The U.S. Passes Reconciliation Bill to Protect the Arctic

the House Natural Resources Committee

The committee passed the measure 24-13 following Republicans weighed down the manner with nearly 100 amendments forcing Representative Raul Grijalva, a Democrat, and the panel chairman, to increase the bill’s markup into a second day following holding the first session last week.

Republicans supported Grijalva to delay the panel’s consideration of the bill, stating Congress should first assist people in recovering from Hurricane Ida and focusing on the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. Representative Garret Graves, a Louisiana Republican who entered the panel remotely while dealing with the consequence of Ida, stated the bill would hurt offshore oil production.

Nevertheless, Grijalva stated the bill tries to curb climate change. Therefore making storms such as Ida stronger and building jobs in the energy transition.

The bill preserves Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Outer Continental Shelf from later oil and gas drilling. It funds $3 billion in a Civilian Climate Corps. Moreover, $9.5 billion for Great Lakes recreation and climate resiliency projects. $2.5 billion to pick up stranded hard rock mines.

 

How Does the Legislation Raise Money?

 

The legislation raises money by installing a Hardrock mineral royalty. Democrats said they would increase approximately $2 billion over ten years. Thus, rising fossil fuel royalty rates and lengthening royalty fees to methane emissions.

On Jan. 6, the administration of Donald Trump took the first lease sale for ANWR. It barely had nine of 22 tracts sold and none acquired by major energy companies.

Environmentalists supported the passage of the legislation. According to Nicole Whittington-Evans, director of Defenders of Wildlife’s Alaska Program, developing this National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas is simply a lousy business with unacceptably expensive costs to people, wildlife, and the environment.

Democrats in Congress are expecting to pass the $3.5 trillion settlement spending measure this autumn. However, moderates in the party, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, have opposed the overall price tag.

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