Despite the urgent need in many of their home states, House Republicans refuse to provide funding for infrastructure development and blocked the recent piece of President Obama’s jobs act offering $60 billion to rehabilitate America’s roads and bridges. It appears the only way Republicans are prepared to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure is by threatening the environment with domestic drilling. GOP Rep. Steve Stivers (OH) announced the GOP plan Friday to fund all infrastructure with 37.5 percent of drilling revenues earned specifically from opening up the Gulf of Mexico, Virginia’s coast, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil rigs:
On Friday, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) put meat on the bones by announcing a plan that would require lease sales in areas off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, among other areas, and lift a congressional ban on oil-and-gas leasing that covers most of the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
The plan includes a lease sale off Virginia’s coast by mid-2012. [...]
Separately, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) introduced legislation that authorizes oil-and-gas leasing in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Stivers insists that removing drilling bans, or “government roadblocks,” will “provide much-needed revenue to help pay for vital infrastructure improvements.” However, as opening up the ANWR to drilling will do little to fill the need for revenue as the Department of Energy noted it’d take at least 10 years to produce any oil from the Arctic. It will only serve to endanger the home of America’s last polar bears and porcupine caribou.
Of course, the Senate Democrats plan to pay for infrastructure with a small surtax on America’s millionaires would actually yield the needed revenue to pay for these “vital infrastructure improvements.” But, as always, the Republicans are dead set against a revenue plan that doesn’t further their special interests agenda. And, as always, it’s done at the expense of the most vulnerable.