Drilling Hits Norway's Conscience

Concern over climate change has stalled Scandinavian nation's government
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2007 6:33 PM CDT
A Norwegian oil production platform. Officials in Norway now must decide whether to capitalize on the newly available resources and risk hastening warming in that region.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A friendly little nation is facing the ethics of new economic power, as Norway asks itself whether to drill for 73 billion barrels of Arctic oil or leave it for others to uncover. The tiny country is the world's fifth largest exporter of oil, third largest of gas - and may have the world's biggest national conscience, too, the Washington Post reports.  

Norway’s state-owned oil company is hungry to dig up the black gold, but environmentalists beg to differ. They criticize Norway's progressive self-image and call it "a country of petroholics. A nice, little, selfish country of petroholics." Its eco-friendly policies are renowned, but may not make up for the tons of carbon dioxide emitted by buyers of Norwegian oil around the world.