Keep the news coming! Your ad here for only $30 a week.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

World waits for news on budget bill

House and Senate leaders are debating a federal budget bill this week that will decide ANWR's fate. A conference committee meeting yesterday produced little news about the refuge, but did indicate that the two houses of Congress are getting close to deciding a budget both can agree on.

Republican Sen Pete Dominici (N.M.) said he was "confident that there will be no significant change in the instruction to the energy committee -- the allowance, the order, the mandate, whatever you call it -- for us to produce an ANWR proposal that will become law.” If that makes any sense. Link.

Senate Republicans put ANWR drilling in the budget bill to protect it from filibuster by Democrats. The bill's language calls for the government to collect about $2.5 billion from ANWR oil lease sales through 2010. The Senate would still have to approve specific legislation later to open
ANWR to drilling, but having that language in the budget bill could ease procedural obstacles for that second step.

The House, meanwhile, approved an energy bill that includes ANWR drilling, but has yet to adopt a budget bill containing that goal. But drilling supporters say that's just because Republicans in the House were waiting to see if senators could make the language stick in their bill, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

A final budget bill could pass both houses of Congress by the end of this week.

[Technorati tags: ]