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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 ReichertRep. Kim Schrier defends Washington House seat from GOP challenger Washington Rep. Kim Schrier wins primary Mail ballot surge places Postal Service under spotlight MORE (Wash.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickAmerica's Jewish communities are under attack — Here are 3 things Congress can do Biden visits local Mexican restaurant to highlight relief program Police reform talks ramp up amid pressure from Biden, families MORE (Pa.), Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloCheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women House Democrats call on Republicans to return Marjorie Taylor Greene donation Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' MORE (Fla.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Facebook — Biden delivers 100 million shots in 58 days, doses to neighbors The eight Republicans who voted to tighten background checks on guns House approves bills tightening background checks on guns 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.