House passes bill to increase offshore oil, gas drilling

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.

The House routinely brings up a similar bill to the one passed Friday– only to see it fester 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.

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