Order Code RL32838
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR):
Legislative Actions Through the 108th Congress
March 30, 2005
Information Research Specialist
Knowledge Services Group
M. Lynne Corn and Bernard A. Gelb
Specialist in Natural Resources and
Specialist in Industry Economics
Resources, Science, and Industry Division
American Law Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR):
Legislative Actions Through the 108th Congress
A major element of the energy policy debate in Congress has been whether to
approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in
northeastern Alaska, and if so, under what conditions, or whether to continue to
prohibit development in order to protect the area’s biological resources. Current law
forbids energy leasing in the Refuge. ANWR is an area rich in fauna, flora, and
commercial oil potential. Sharp increases in prices of gasoline and natural gas from
late 2000 to early 2001 and again in 2004 to 2005, and terrorist attacks in the United
States and Middle Eastern oil fields, renewed the ANWR debate for the first time in
five years. However, its development has been debated for over 40 years.
This report is intended to provide a summary of legislative attempts from the
95th through the 108th Congresses, with emphasis on the 107th and 108th Congress, to
address the issues of energy development and preservation in the Refuge. This
history has been cited by many, in and out of Congress, as a background for issues
being raised in the 109th Congress. The report contains little analysis of the substance
of this issue, which is covered in other CRS reports. See CRS Issue Brief IB10136,
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for the 109th Congress, for
information on actions in the 109th Congress relative to ANWR. This report will not
In the 107th Congress, provisions to open ANWR to development were
incorporated into H.R. 4, an omnibus energy bill passed by the House. The Senate
passed its own version of H.R. 4, which lacked Refuge development provisions.
Conferees met, but were unable to reconcile the two versions of H.R. 4 in many
areas, including Refuge development. No conference report was issued. The
legislation lapsed at the end of the 107th Congress.
In the 108th Congress, the Senate passed an amendment to strip language from
the Senate budget resolution that would have facilitated subsequent passage of
ANWR development legislation. The House passed H.R. 6, an omnibus energy bill,
which would have opened ANWR to development. It included an amendment to
limit certain features of federal leasing development to no more than 2,000 acres,
without restricting the total number of acres that could be leased. The Senate passed
its version of H.R. 6 by adopting the provisions of its omnibus energy legislation
from the 107th Congress, which contained no provision to open the Refuge to
development. The conference committee did not include ANWR development
language in the conference report. The conference report was agreed to by the House;
the Senate considered the measure, but a cloture vote failed. The legislation lapsed
at the end of the 108th Congress.
Background and Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Legislative History of the Refuge, 1957-2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
The Early Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
The 1970s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
The 1980s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
From 1990 to 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Legislative History of the Refuge, 2001-2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Legislative History of the Refuge, 2003-2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
FY2004 Reconciliation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Comprehensive Energy Legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Major Legislative Issues in the 107th and 108th Congresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Environmental Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
The Size of Footprints — Federal Lands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Native Lands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Revenue Disposition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Natural Gas Pipeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Project Labor Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Oil Export Restrictions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
NEPA Compliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Compatibility with Refuge Purposes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Judicial Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Special Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Non-Development Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Legislation in the 107th Congress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Legislation in the 108th Congress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
For Additional Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Archived CRS Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
List of Tables
Table 1. Votes in the House of Representatives on Energy Development
within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Table 2. Votes in the Senate on Energy Development within the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR):
Legislative Actions Through the
Background and Analysis
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) consists of 19 million acres in
northeast Alaska. It is administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the
Department of the Interior (DOI). Its 1.5 million acre coastal plain on the North
Slope of the Brooks Range is currently viewed as one of the most likely undeveloped
U.S. onshore oil and gas prospects. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there
is even a small chance that taken together, the fields on this federal land could hold
as much economically recoverable oil as the giant field at Prudhoe Bay, found in
1967 on the coastal plain west of ANWR. That state-owned portion of the coastal
plain is now estimated to have held 11 -13 billion barrels of oil.
