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.
- The Haines Borough Assembly sought a new direction Tuesday night over stability in its choice for the borough’s top municipal job. One of two finalists, Debra Schnabel was selected as Haines’ new borough manager, pending contract negotiations. Both candidates were local.
- Efforts by Alaska Gov. Bill Walker to try and force legislators to consider his appointments to boards, commissions and key administration posts were rebuffed Thursday in a joint session.
- The military investigation could force the retired general to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars to make up for payments from entities linked to foreign governments.
- Alaska’s mariculture industry is in its infancy, compared with other regions of the world, but it has the potential to be much larger — maybe worth as much as $1 billion within three decades.