The permafrost is melting, but it is not melting uniformly. The permafrost is about 1 mile thick and has been there for several millions of years. In that time methane, natural gas, and crude oil may have leaked from their reservoir and got caught under the permafrost. This is what happened to Easy Lake in Alaska where it is releasing 10 tons of methane a day that is from Methane Ice and Fossil Methane. The methane got caught under the permafrost in Easy Lake, and the permafrost between the lake and the fossil methane melted. The permafrost melted on a few inches in the areas around Easy Lake, but at Easy Lake the 1-mile-thick permafrost melted. The only thing that is holding the fossil methane is the mud and the methane is going through the mud. There are most likely other areas where gas or crude oil is trapped beneath the permafrost. Also, if the gas or crude oil deposits are in the bedrock, but the bedrock is weak, when the permafrost melts gas and oil leaks have a high probability of happening.
Many people will object to the idea of drilling in the artic because it of the potential of damage, but a environmental catastrophe could happen if the United States does not drill. So to those people that object, it is the lesser of two evils.