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 Juneau Assembly declined to pass a broaden sales tax exemption for seniors. Opposition from businesses prodded elected officials to refer the initiative back to committee.
- Fines for pet owners whose for critters scooped up by animal control officers have gone up. The fees hadn't been adjusted for nearly 17 years.
- Local education officials are applying for state money to replace and repair leaky roofs at several Juneau schools. About $5 million is coming in over the next five years earmarked for school maintenance from sales tax money that voters approved in the Oct. 3 election.
- "They’re calling it GTA, grand theft Anchorage, right now," said Rep. Lora Reinbold, who says she wants to repeal Senate Bill 91. "It’s outrageous, what’s going on in the city that I love.”