Most Americans had never heard of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) before the summer of 2008 when gas prices exceeded $4.00 per gallon. At that time, a national cry rang out for relief at the pumps and for increased energy security to prevent such a painful recurrence. ANWR suddenly became a highly contentious issue in the energy debates raging in Congress, eventually spilling over into the presidential campaigns throughout the fall. It was front page news as Congressional delegations and media outlets made the obligatory pilgrimage to Anchorage and points beyond in a half-hearted effort to find truth amid the mounting hype.
Yet what was learned from all this activity? What do any of us really know about ANWR that wasn't gleaned from a thirty-second news bite? The sad truth is that most Americans had never seen, and never will see, this remote, majestic corner of northern Alaska.
Regrettably, there is no manual with respect to comprehending the issues surrounding ANWR. Current sources run a somewhat limited spectrum from addressing narrow topics in total isolation, to being only mildly informative. More importantly, the information, whether it is derived from energy advocates, environmental organizations, or political analysts, tends to harbor an innate bias. This book is a good faith effort to inform, without bias.