More oil becoming available as Arctic ice recedes

The Takeaway

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Alaskan waters remain off-limits to drilling, much to many oil companies’ dismay. But Exxon has decided to hop over the Bering Strait, and make a deal with Russia to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean in their territory. This deal may show how lucrative climate change has become to the oil business, since more oil is becoming available as Arctic ice recedes.

Lisa Margonelli, director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation, thinks this is an important deal because it shows a significant shift from natural gas back to oil.

The deal could also reflect concerns over the turmoil in the Middle East.

“Oil companies have put a lot of money in the Middle East and they’re seeing the political situation shift change there,” Margonelli said. “That makes places like Russia look less risky.”

And, because global warming has made it easier to access that part of the Arctic.

“Now you could actually think about going in and drilling, which ten years ago was pretty much unthinkable,” Margonelli says.


“The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

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