Many in America have felt the pain of high gasoline prices recently and often discuss why this happens in a nation so full of natural resources.The US Geological Survey and the Minerals Management Service at the Department of Interior who regulate America’s natural resources on and off-shore estimate that America holds more than 21 billion barrels of proven conventional oil reserves.1Add to this the unproven reserves such as those in the 10-02 Area of ANWR and the figure runs to over 100 billion barrels2.
Central Arctic caribou herd thrives, population at record high
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has reported that the Central Arctic caribou herd, which occupies summer ranges that include the Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk oil fields, grew sharply in numbers between 2002 and 2008. The herd included approximately 67,000 animals in summer 2008, compared to 32,000 in 2002.
The U.S. imports over 65% of the nation's needed petroleum. These oil imports cost more than $55.1 billion a year. This figure does not include the military costs of imported oil. These figures are rising and could exceed 80% imports by the year 2010.
Background: Prudhoe Bay Oil and Gas Discovery and Development The U.S. Geological Survey first surveyed Alaska's Arctic in the 1920s, then during and after World War II to identify petroleum reserves for the U.S. Navy. While promising structures were found, the harsh, isolated northern frontier was deemed too costly to explore, especially compared to more accessible areas.