A budget blueprint in the U.S. House is reviving hopes for Alaskans who want to see the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge open to oil drilling.
The budget plan does not actually discuss the Arctic refuge, in Alaska’s far Northeast. It calls on the House Natural Resources Committee to find $5 billion in cuts or revenues over a decade.
Environmental groups are sounding the alarm, saying that’s a back-handed way of directing the committee to put ANWR lease revenues in the budget package.
Matt Shuckerow, spokesman for Rep. Don Young, said that’s the congressman’s take on it, too.
Less votes needed
Alaska’s Congressional delegation has been trying for decades to open the so-called 1002 area of the refuge. Adding it to the budget would be a way to get the legislation through the Senate with just 51 votes, rather than the usual 60.
The proposal, though, remains controversial in the Senate, where even some Republicans oppose the idea.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Arctic offshore drilling too dangerous: Trudeau, Radio Canada International
Finland: U.S. pullout from Paris climate pact condemned by Finnish leaders, Yle News
Germany: Cheap oil from the Arctic? Fake news, says climate economist Kemfert, blog by Irene Quaile, Deutsche Welle
Norway: Norway offers oil companies 93 new blocks in Arctic waters, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Record oil volumes shipped out of Russian Arctic, says company, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Swedish government unveils new climate law, Radio Sweden
United States: Drilling in Arctic Refuge to close deficit? Let’s be real., blog by Mia Bennett