The Refuge, and especially the coastal plain, is home to a wide variety of plants
and animals. The presence of caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, migratory
birds, and many other species in a nearly undisturbed state has led some to call the
area “America’s Serengeti.” The Refuge and two neighboring parks in Canada have
been proposed for an international park, and several species found in the area
(including polar bears, caribou, migratory birds, and whales) are protected by
international treaties or agreements. The analysis below covers, first, the economic
and geological factors that have triggered new interest in development, followed by
the philosophical, biological, and environmental quality factors that have triggered
opposition to it. That analysis is followed by a history of congressional actions on
this issue, with a focus on those in the 107th and 108th Congresses. See Tables 1 and
2 for votes in the House and Senate from the 96th through the 108th Congresses.
The conflict between high oil potential and nearly pristine nature creates a
dilemma: should Congress open the area for oil and gas development, or should the
area’s ecosystem be given permanent protection from development? What factors
should determine whether to open the area? If the area is opened, how can damages
be avoided, minimized, or mitigated? To what extent should Congress legislate
special management of the area (if it is developed), and to what extent should federal
agencies be allowed to manage the area under existing law? If Congress takes no
action, the Refuge remains closed to energy development.
Table 1. Votes in the House of Representatives on
Energy Development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
no floor votes
Udall-Anderson substitute for H.R. 39 adopted by House (268157); included provisions designating all of ANWR as
H.R. 39 passed House (360-65).
Senate version (leaving 1002 area development issue to a
future Congress) of H.R. 39 passed House.
no floor votes
no floor votes
no floor votes
no floor votes
no floor votes
no floor votes
no floor votes
House agreed (237-189) to conference report on H.R. 2491
(H.Rept. 104-350), FY1996 budget reconciliation (a large bill
that included 1002 area development provisions; see text).
no floor votes
no floor votes
House passed Sununu amendment to H.R. 4 to limit specified
surface development of 1002 area to a total of 2,000 acres
House rejected Markey-Johnson (CT) amendment to H.R. 4 to
strike 1002 area development title (206-223).
H.R. 4, an omnibus energy bill, passed House (240-189). Title
V of Division F contained 1002 area development provisions.
House passed Wilson (NM) amendment to H.R. 6 to limit
certain features of 1002 area development to a total of 2,000
House rejected Markey-Johnson (CT) amendment to H.R. 6 to
strike 1002 area development title (197-228).
House passed H.R. 6, a comprehensive energy bill (247-175);
Division C, Title IV would have opened the 1002 area to
Table 2. Votes in the Senate on Energy Development within
the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
no floor votes
Motion to table Tsongas amendment (including a title to
designate all of ANWR as wilderness) to H.R. 39 defeated
Senate adopted cloture motion on H.R. 39 (63-25).
Senate passed Tsongas-Roth-Jackson-Hatfield substitute to
H.R. 39 (78-14); this bill is current law, and leaves decision
about any 1002 area development for a future Congress.
no floor votes
no floor votes
no floor votes
no floor votes
no floor votes
Cloture motion on S. 1220 failed (50-44); one title would
have opened 1002 area to development.
no floor votes
Senate voted to table Roth amendment to strip 1002 area
revenue assumptions from S.Con.Res. 13 (56-44).
Senate voted to table Baucus amendment to strip 1002 area
development provisions in H.R. 2491 (51-48).
no floor votes
Senate voted to table Roth amendment to strip 1002 area
revenue assumptions from the FY2001 budget resolution
(S.Con.Res. 101) (51-49).
Lott-Murkowski-Brownback amendment to Daschle
amendment to H.R. 10 included 1002 area development title
in H.R. 4, as passed by the House. A cloture motion on the
amendment failed (1-94).
Senate failed to invoke cloture on Murkowski amendment to
S. 517, an omnibus energy bill. ANWR language of the
amendment was similar to that in the House-passed version
of H.R. 4 (46-54).
Senate passed Boxer amendment to delete certain revenue
assumptions from S.Con.Res. 23, the FY2004 budget
resolution; floor debate indicated that amendment was
clearly seen as a vote on developing 1002 area (52-48).
Basic information on the Refuge can be found in CRS Report RL31278, Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge: Background and Issues, 1 and at the FWS website,
[http://www.r7.fws.gov/nwr/arctic], 2 which includes links to other organizations
interested in the area. An extensive presentation of development arguments can be
found at [http://www.anwr.org], sponsored by Arctic Power, a nonprofit coalition.
