Three Drilling Bills Clear House Committee

In a seven-hour markup session today, the House Natural Resources Committee approved three bills that would expand oil and natural gas exploration in Alaska and the outer continental shelf, all without bipartisan support.

Expanded drilling is expected to be one of the new revenue sources in the House transportation bill, which will be marked up by the Transportation and Infrastructure committee tomorrow morning. But there was something missing from all three drilling bills which took a few observers by surprise, including Taxpayers For Common Sense:

[A]ll three bills curiously lack what would seem to be a critical element: a requirement that the collected royalties be used for infrastructure. The bills are completely silent on the issue. … [I]t is entirely possible, if not likely, that [the House transportation bill] will tie all three together and mandate how the funds are used.

Democrats also introduced amendments that would tighten Buy America requirements, allow states to opt out of offshore drilling agreements by popular referendum, and complete more rigorous studies on the environmental impacts of certain projects. None were agreed to.


Don’t Look Now, But the House Amtrak Bill Actually Has Some Good Ideas

Tomorrow, the House Transportation Committee will consider a bill that changes the nation’s policies on passenger rail. The proposal, while it includes some cuts, is a departure from the senseless vendetta many House Republicans have waged against Amtrak in the past. The National Association of Railroad Passengers, NARP, says the plan contains “commonsense regulatory and […]

House Transportation Bill “a March of Horribles”

There was no grand unveiling of the House’s five-year transportation bill today, but a summary of the bill has been kicking around for a few days. While there aren’t any hard numbers available yet, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act looks like a return to 1950s-style transportation policy. It is particularly unkind to transit and […]

House GOP Won’t Let Transit-Oriented Development Get Federal TIFIA Loans

House Republicans introduced a six-year transportation bill this week, and while it’s not the utter disaster that past GOP proposals have been, advocates for smarter federal transportation policy are playing defense. Today, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee marked up the new bill. About 150 amendments were introduced, according to Transportation for America. All but a few […]