top of page

Alaska Oil Drilling: Why Not Wind Farms Instead?

Alaska might be known as one of the “chilliest” places in the world (quite literally), but the recent problem with the oil drilling debacle is nothing but how. And in the end, if this pushes through, it will be literally hot. Here we have again the latest anti-climate change leaders in the form of the Senate (by presenting a tax bill that is going to harm the wilderness) and a president who likens global warming and environmentalism to fairy tales.

The problem at hand is quite grave. If this pushes through, the region’s people will find a significant reduction in caribou, which is the primary food source of the Gwich’in people. And with that, everything else will follow.

And it’s not just the residents who are fully against the oil drilling proposition. Scientists from all over have already stated that the narrow geography of the region could very well be destroyed thanks to fossil fuel development.

With such a significant piece of wilderness, why can’t legislators scrap plans for oil development and other destructive infrastructure and just focus on wind farms? It is very obvious that what they’re doing is pro-big corporation, with oil as a finite resource! Meanwhile, wind farms have the opportunity to harness unlimited power without creating a destructive mess that oil drilling could.

As a matter of fact, the minimum wind speed to start a wind turbine is 6.8 ft/s (but they are always getting more efficient) . About 50% of the wind speeds in Alaska at 100m height (the approximate height of most turbines) are in excess of this requirement, begging the question: why go the toxic, unsustainable route? Why pollute the area when you can have low-overhead energy-collecting wind turbines?

Credit: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

All we know right now is that if this pushes through and oil companies proceed with bidding for drilling rights, we can say goodbye to more than 40 mammal species (and that includes the polar bear), 42 different types of fish and 200 bird species as they will be forced to migrate to other states where there is a big chance that they won’t survive. And it is especially frustrating that President Trump doesn’t see – or refuses to see, given that he’s been blindsided by revenues and sucking up to big corporations – that once the animals go, we’re next.



bottom of page