Opponents’ arguments can be found variously at [http://www .alaskawild.org],
[http://www.protectthearctic.com/] , or [http://www. tws.org/arctic/]. Maps of the
coastal plain showing existing oil development areas on state land can be found at
Legislative History of the Refuge, 1957-2000
The Early Years. The energy and biological resources of northern Alaska
have raised controversy for decades, from legislation in the 1970s, to a 1989 oil spill,
to more recent efforts to use ANWR resources to address energy needs or to help
balance the federal budget. In November 1957, DOI announced plans to withdraw
lands in northeastern Alaska to create an “Arctic National Wildlife Range.” The first
group actually to propose to Congress that the area become a national wildlife range,
in recognition of the many game species found in the area, was the Tanana Valley
(Alaska) Sportsmen’s Association in 1959. On December 6, 1960, after statehood,
the Secretary of the Interior issued Public Land Order 2214 reserving the 9.5 millionacre area as the Arctic National Wildlife Range.
The 1970s. In 1971, Congress enacted the Alaska Native Claims Settlement
Act (ANCSA, P.L. 92-203, 85 Stat. 688) to resolve all Native aboriginal land claims
against the United States. ANCSA provided for monetary payments and also created
Village Corporations that received the surface estate to approximately 22 million
acres of lands in Alaska. Village selection rights included the right to choose the
surface estate (surface rights, as opposed to rights to exploit any energy or minerals
beneath the surface) in a certain amount of lands within the National Wildlife Refuge
System. Under §22(g) of ANCSA, the chosen lands were to remain subject to the
laws and regulations governing use and development of the particular refuge.
Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation (KIC, the local Native corporation created under
ANCSA, and headquartered within ANWR) received rights to three townships along
the coast of ANWR. ANCSA also created Regional Corporations, which could select
subsurface rights to some lands and full title to others. Subsurface rights in national
wildlife refuges were not available, but in-lieu selections to substitute for such lands
The 1980s. In 1980, Congress enacted the Alaska National Interest Lands
Conservation Act (ANILCA, P.L. 96-487, 94 Stat. 2371), which included several
sections about ANWR. The Arctic Range was renamed the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge, and was expanded, mostly southward and westward, to include an additional
Full citations of past CRS publications are at the end of this report. For brevity, these
publications will be referred to only by number and title in the text’s first reference, and
only by number in any subsequent references.
This website and the others listed in this paragraph were visited on March 30, 2005.
9.2 million acres.3 Section 702(3) of ANILCA designated much of the original range
as a wilderness area, but did not include the coastal plain. (For more on wilderness
designation, see CRS Report RL31447, Wilderness: Overview and Statistics.)
ANILCA defined the Coastal Plain as the lands on a specified map — language that
was interpreted as excluding most Native lands, even though these lands are
geographically part of the coastal plain.4 Section 1002 of ANILCA directed that a
study of the Coastal Plain (which therefore is often referred to as the 1002 area) and
its resources be completed within five years and nine months of enactment. The
resulting 1987 report was called the 1002 report or the Final Legislative
Environmental Impact Statement (FLEIS).
Section 1003 of ANILCA prohibited oil and gas development in the entire
Refuge, or “leasing or other development leading to production of oil and gas from
the range” unless authorized by an act of Congress. (For more history of legislation
on ANWR and related developments, see CRS Report RL31278 and CRS Report
RL31115, Legal Issues Related to Proposed Drilling for Oil and Gas in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge.)
From 1990 to 2000. In recent years, there have been various attempts to
authorize opening ANWR to energy development. In the 104th Congress, the
FY1996 budget reconciliation bill (H.R. 2491, §§5312-5344) would have opened the
1002 area to energy development, but the measure was vetoed, as many observers
had expected. President Clinton cited the ANWR sections as one of his reasons for
the veto. (For key provisions of that legislation, see archived CRS Issue Brief
IB95071, The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, available from the authors.)
While bills were introduced, the 105th Congress did not debate the ANWR issue.
