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.
- Legislators are considering a special audit of the Alaska Mental Health Trust and how the trustees are investing its money.
- Cynthia Franklin, who helped guide Alaska's work in setting up the state's legal marijuana industry, is resigning as director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office.
- An online controversy spread to the halls of city government in Anchorage on Tuesday, with accusations flying about fake news, liberal media bias and a militant Islamic training camp in Wasilla that does not exist.
- Former Sen. John Glenn has died at 95. After a career as a Marine pilot, Glenn was chosen as an astronaut. He was the third American in space.