Thursday, February 16, 2012

House approves opening ANWR — again

Alaska Journal of Commerce

For the 12th time, U.S. Rep. Don Young has gotten legislation passed out of the House of Representatives to authorize opening of a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to resource development.

By a 237 to 187 vote, the House today sent H.R. 3408 to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future. Opening ANWR has only made it out of the Senate once, and was vetoed by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

“This is a great piece of legislation for the American people,” said Young in a statement released by his office. “Tapping into ANWR’s enormous energy potential could provide up to 1.5 million barrels a day for years to come. America is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and this bill will finally let us develop those resources for the good of our people.

“This is my 12th time passing ANWR out of the House and although this is a momentous day, there is still work to be done. The Senate should not drag its feet on this bill. The American people are sick and tired of high energy prices, high unemployment, and out of control deficits - they want cheap energy created here in America and that is exactly what this bill will do.”

Among the provisions in the bill noted by Young’s office.

• ANWR – The bill would open roughly 3 percent of ANWR to energy development and direct the Department of Interior to execute lease sales.

• Offshore Development – The bill would open portions of the Alaska, Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts to offshore drilling and require the Interior Department to execute lease sales. Additionally, this bill would provide coastal states with 37.5% of revenues generated from all new offshore development.

• Oil Shale – The bill would require oil shale leases to be issued by the Interior Department as well as promote shale technology research and development. The bill would make permanent the Resource Management Plan regulations published by the Interior Department in November 2008.