American President Donald Trump in his 2018 budget request makes it clear that opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling is among his top priorities.
According to Alaska Dispatch News, the budget proposal revealed on Tuesday includes an estimate that the first lease sale would be in 2022 or 2023.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the ANWR could hold 10.4 barrels of recoverable oil, and the daily peak production would be more than U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia.
However, to allow drilling or not is a question that lies with the U.S. Congress, and the President’s budget request is just that – a request.
The debate over opening ANWR to drilling has run ever since Jimmy Carter’s presidency and since 1980, Congress has voted nearly 50 times on whether or not to drill there. So far, the area has not been opened up for petroleum exploration.