Congress again eyes Alaska drilling
GOP bill would use ANWR royalties to fund alternatives; Democrats push rival measure aimed at developing renewables.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Fresh after approving a bill to open the East and West coasts for offshore drilling, a report Wednesday said the House of Representatives is considering two more energy-related items that would expand domestic oil production and encourage renewable technologies.
The Republican bill, sponsored by Rep. Devin Nunes of California, would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling and use the proceeds from royalty payments to fund production tax credits for new fuels made from liquefied coal or biomass, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Nunes estimated royalties from ANWR drilling could generate as much as $40 billion over a decade or more, the newspaper said.
The Democratic bill, sponsored by Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, would provide billions to develop cellulosic ethanol and a national ethanol distribution system, make improvements to municipal mass transit and give grants to automakers to develop more fuel-efficient vehicles, the newspaper said.
The article said Hoyer hadn't yet worked out the details as to how the bill would be funded.
Neither bill is expected to pass before November's midterm elections. They will, however, be used by both parties to show they're addressing the energy issue as they face a voting public increasingly concerned with the price of gasoline and heating fuel, the newspaper said.