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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

GOP pushes for drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


Article appears in he Summit County Citizens Voice newspaper


GOP pushes for drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 

By Summit Voice

Oil drilling in the coastal strip in the Alaskan Arctic has been hotly contested for decades

SUMMIT COUNTY — Continuing to push for domestic energy production, House Republicans this week said they will introduce a bill that would open parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling.

Although the area was set aside for possible oil exploration in 1980, drilling is now generally opposed by a broad coalition of conservation groups, as well as populations of indigenous people in the region.

It is supported by a pro-development faction in Alaska and by oil companies, who have lobbied heavily for opening the area.

The Alaskan Energy for American Jobs Act is expected be part of the energy and infrastructure jobs bill announced by House Speaker John Boehner last week. The bill links expanded American energy production with initiatives to repair and improve infrastructure. Somewhat ominously, the House Natural Resources Committee promises the measure will “permanently removing barriers to private-sector growth.”

The oil available in the area is equal to about a six-month supply for the U.S. The measure is unlikely to find much support in the U.S. Senate. Read More