Young seeks to amend Obamas Alaska resource agenda

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first_imgRepresentative Don Young speaking in Washington, DC. (Photo: Don Young congressional webpage)Listen nowZACHARIAH HUGHES: The House of Representatives on Tuesday was working on the spending bill that funds the Interior Department. It typically has a lot of relevance for Alaska, so we’ve called our Washington correspondent Liz Ruskin to tell us about it.RUSKIN: On this bill, in addition to the usual things, funding the Interior Department, Congressman Don Young is trying to add five big amendments to the bill that would essentially rollback key parts of the Obama administration’s resource agenda for Alaska. Oneof his amendments would keep things as they are. It would prevent the administration from removing three Alaska lease sales from the offshore leasing program.HUGHES: What are some of the other pages getting torn out of this book?RUSKIN: If anyone does develop their offshore leases in Alaska, Young has an amendment that says they don’t have to follow the new Arctic drilling standards that the Obama administration looking to finalize.HUGHES: So is that like the House coming out and saying ‘Our rules supersede the president’s’ when it comes to Arctic offshore?RUSKIN: Actually, all of these are amendments to a spending bill, so they actually just say that the government can’t spend any money to develop or enforce these rules.HUGHES: What are some of the others?RUSKIN: Remember the controversy over predator hunting on federal lands, specifically preserves and refuges? So, Young has an amendment that would keep the states’ more permissive rules for hunting predators in place on those federal lands. And it’s very emotional for a lot f Alaskans, not only the sovereignty issue, but they think the state does a better job managing Fish and Game because it manages the number of predators in order to keep game populations healthy. And it’s an emotional issue for environmentalists because they don’t like the idea of killing wolf pups and bear baiting and a lot of other things that are sometimes allowed under state rules.HUGHES: So that’s three. Anything else?RUSKIN: No Alaska issues grab-bag would be complete without something about ANWAR. So back in January 2015, the federal government announced some new management rules for the Arctic refuge. A lot of Alaskans got really mad about this, when the plan recommended new wilderness areas. And Young’s plan would block this management plan but it also wouldn’t open ANWAR. That would take an act of Congress. That’s not in this bill.HUGHES: Do you think these amendments are going to become law?RUSKIN: We’re a long way from that. The spending bills, they must pass legislation, but Congress doesn’t follow its rules lately on spending bills. It usually does an omnibus bill at the end of the year, and we don’t know what that’s going to look like.The Interior Appropriations bill is expected to pass the House tomorrowlast_img

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