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Murkowski Arctic Drilling Legislation Would Open Part of ANWR

Murkowski Arctic Drilling Legislation Would Open Part of ANWR

Committee chaiman U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) speaks during a markup hearing on Keystone XL pipeline before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on January 8, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 09 November 2017 01:36 PM

Sen. Lisa Murkowski proposed Arctic drilling Wednesday by introducing legislation that would open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas development.

The move could potentially bring in over $1 billion in federal revenue over the next decade, but environmentalists have argued that it could also threaten the ecosystem and wildlife of the refuge the HuffPost reported.

In a statement, Murkowski said the legislation would "put Alaska and the entire nation on a path toward greater prosperity by creating jobs, keeping energy affordable for families and businesses, generating new wealth, and strengthening our security—while reducing the federal deficit not just by $1 billion over ten years, but tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars over the decades to come."

The legislation, which would limit drilling to a 1.5 million-acre coastal plain, requires a 51-vote majority in the Senate, The Hill noted.

The proposal was applauded by Alaska's delegation, and a hearing for the legislation could be held as soon as Nov. 15.

However, environmentalists have slammed the bill.

"This bill would giveaway Arctic Refuge oil to China and other countries hungry for exports," said Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, per The Hill.

"It would allow roads, pipelines, gravel mines and well pads to be erected across the entire birthing grounds of the Coastal Plain, where caribou calve and where polar bear mothers den."

Nicole Whittington-Evans of The Wilderness Society said, "With millions of acres already open for oil leasing in the Arctic, industrializing and destroying this refuge makes absolutely no sense," E&E News noted.

Republicans have welcomed the proposed legislation.

"Much like Midwestern states harvest the resources that grow on the ground, like wheat and corn, Alaska must harvest the resources in our ground," Alaska's Independent governor, Bill Walker, said in a statement, according to The Denver Post.

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski proposed Arctic drilling Wednesday by introducing legislation that would open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas development.
murkowski, arctic, drilling, legislation
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2017-36-09
Thursday, 09 November 2017 01:36 PM
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