|ANWR Set to Move in House|
Washington – For the first time in many years a bill containing a provision to open the 10-02 Area Coastal Plain of ANWR to oil and gas exploration is set to be voted upon in the US House of Representatives. The provision is currently marked H.R. 3407 introduced by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-4). H.R. 3407 has already gone through hearings in committee and has the support votes needed to pass out of committee.
The Speaker of the House John Boehner (OH-8) is planning in the next few weeks to tag the language of 3407 into the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7) which will be formed in the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee sets the form and basic schedule for bills coming to the floor of the House for voting.
The House version of the Highway Infrastructure bill is not the first attempt by Congress. Last year a Democrat sponsored version without oil and gas exploration provisions used a new national tax on personal income over $1million to raise a hoped $60 million to fund highway projects. The bill failed on three different votes to pass the Senate. Just as that bill met hard times the Houses version will also likely meet hard times. Sufficient votes exist in the House to pass this bill but with the general trend for Democrats to not support ANWR as an issue on the Hill may lead to a lack of support in the Senate with its Democrat majority. Most likely this will result in either a Conference Committee meeting between the two bodies with ANWR being stripped out, or the outright death of the bill. In an election year, and with the level of national unemployment however, it is likely some sort of compromise will be worked out.
Along with the controversy that ANWR usually stirs up on Capitol Hill will be the controversy of the Key Stone Pipeline Project which was just rejected by the Obama Administration. Key Stone has strong support from most all Republicans and many Democrats from western states and it is likely to be put in play again by Speaker Boehner. How that happens no one is sure but the timing will like coincide with the movement of H.R. 7.
A review of the new components of the ANWR provision please read our previous article on the bill in the “Politics” section of our website.
To view a copy of the ANWR provision H.R. 3407 click here:
To view an outline of the nascent American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act H.R.7 click here:
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