The Argument For Drilling In The Arctic
The Arctic is and has been, a strategic region for military purposes, trade, and resources. To exploit these strategic benefits, I would encourage the president to increase development in the Arctic region and increase the exploitation of resources—including oil and gas deposits.
While there are environmentalist concerns that support the end of oil and gas development, supplying these resources to global markets reduces revenue flows for America’s competitors. Russia and many Middle Eastern nations use oil for a significant part of their national economies. Reducing the value of these energy resources can slow down their economies, hindering their ability to act against American interests. This is especially true for Russia, which supplies much of Europe with petroleum and natural gas. Without revenue, Russia is less capable of funding its weapons industry and selling war material to groups opposed to American interests.
Drilling In The Arctic Can Stimulate Growth
Developing American gas and oil resources in the Arctic can also stimulate growth in other aspects of Arctic life. With more development, more resources are demanded by Arctic operations. This means that more infrastructure can be developed, linking the Arctic Region to the rest of the North American continent. This can also help the United States to develop its own trade route in the Arctic to compete with Russia’s Northern Passage. In short, American ships could send resources from the Pacific to the Atlantic (and vice versa) North, passing by Alaska and Canada instead of relying on the vulnerable Suez and Panama Canals. The vulnerability of those canals is now being emphasized by the blockages created by Evergreen and Ever Given earlier in 2021.
The United States would be wise to further develop oil and gas resources in the Arctic Region. These resources can be used to fill markets with excess, lowering the value of oil and gas sold by America’s competitors. At the same time, the region can use that development as a springboard to increase trade through a less vulnerable route than the Panama and Suez Canal. In doing so, America can better preserve the safety of its economy in the event of blockages that would otherwise damage the United States’ economy.