House panel to vote on parks funding bill

House panel to vote on parks funding bill
© Getty Images

A House committee will vote this week on a bipartisan bill that would direct some money from offshore and federal land oil production to improve parks and public land.

The House Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Rep. Rob BishopRobert (Rob) William BishopOvernight Energy: Republicans eye top spot on Natural Resources panel | GOP lawmakers push back on bill to make greener refrigerators, air conditioners | Green groups sue Trump over California fracking plans Republicans eye top spot on Natural Resources panel Overnight Energy: Critics warn latest environmental rollback could hit minorities, poor hardest | Coalition forms to back Trump rollback | Coal-fired plants closing at near-record pace MORE (R-Utah), said it will consider the legislation Thursday. Passage would set the bill up for a potential full House vote.

Bishop and ranking member Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced the bill in July, but the general idea has been pushed by Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeEurope deepens energy dependence on Russia Overnight Energy: House Science Committee hits EPA with subpoenas | California sues EPA over Trump revoking emissions waiver | Interior disbands board that floated privatization at national parks Interior disbands advisory board that floated privatization at national parks MORE and lawmakers in both parties since at least early 2017.

ADVERTISEMENT

Under the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, half of the revenue brought into the federal government from energy production on federal land and offshore, that hasn’t been dedicated to another purpose, would go into an account, with a limit of $1.3 billion per year.

That account would then pay for infrastructure at the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Education.

The bill is meant, in part, to address the NPS maintenance backlog, which now exceeds $11 billion.

The Trump administration is supportive of the idea of using energy revenue for park infrastructure, though Zinke has stopped short of fully endorsing the bill at issue.