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House Leaders Abandon Plan To Open ANWR To Drilling;
However, legislation is not dead


November 09, 2005
Wednesday PM

Washington, D.C. - Late Wednesday evening, House Republican leaders decided to abandoned a contested plan to open the Alaska National Wildlife refuge to oil drilling.

The decision by House Republican leaders to drop ANWR from the spending-reduction bill came after Republican moderates said they would oppose the bill if ANWR drilling was kept in the bill. With opposition by Republican moderates, the House Republican leaders feared it could jeopardize the overall bill.

gif ANWR

House leaders also abandoned another plan to drop the moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts which would have allowed states to have the authority to approve such drilling.

The Senate included drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in its version of the spending-reduction bill last week. Differences will now have to be worked out in negotiations between the Senate and House if the spending-reduction bill is approved by the House.

However, the oil and gas drilling legislation is not dead. If the spending-reduction bill passes the House, the two chambers of Congress would then appoint negotiators to work out their differences between the bills.

Senate Republicans could insist the ANWR drilling proposal be reinserted into the House bill which would force a vote by the full House of Representatives.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is 19 million acres. The area set aside for oil and gas exploration is 1.5 million acres. U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) said, "Because of advances in technology, only 2,000 acres of that will be needed for production."


Related Stories:

ANWR a point of contention in budget bill

Alaska Closer To Opening ANWR


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Ketchikan, Alaska