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Drilling For Oil In Alaska Essay

1219 words - 5 pages

I. Introduction A. A significant weaknesses embedded within the economic structure of the United States is its dependency on foreign oil.1. The United States currently imports more than 55 percent of its oil.2. The Unites States has a very unstable and unpredictable relationship with many of the countries from which it imports its oil.B. The House has approved parts of President Bush's, highly controversial, energy bill, which allows for limited oil drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).1. If approved by the Senate, this will be the first time oil drilling will be conducted in the ANWR, despite the long known existence of oil in this area.2. In 1995 both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed legislation, as part of the balanced budget bill, to open the Coastal Plain of the ANWR to oil and gas leasing and development.3. The Northern Slope of Alaska, specifically the Prudhoe Bay area, has been the home to oil drilling for over twenty years.C. Alaska is the largest state in the United States with over 368 million acres.1. The Federal and State governments own over 90% of those lands, with an additional 9% in Native ownership.2. The Artic National Wildlife Refuge consists of 19 million acres in the northeastern corner of the state, of which 8 million has been designated wilderness.3. The Coastal Plain of the ANWR comprises 1.5 million acres, and was designated as a study area for possible oil development in 1980.II. Thesis: "Many benefits will arise from oil drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, however, environmental groups fear that it will pose a great threat to the wildlife of that area." A. Environmental groups believe that if oil drilling is conducted on the Coastal Plain of the ANWR, it will be highly detrimental to the ecosystem of that area.1. Since the amount of oil deposit in this area is unknown, it could possibly be too insignificant to reduce the need for foreign oil.2. Given the thousands of oil spills, roads, drilling platforms and other development at Prudhoe Bay, the environment of the Coastal Plain of the ANWR will completely lose its wilderness character and damage to the ecology will essentially be permanent.a. "In the past 30 years, ExxonMobil, Arco, British Petroleum and other multi-national oil conglomerates have turned once pristine wilderness the size of Rhode Island into one of the world's largest industrialized complexes." 3 3. The Costal Plain of the ANWR is the major calving ground for the Porcupine Caribou Herd.B. President Bush, and his team of specialists, believes that oil drilling can be conducted in this area without having to significantly sacrifice the security of the wildlife.1. Only 1.5 million acres or 8 percent of the ANWR is being considered for development, and if oil...

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