House Votes to Bar Arctic Drilling



House Votes to Bar Arctic Drilling
The House voted Thursday to again bar oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as Democrats seek to put Republicans on the record on tough environmental issues for the 2020 election.

(Bloomberg) -- The House voted Thursday to again bar oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as Democrats seek to put Republicans on the record on tough environmental issues for the 2020 election.

The legislation by California Democratic Representative Jared Huffman would repeal a law passed by Republicans in 2017 that ended a 40-year-old ban on drilling in the protected wilderness area and instead mandated lease sales in a coastal portion of the 19-million-acre refuge. It was approved by a vote of 225-193, with four Republicans voting in favor of the legislation and five Democrats opposing it.

“The Trump administration is now recklessly rushing to ruin the Arctic refuge with oil rigs,” Huffman told reporters. “Overwhelmingly, Americans don’t want this to happen.”

The bill caps off a week of anti-drilling legislation. The House voted Wednesday to limit drilling in U.S. coastal waters, including an effort to permanently ban rigs near Florida.

The measures have virtually zero chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate, but the Democratic challenge to President Donald Trump’s pro-drilling agenda arises as voters say climate and other environmental issues are of increasing importance to them.

House Republicans have countered by offering an energy bill of their own they said would create jobs and lessen dependence on foreign adversaries, while warning Democratic restrictions would lead to increased energy costs.

The Republican measure would give coastal states a 50% share of oil and gas revenue from the Gulf of Mexico and allow states to take over permitting functions.

“America is rich with energy resources, and developing them will create jobs, strengthen our economy, and protect our national security,” said Representative Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Ari Natter in Washington at anatter5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net
Elizabeth Wasserman



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Randy Verret  |  September 16, 2019
I was part of a multi-disciplined team at a major oil company that looked at ANWR back in the 90s. If you bother to (actually) look at the legislation and the area of development long proposed, the total amount of surface disturbance is limited to 2,000 acres. You read that number correctly! This whole thing has LONG been "cleverly" blown out of any reasonable proportion by the Environmental NGOs and their political enablers. If you don't want ANY oil & gas exploration & production in the Arctic or outer continental shelf, that is fine. It's a choice. But 15-20 years down the line when oil is STILL playing a prominent role in the U.S domestic energy mix and consumers are paying HIGH PRICES, then don't complain! You don't get it both ways...
Cristea Adrian  |  September 12, 2019
regarding environment, americans are no better then others. i was expecting more from a reach, leading nation.