Article | 2001

Fool’s Gold in Alaska (Annotated Version)

By Amory Lovins

In this annotated version of the article from Foreign Affairs, the authors argue against drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for economic, security, and environmental reasons. They show that the refuge does not contain sufficient supplies of oil and natural gas for drilling to make economic sense. Furthermore, they argue that the reserves contained in the refuge are so inaccessible as to make them more expensive and less secure than international supplies of oil. Available and proven technological alternatives that use energy more productively can meet the economic, security, and environmental goals of energy policy with far greater effectiveness, speed, profit, and security than can drilling in the refuge. Even if drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge posed no environmental or human rights concerns, it still could not be justified on economic or security grounds. For the complete article, see “Fool’s Gold in Alaska,”(RMI document ID E01-03).