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 ReichertWashington New Members 2019 How Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms Election Countdown: Recount prospects grow in Florida | Abrams team to sue over absentee ballots | Dem wins pivotal Georgia House seat | A look at the uncalled races | Corporations spend big to beat ballot measures MORE (Wash.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickMeet the lawmakers putting politics aside to save our climate Educated voters breaking hard against GOP Bipartisan group of lawmakers propose landmark carbon tax MORE (Pa.), Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloThe Hill's Morning Report — Will Trump strike a deal with Chuck and Nancy? GOP lawmakers call for autopsy on 'historic losses' Bipartisan group of lawmakers propose landmark carbon tax MORE (Fla.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithUS has made a genuine response to the plight of Iraq’s persecuted religious minorities Charities fear hit from Trump tax law during holidays Election Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP 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.