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Senate passes ANWR provision in Budget Bill

Washington – The 2007 Senate Budget Resolution including a provision for revenue from lease sales from the 10-02 Area of ANWR passed the US Senate last night in a vote of 51-49. The Senate budget resolution topped $2.8 trillion with a benefit of $3 billion from ANWR lease revenue. This is the first of at least 4 major steps that need to take place for ANWR legislation to pass.

The House Budget Committee is expected to take up the issue in the next week or two under the auspices of Chairman Nussle. Should an ANWR lease sale provision be included by the House Budget Committee, a House version of the bill would be voted on soon after. It is expected to come under some heavy pressure from 24 renegade Republicans who are lobbying against inclusion of ANWR in the budget. Passing that hurdle however, the two versions of the Resolution will meet in a joint House/Senate Conference Committee and a single version hammered out and sent back to both bodies for final voting.

The Congressional Budget Office has projected $7 billion in ANWR lease sale revenues in the next 5 years. Revenues will be split 50-50 between the State of Alaska and the Federal Government. Under this resolution leasing revenues from ANWR will be used partly for shoring up Gulf Coast levees; a key provision that won the only democrat, Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana who voted for the bill. Landrieu’s partner in the Senate, republican Senator David Vitter, submitted the amendment benefiting their state. Other monies from ANWR will be used to help fund energy programs set up under last years National Energy Bill. This includes $450 million for research into new sources of energy.

Chairman Domenici of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, a strong ANWR advocate, lost no time in announcing today his Committee will work hard to complete language demanded of the Budget Resolution to allow 10-02 Area ANWR leases to take place. Both Natural Resources Committees from the House and Senate as well as the Departments of Interior and Energy support the opening of the 10-02 Area of ANWR to oil and gas exploration.

Permalink :: Posted by Clay Butcher on March 17, 2006 :: ::
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