Yes, developing natural resources is paramount to the continuation of the human race. As the population increases not only does land use increase but also the developent of nature resources need to increases in order to feed, clothe, and nurture the needs and desires of a whole generation of humans.
Yes, developing natural resources is more important than protecting the environment, because we have to have energy to live. We are small. Humans cannot do so much damage to destroy the planet. We should be able to develop energy to live our lives comfortably. The world is for us, too.
Developing natural resources does not need to by definition be harmful to the environment, we can develop cleaner, safer resources without damaging what they come from. The two things need not be mutually exclusive, we need to develop natural resources but we need to do it more intelligently so that we can continue in the future.
I do not believe developing natural resources is more important than protecting the environment. I believe oil companies are trying to ruin the environment in the quest for oil and this should not be allowed. Natural resources are finite and the people of the world need to remember this fact. We should be concentrating on renewable energy, not tearing the planet apart to access more natural resources.