12 House Republicans object to Alaska refuge oil drilling proposal

12 House Republicans object to Alaska refuge oil drilling proposal
© Greg Nash

A dozen House Republicans say they oppose the Senate GOP’s proposal to allow oil and natural gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

GOP Reps. Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertMajor GOP super PAC expands field offices to 31 districts With bills on the table, Congress must heed the call to fix our national parks 107 House Republicans express 'deep concern' about Trump tariffs MORE (Wash.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickImpeaching Rosenstein? Some Republicans are talking about it Republican lawmaker introduces new cyber deterrence bill GOP House super PAC reserves million in fall TV ads MORE (Pa.), Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloWinter Olympians call for action on climate Overnight Energy: Dems raise new questions about Pruitt's security | EPA rules burning wood is carbon neutral | Fourth GOP lawmaker calls for Pruitt's ouster | Court blocks delay to car efficiency fines New Jersey lawmaker is fourth House Republican to call for Pruitt to resign MORE (Fla.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithOvernight Health Care: Opioid distributors summoned before Congress | Judge sets trial date in massive opioid lawsuit | Senators press DOJ to stop blocking medical marijuana House Republicans urge HHS to add abortion restrictions to family planning program Overnight Health Care: House leaves out ObamaCare fix from funding bill | Trump appointees pushed to end teen pregnancy program | Key Dem raises concerns over potential CDC pick MORE (N.J.) led their colleagues in a letter late Thursday to Republican leaders to try to stop ANWR drilling.

The Senate is due to vote Friday on a tax bill that would at least allow drilling rights sales in the refuge in northeast Alaska, and the House is likely to take up the measure shortly thereafter if it passes.

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The letter from Reichert and his colleagues puts them squarely opposed to most congressional Republicans, who for years have sought to open a small area of ANWR to drilling.

If those lawmakers vote against the tax bill due to the ANWR provision, it could risk its chance of passing.

“One of the most pristine areas left in America today, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to musk oxen, wolves imperiled polar bears, and nearly 200 species of migratory birds that migrate to six continents and all 50 states,” they wrote.

“Any development footprint in the refuge stands to disrupt this fragile, critically important landscape.”

Six of the letter’s signers voted for the House GOP’s tax bill, which did not specifically call for ANWR drilling.

No Republican senator has objected to that chamber’s tax bill due to the ANWR drilling provisions.

Congress set aside ANWR’s coastal plain area in the 1970s for potential drilling but dictated that any drilling in the future would require congressional approval first. Lawmakers have debated the idea since then.