The Arctic is not a barren, frozen wasteland. It is home to some of the most unique ecosystems in the world. More than that: people live here.
These people are at the center of the controversy surrounding oil drilling in the Arctic.
According to the New York Times, the Trump administration is now beginning to formally sell leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil companies. The move comes after the Trump administration opened the oil drilling haven in August 2020.
The Arctic may have billions of dollars in untapped oil and gas reserves. But it is also valuable to leave the region untouched. The Arctic is offering, according to a preliminary assessment conducted in 2016 by environmental economist Tanya O’Garra, at the Center for Environmental Decision Research at Columbia University at the time the research was conducted.
“The Arctic provides climate stabilization for the whole world, and if it doesn’t, growing seasons can change, more hurricanes, more droughts and a more unstable climate,” O’Garra told CNBC.
Watch the video above to learn how the Arctic is valued and how the potential for further oil drilling can affect the region.