As oil prices continue to rise amid turmoil in the Middle East, the House of Representatives, led by Alaskan Congressman Don Young, passed sweeping energy legislation today that would, among other things, open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to energy development. The bipartisan bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 237-187.
"This is a great piece of legislation for the American people," said Rep. Young. "Tapping into ANWR's enormous energy potential could provide up to 1.5 million barrels a day for years to come. America is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and this bill will finally let us develop those resources for the good of our people.
"This is my 12th time passing ANWR out of the House and although this is a momentous day, there is still work to be done," continued Rep. Young. "The Senate should not drag its feet on this bill. The American people are sick and tired of high energy prices, high unemployment, and out of control deficits - they want cheap energy created here in America and that is exactly what this bill will do."
H.R. 3408 includes the following provisions:
ANWR -- The bill would open roughly 3 percent of ANWR to energy development and direct the Department of Interior to execute lease sales.
Offshore Development -- The bill would open portions of the Alaska, Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts to offshore drilling and require the Interior Department to execute lease sales. Additionally, this bill would provide coastal states with 37.5% of revenues generated from all new offshore development.
Oil Shale -- The bill would require oil shale leases to be issued by the Interior Department as well as promote shale technology research and development. The bill would make permanent the Resource Management Plan regulations published by the Interior Department in November 2008.