native users should be
restricted to protect pipeline safety; whether subsistence users should have a
special voice in new regulations as 1002 exploration or development evolve, and
what provision might be made to minimize any harmful impacts of development on
Native culture among both North Slope and interior Alaska groups.
If leasing, development, and production occur, ANWR
revenues from bonuses, rents, and royalties, as well as from sales of gravel and
water, could generate billions of dollars for the federal and native landowners,
depending on the amount of oil that is found and on oil prices. Peak annual
royalties alone might range from $200 million to $2.5 billion, followed by
declining revenues for 30-50 years. The allocation of these revenues between the
state and the federal government could be one of the most contentious issues if
development legislation were to proceed. Although 90% of the federal share of
revenues would be paid to Alaska under the Mineral Leasing Act, H.R. 39 and S. 388 specify an
alternative disposition. (See Legal Issues, below.) Additionally, some
have suggested using federal revenues from ANWR for various purposes, including
land acquisition in Alaska or elsewhere as part of the mitigation for reduced
habitat values in a developed 1002 area. (In past years, opponents have said any
amount of funding cannot mitigate damage to the refuge.) Although the provisions
are ambiguous as to derivation and amounts, under S. 388, a portion
of revenues from the leasing of ANWR would be placed in a special Renewable
Energy Research and Development Fund to be used for research into wind, solar,
biomass, geothermal and hydroelectric sources of energy. Whether options for
alternative disposition of revenues are available depends on whether Congress
lawfully may make an alternative allocation for the revenues from the Refuge.
(See Legal Issues, below.)
Ownership. For decades, the
United States and Alaska disputed ownership of submerged lands within and
offshore of ANWR. In 1997, the Supreme Court found that Alaska did not own the
lands and resources beneath any navigable waters within the refuge. If the Court
had found to the contrary, congressional options for protecting the area from
exploration and development would have been more problematic because Alaska
would have had control of some of the river beds, gravel, water, and subsurface
resources within the Refuge. United States v. Alaska, 521 U.S. 1 (1997) decided
several issues related to calculating the shoreline "baseline" for purposes of
measuring the territorial sea, and decided that the submerged lands beneath
tidally influenced waters within the refuge did not pass to Alaska at statehood;
finding that executive actions setting aside the Refuge lands before statehood
were sufficient to preserve ownership in the United States, even under the
difficult standard set for such actions in Utah v. United States, 482 U.S. 193
Preparation of EIS. Some
question whether the existing environmental impact statement (EIS), completed in
1987, is adequate to support development, or whether an update or new EIS needs
to be prepared. A court in a declaratory judgment action (NRDC v. Lujan, 768 F.
Supp. 870 (D.D.C. 1991), held that the DOI should have prepared a Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) at that time (1991) to encompass new
information about the 1002 area, in connection with the Department's
recommendation that Congress legislate to permit development. Therefore, it
seems clear that either an SEIS or a new EIS would have to precede development,
unless Congress changes this requirement. Section 505 of S. 388 states
that the 1987 EIS is adequate legally and procedurally - thereby eliminating the
need to redo it prior to leasing. H.R. 39 is
silent on this issue, but 5(a) directs that regulations be prepared no later
than ten months after enactment, a short deadline that a court might conclude
obviated the preparation of a new EIS. Both bills would direct that leasing have
"no significant effect" on the environment. This language arguably might obviate
the need for preparation of an EIS, but might not eliminate all NEPA compliance.
Revenues. Many supporters of
ANWR energy development have called for a 50/50 split of revenues between the
federal and state governments. Alaska has indicated that the state will dispute
any distribution of revenues from ANWR leases that deviates from the 90/10 share
to which Alaska is entitled under a 1976 Act and, according to the state, under
the Alaska Statehood Act. It can be argued, however, that that split was
intended to put Alaska on par with other states' share under the 1920 Mineral
Leasing Act, and that Congress has at times prescribed other disposition of
revenues, e.g., with respect to the NPRA. A federal court has agreed with the
latter interpretation in Alaska v. United States, 35 Fed. Cl. 685, 701 (1996).
That case also ruled for the United States on the issue of whether the provision
in the Statehood Act resulted in any duty on the part of the United States to
develop federal mineral lands in Alaska. S. 388 provides
that Alaska would receive the same share that it received under P.L.
