Chapter 1: ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES & POLICIES

Pages 54-56:  TAX LEGISLATION OPENS ANWR TO OIL DRILLING

    On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which contains a provision opening ANWR to oil drilling.  The provision was added at the behest of Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a long-time supporter of drilling ANWR in order to increase royalties to be received by the state of Alaska.  The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 51-48 under a “reconciliation” procedure that avoided the need to obtain 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.  It was argued that because the measure would raise revenue from oil royalties it was germane to the tax bill.  At a White House celebration following passage of the tax cut legislation, President Trump boasted that he had been able to overcome more than 40 years of opposition to opening ANWR and he congratulated Alaska’s long-time Congressman Donald Young, though calling him “Dan” by mistake. It will take some time before any actual drilling is done in ANWR, but the Bureau of Land Management is moving swiftly to process a permit for seismic testing to locate oil, overriding objections from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife that inadequate environmental reviews have been conducted. See Dino Grandoni, Trump Administration Moves Forward with Arctic Oil Plan Wildlife Staff  Deem “Not Adequate, Washington Post, August 21, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-energy-202/2018/08/21/the-energy-202-trump-administration-moves-forward-with-arctic-oil-plan-wildlife-officials-deem-not-adequate/5b7af94f1b326b7234392a70/?utm_term=.9d46e8b84e4a