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."ÃÂ A. Environmental groups believe that if oil drilling is conducted on the...