Republicans in the US Congress are planning to use congressional budget rules to let them pass policy that will open up again areas of the Arctic and Atlantic to offshore drilling, according to Bloomberg.
By tying any exploration and production to government revenue-raising from drilling auction rights, the drilling would become a budget issue and so subject to less tough voting rules – a simple majority vote would suffice as opposed to, for instance, the US Senate’s 60-vote hurdle.
The primary target of the plan is the on-land Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), a 19-million acre preserve on Alaska’s northern coast, which is believed to be oil rich.
But the offshore expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic would be sure to follow.
Advocates of opening up the ANWR are unabashed about then cramming in as many more drilling areas as possible.
Previous President Barack Obama had ruled 100 million acres of Arctic waters off limits to future oil and gas leasing.