Murkowski proposes 50-50 federal-state revenue split for drilling lease sales in Arctic wildlife refuge

Friday, 10 November 2017, 08:45:10 AM. Alaska's senior senator plans to attach the bill to Republicans' forthcoming tax bill.
WASHINGTON — Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday released her legislation to allow oil drilling in part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, splitting revenues 50-50 with the state of Alaska. The move marks a major step forward in her effort to pair the proposal with Republicans' upcoming tax cut legislation. A Senate budget resolution passed last month included instructions for Murkowski's Energy and Natural Resources Committee to draw up a bill that would add $1 billion to the federal Treasury. For Murkowski, that means an opportunity to open the "10-02" area of ANWR. Alaska's congressional delegation has been aiming to do so for nearly four decades, without success. Federal law requires an act of Congress to allow drilling in the specified area of ANWR. [U.S. Senate passes bill that offers a chance to open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling] The bill requires the interior secretary to hold at least two lease sales within 10 years of the bill's passage, the first within four years, and the second within seven years. The bill would require that lease sale areas include at least 400,000 acres with a high potential for drilling. But surface development would be limited to 2,000 acres on the surface of the coastal plain. Those leases would have a royalty rate of 16.67 percent. The bill divides the lease revenues evenly — 50 percent each — between Alaska and the federal Treasury. Given those parameters and Congressional Budget Office estimates, the committee...Read more
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