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House GOP Seeks to Link Highway Funding, Expanded Oil Drilling

11/18/2011 11:00:00 AM
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House Republicans said they plan to introduce a five-year highway funding bill that would be paid for by expanded domestic oil drilling.

The Senate Environment Committee earlier this month passed a two-year highway bill.

The most recent transportation spending authority law expired in 2009 and has not been replaced because Congress cannot agree on how to fund it. Funding has been provided through a series of temporary extensions.

The House measure would allow new oil production along the nation’s coastlines and in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and boost production in the nation’s oil shale areas.

“The revenue will come from expanding American energy production, not from higher taxes or from deficit spending,� House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at a press conference Thursday.

He and Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) outlined the plan. Dubbed the American Energy Infrastructure Jobs Act, the reauthorization plan would spur job creation, the two said.

American Trucking Associations welcomed the Mica-Boehner announcement as progress on reauthorization and was “anxious to learn more about the proposal,� ATA spokesman Sean McNally said.

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