Today the House considers opening 2000 acres of the 20 million acre Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) for oil production. Supporters of the legislation, the Artic Coastal Plain and Surface Mining Improvement Act of 2004, want to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign sources oil, on which the U.S. relies for 60 percent of its oil supply at a cost of $400 billion.
Resources Committee Chairman and the bill’s author, Richard W. Pombo (R-Calif.), stressed the importance of looking to AmericaÃ?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬Ã¢â??Â¢s resources to meet the rising energy demand. “We can create hundreds of thousands of jobs here, or our capital can be used to create them overseas. We can provide for ourselves, or we can rely on foreign regimes,” he said.