December 20, 2005- Alaska Sets Financial Bear Trap for Katrina Victims

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Resources and Energy and Commerce Committees, blasted the hollow promises of aid made by Congress to the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita based on revenue generated from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, part of a provision in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill.  On its face, the legislation, expected to be voted on tomorrow, would split the possible Arctic Refuge drilling revenues 50/50 between the state of Alaska and the federal government.   However, the state of Alaska has passed a resolution opposing any attempt to reduce its share of revenue from drilling in the Arctic Refuge below the 90 percent promised as part of the Alaska Statehood Act. If Alaska receives 90 percent of the drilling revenue, as expected, virtually all funding promised to Katrina victims, part of a last minute attempt by proponents of drilling to sway wavering Senators, would be eliminated. 

“The state of Alaska is setting a financial bear trap for the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” said Rep. Markey. “The authors of the drilling language in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill have used a 50/50 split of drilling profits as a carrot to push this legislation through Congress knowing full well that Alaska will get 90 percent and the victims of Katrina will be short changed.”

“It is well documented that the state of Alaska intends to sue to receive the 90 percent share promised under the Alaska Statehood Act,” continued Rep. Markey.

Press reports today indicate that Representative Don Young (R-AK) believes a 50/50 split of drilling proceeds is illegal.  Earlier this year, the Alaska state legislature passed a resolution resolving to oppose any attempt to reduce the state’s share of revenue generated from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge below 90 percent. Alaska’s Members of Congress, as recently as today, have also stated that they believe litigation is the way for Alaska to receive 90 percent of the drilling revenues.

For more information on Rep. Markey’s work to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge check out: www.house.gov/markey.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2005


 

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Morgan Gray
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