House OKs bill earmarking OCS revenues

The US House of Representatives voted 315-102 Thursday to earmark $3.025 billion/year of the federal government's offshore oil and gas revenues for various conservation programs. The bill, called the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, now goes to the Senate for consideration.


WASHINGTON, DC�The US House of Representatives voted 315-102 Thursday to earmark $3.025 billion/year of the federal government's offshore oil and gas revenues for various conservation programs. The bill, called the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Sen. Don Young (R-Alas.), the House Resources Committee chairman, said, �On a bipartisan basis, this Congress has approved one of the most comprehensive conservation bills in decades. I�m hopeful the Senate will continue this bipartisan effort and approve this landmark legislation.�

Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alas.), Senate Energy Committee chairman, has said his panel will mark up a similar bill by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in June. The Clinton administration supports the legislation.

The House measure would dedicate offshore royalties for several federal programs that Congress previously funded from general revenues. That would ensure the programs would continue without reliance on annual appropriations.

The bill earmarks $1 billion/year for coastal ecosystems and conservation, $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, $350 million for the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Fund, $125 million for the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Fund, $100 million for the Historic Preservation Fund, $200 million for restoration of federal and Indian lands, $150 million for conservation easements and incentives to protect endangered species, and $200 million for the refuge revenue sharing fund.

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