Arctic drilling measure sought in budget by Alaska senator

By Erik Wasson on 9/27/2017

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan said he’s pushing for budget language that would make it easier for Congress to allow oil and gas drilling in part of the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve.

“You’re damn right I am,” Sullivan, a Republican, said in an interview Wednesday. He said the Senate Budget Committee is considering adding a provision to the budget resolution that would allow the chamber to pass such a measure with a simple majority vote without needing Democratic support.

Republicans plan to use the budget resolution to allow fast-track consideration of a tax overhaul plan. Royalties from oil and gas production in the wildlife reserve would be a revenue-raiser that could help offset some of the tax cuts the GOP is proposing.

Sullivan and fellow Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski have backed legislation that would allow oil and gas development in as much as 2,000 acres of the refuge. Democrats are largely opposed, and some Republicans have had reservations in the past.

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