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Fri Nov 17, 2017, 09:22 AM

U.S. Senate committee moves ANWR drilling legislation one step closer

The U.S. Senate energy committee voted Wednesday to advance legislation to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

The 13-10 vote, which would lift an existing ban on oil and gas leasing in the refuge, was largely along party lines. Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., voted in favor of the bill, while the rest of the committee's Democrats voted against it.

The legislation, pushed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, chair of the committee, would require the federal government to establish a program for competitive oil and gas development for the refuge's coastal plain. It requires at least two lease sales in the next seven years.

Alaska's oil industry and politicians have long sought to develop the area, citing its potential to stimulate the state's economy and boost domestic energy production. The coastal plain, which lies along the Arctic Ocean, contains 1.5 million of the refuge's 19 million acres, or about 8 percent.

Read more: https://www.adn.com/politics/2017/11/15/u-s-senate-committee-moves-anwr-drilling-legislation-one-step-closer/

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