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.
- Mayor Ken Koelsch, Debbie White and Mary Becker opposed it. Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis was on a scratchy phone connection and did not respond to the roll call to vote.
- The proposal for a 130-unit high-rise apartment building to be built over a downtown city parking lot has alarmed some community members. But city officials say there is no final plan and closure of the deal is still months away.
- “Things have to have an endpoint to it, or they have to have something that keeps directing you, telling you that you’re in the right area,” said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.
- The Department of the Interior announced today that 29 local Alaska governments would receive $29.7 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds, or PILT.