96-514, relating to the NPRA (apparently a 50/50 federal/state split). H.R. 39 is
silent on the issue, but also states in 4(d) that that Act is the sole
authority for leasing in the Refuge. This may result in an interpretation
that all revenues would be deposited in the U.S. Treasury as miscellaneous
receipts under 31 U.S.C. 3302.
H. Con. Res. 83 (Nussle)
resolution contains no assumptions on ANWR revenues. Introduced and reported by
Committee on The Budget, March 23, 2001 (H.Rept.
107-26). Passed House March 28, 2001 (Yeas 222; Nays 205; Roll no. 70).
H.R. 39 (D.
Repeals current prohibition against ANWR leasing; directs
Secretary to establish competitive oil and gas leasing program; specifies that
the 1987 FLEIS is sufficient for compliance with the National Environmental
Policy Act; authorizes set-asides up to 45,000 acres of Special Areas that
restrict surface occupancy; sets minimum for royalty payments and for tract
sizes; and for other purposes. Introduced January 3, 2001; referred to Committee
Prohibits exports of Alaskan North Slope crude oil.
Introduced Feb. 14, 2001; referred to Committee on International Relations, and
subsequently to the Committee on Resources,
for provisions within the jurisdiction of the
Designates Arctic coastal plain of ANWR as wilderness.
Introduced Feb. 28, 2001; referred to Committee on Resources.
Title V opens the 1002 area to energy leasing; provides
for the timing and size of lease sales; specifies that the 1987 FLEIS is
sufficient for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act; requires
posting of bonds for reclamation; requires expedited judicial review; authorizes
set-asides up to 45,000 acres of Special Areas that restrict surface occupancy;
provides for a 50:50 revenue split with the State; requires on-site inspections,
provides for use of any federal revenues; and other purposes. Introduced Feb.
26, 2001; referred to Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Designates Arctic coastal plain of ANWR as wilderness.
Introduced Feb. 28, 2001; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works.
FOR ADDITIONAL READING
Nelleman, C. and R. D. Cameron. Cumulative
impacts of an evolving oil-field complex on the distribution of calving
caribou. Canadian Jour. of Zoology. 1998. Vol. 76, p. 1425.
Revkin, Andrew C. Hunting for Oil: New Precision,
Less Pollution. New York Times. January 30, 2001. p. D1-D2.
U.S. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Land
Management. Overview of the 1991 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Recoverable
Petroleum Resource Update. Washington, DC, April 8, 1991. 8 p., 2 maps.
U.S. Department of the Interior. Fish and Wildlife
Service, Geological Survey, and Bureau of Land Management. Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, Coastal Plain Resource Assessment. Report and
Recommendation to the Congress of the United States and Final Legislative
Environmental Impact Statement. Washington, DC, 1987. 208 p.
U.S. Department of the Interior. Geological Survey.
The Oil and Gas Resource Potential of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
1002 Area, Alaska. 1999. 2 CD set.
USGS Open File Report 98-34.
U.S. General Accounting Office. Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge: An Assessment of Interior's Estimate of an Economically Viable
Oil Field. Washington, DC. July, 1993. 31 p. GAO/RCED-93-130.
CRS Report RL30867 (pdf). Federal Land Management
agencies: background on Land and Resource Management. Feb. 27, 2001. 71 p.
CRS Report RL30815. Natural gas prices: overview of
market factors and policy options. Jan. 23, 2001. 10 p.
CRS Report RS20602. Presidential Authority to Create a
National Monument on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,
and Possible Effects of Designation. December 7, 2000. 6 p.
CRS Report RL30459. Coping With High Oil Prices: A
Summary of Options. March 9, 2000.
CRS Report RS20487 (pdf). OPEC Oil Production -
Facts and Figures. March 8, 2000.
CRS Report RL30290. Domestic Oil and Gas Producers:
Public Policy When Oil Prices Are Volatile. Nov. 12, 1999.
CRS Report RL30777 (pdf). Petroleum prices:
analysis of supply and demand. Dec. 21, 2000. 9 p.
CRS Report RS20540. Alaska oil exports. Oct.
16, 2000. 5 p.
level and timing of peak production would depend upon the rate at which the 1002
Area oilfields are developed.
to DOI, oil development, where it now occurs, arises primarily from a
pre-existing right in subsurface resources or, in rare cases, from efforts to
prevent drainage of the federal estate due to development on adjacent land.
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