The U.S. House passed a bill Friday morning that aims to increase offshore oil and gas drilling.
The bill has no chance in the Senate.
Before it approved the measure, the House voted down an amendment that would have banned any drilling in Bristol Bay. The bill creates a revenue sharing system for Alaska in which the state receives thirty seven and a half percent of revenues.
A handful of Democrats voted for the measure, but most opposed it arguing it rushes lease sales at the expense of necessary environmental review.
Arizona Democrat Raul Grijalva is a senior member of the Natural Resources Committee. He says the bill is pure politics, because the Senate will not pick up something he dubs a waste of time, and the president has promised a veto.
“They’re political talking points, I think, for them,” Grijalva said. “But it’s really bad policy.”
The Senate Energy Committee is tentatively scheduled to hold a hearing on revenue sharing July 9.
Both chambers are out next week for Independence Day.
- Indian Country status in Alaska would afford the same protections as reservation lands in the Lower 48.
- To many, ivory means dead elephants wasting away in the sun. "What they don’t see is walrus ivory, legal harvest, food on the table, economic benefit to rural Alaskans,” says biologist Gay Sheffield.
- “We don’t want to move quickly at all costs,” said Alaska BP regional manager David VanTuyl. “We don’t want to rush into the largest energy project in North America that only ends up losing lots of money for all of us.”
- Sealaska’s newest board member will continue to push for election and management changes. At least one long-time board member says she's willing to listen.