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 BishopLooking to the historic leasing program to alleviate the maintenance backlog in national parks Overnight Energy: House panel approves park funding, offshore drilling bills | Green group putting M into races | Perry applauds Russia boosting oil production Committee votes to let states receive more money from offshore drilling 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 ZinkeBig-game hunters infuriated by Trump elephant trophy debacle Interior moves ahead with opening wildlife refuge next to contaminated nuclear site House panel approves bill to boost park funding 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.