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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 ReichertHow the Trump tax law passed: GOP adds sweeteners House battlefield expands as ad wars hit new peak Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' MORE (Wash.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickGroup begins 'Nuns on the Bus' tour to protest Trump tax law ahead of midterms The Hill's Morning Report — Historic vote on Kavanaugh to come amid protests, anger Dems announce third-quarter fundraising bonanza MORE (Pa.), Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloDems see blue 'tsunami' in House as Senate path narrows GOP spokeswoman says Republicans will lose House seats in midterms Cook Political Report shifts 7 more races towards Dems MORE (Fla.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithElection Countdown: Midterm fight heats up over Kavanaugh | McConnell sees energized base | Dems look to women to retake House | How suburban voters could decide control of Congress | Taylor Swift backs Tennessee Dems | Poll shows Cruz up 5 in Texas Dem 2020 primary season is unofficially underway Trump's move on unethical fetal tissue experimentation isn't enough 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.