US Senate rejects bid to remove ANWR provision from budget bill

The US Senate rejected an amendment that would have removed language authorizing oil and gas development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the fiscal 2018 budget bill on Oct. 19. The 52-48 balloting largely followed party lines, with Republicans except Susan Collins (Me.) voting against it and Democrats except Joe Manchin (W.Va.) supporting it.

The US Senate rejected an amendment that would have removed language authorizing oil and gas development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the fiscal 2018 budget bill on Oct. 19. The 52-48 ballotinglargely followed party lines, with Republicans except Susan Collins (Me.) voting against it and Democrats except Joe Manchin (W.Va.) supporting it.

The amendment’s main sponsor, Maria E. Cantwell (D-Wash.), the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s ranking minority member, argued that more than 60 years’ protection of one of the most pristine areas in the US should not be sacrificed for crude oil that the nation probably does not need.

“We have had record oil production in the last 10 years—a 77% increase. The oil we would get from it we wouldn’t get until 10 years from now, and it would supply oil for only 1 year in the US. It is not worth it,” she said.

Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) noted that expanding energy production in federally controlled areas helps the US reduce its budget deficit, builds new wealth, strengthens national security, and makes the country more competitive.

“We can and we must do more as a nation to responsibly develop our resources, our energy resources providing economic security, energy security, and national security,” Murkowski said. “The Energy Committee is prepared to meet this instruction to raise a billion dollars over the next decade.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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