House Seeks to Fund Transportation Through Oil Drilling17-Nov-2011
Today House Speak John Boehner (R-OH) and Representative John Mica (R-FL) shared their 5 year Transportation Reauthorization plan. While they didn’t specifically address the funding levels at the press conference, they did say they will fund the bill through royalties from increased offshore oil and gas drilling, by opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to drilling, and by setting rules for extracting shale resources. Currently, there are bans in the areas they wish to open up to drilling and it is anticipated that any legislation on lifting drilling these bans will not pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.
This House bill stands in contrast to the Senate’s bill that was marked up last week with unanimous, bipartisan support. The Senate plan is a 2-year, $109 billion package that would spend $80 billion on surface transportation and another $29 billion on transit and transportation safety. Those numbers are current levels adjusted for inflation. In addition, it would consolidate 90 current transportation programs into 30 and expand a federal loan guarantee and grant program. The current extension of the transportation authorization bill that was approved in September is set to expire at the end of March 2012.