In a typical example of the end justifying the means, increasing energy needs has driven the us government to undertake oil exploration in hitherto protected Alaska's north slope. The government's Bureau of Land Management (blm) recently said oil and gas exploration in the area, the northeastern corner of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (npra), can be conducted with "minimal impact" on its wildlife. The area houses the caribou and several migratory birds. Concerns for their protection had led to it being excluded from oil exploration for decades.
But it is also considered the richest in oil and gas reserves within npra. Estimates say it contains about two billion barrels of economically recoverable oil and 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Media reports quoted official sources saying Interior Department secretary Gale Norton will approve the blm's recommendation soon.
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