In the 106th Congress, bills to designate the 1002 area of the Refuge as wilderness
and others to open the Refuge to energy development were introduced. Revenue
assumptions about ANWR were included in the FY2001 budget resolution
(S.Con.Res. 101) reported by the Senate Budget Committee on March 31, 2000. An
amendment to remove this language was tabled. However, conferees rejected the
language. The conference report on H.Con.Res. 290 did not contain this assumption,
and the report was passed by both chambers on April 13. S. 2557 was introduced
May 16, 2000; it included a title to open the Refuge to development. Hearings were
held on the bill, but a motion to proceed to consideration of the bill on the Senate
floor did not pass.
Only three recorded votes relating directly to ANWR development occurred
from the 101st through the 106th Congress. All were in the Senate:
Additional land was added in later years, bringing the current total to 19.3 million acres.
Portions of the Refuge added in 1980 and later were not included in the wilderness system.
This report will use “Coastal Plain” to refer to the land legally designated under ANILCA
and under subsequent Executive Branch rulings. In lower case (“coastal plain”), the term
will be used in the geographic sense, i.e., the north of the foothills of the Brooks Range. It
stretches from the Canadian border west to Bering Straight. Its width varies from about 10
miles (at the Canadian border) to over 100 miles south of Barrow.
In the 104th Congress, on May 24 1995, a motion to table an
amendment that would have stripped ANWR development titles
from the Senate version of H.R. 2491 passed (Roll Call #190). (See
In the same Congress, on October 27, 1995, another motion to table
a similar amendment to H.R. 2491 also passed (Roll Call #525).
In the 106th Congress, the vote to table an amendment to strip
ANWR revenue assumptions from the budget resolution (S.Con.Res.
101; see above) was passed (April 6, 2000, Roll Call #58).
Legislative History of the Refuge, 2001-2002
H.R. 4, an omnibus energy bill containing ANWR development provisions,
passed the House on August 2, 2001 (yeas 240, nays 189; Roll Call #320). Title V
of Division F was the text of H.R. 2436 (H.Rept. 107-160, Part I). The measure
would have opened ANWR to exploration and development. The previous day, an
amendment by then Representative Sununu to limit specified surface development
to a total of 2,000 acres was passed (yeas 228, nays 201; Roll Call #316).
Representatives Markey and Johnson (CT) offered an amendment to strike the title;
this was defeated (yeas 206, nays 223; Roll Call #317). The House appointed
conferees on June 12, 2002. (See below for action after Senate passage of H.R. 4.)
In the first session, Senator Lott (on behalf of himself and Senators Murkowski
and Brownback) offered an amendment (S.Amdt. 2171) to an amendment on pension
reform (S.Amdt. 2170) to H.R. 10, a bill also on pension reform. Their amendment
included, among other energy provisions, the ANWR development title in H.R. 4, as
passed by the House. Their amendment also included provisions prohibiting cloning
of human tissue. A cloture motion was filed on the Lott amendment, and the Senate
failed to invoke cloture (yeas 1, nays 94; Roll Call #344) on December 3, 2001.
Instead, the Senate voted the same day in favor of invoking cloture on the underlying
amendment (S.Amdt. 2170), (yeas 81, nays 15; Roll Call #345). Because cloture was
invoked on the underlying amendment, Senate rules required that subsequent and
pending amendments to it be germane. The Senate’s presiding officer subsequently
sustained a point of order against the Lott amendment, which was still pending, on
the grounds that it was not germane to the underlying amendment on pension reform,
and thus the amendment fell.
The next vehicle for Senate floor consideration was S. 517, which concerned
energy technology development. On February 15, 2002, Senator Daschle offered an
amendment (S.Amdt. 2917), an omnibus energy bill. It did not contain provisions
to develop the Refuge, but two amendments (S.Amdt. 3132 and S.Amdt. 3133) to do
so were offered by Senators Murkowski and Stevens, respectively, on April 16. The
language of the two amendments was, in most sections, identical to that of H.R. 4
(Division F, Title V). Key differences included a requirement for a presidential
determination before development could proceed, an exception to the oil export
prohibition for Israel, and a number of changes in allocation of any development
revenues, as well as allowing some of those revenues to be spent without further
appropriation. On April 18, the Senate essentially voted to prevent drilling for oil
and gas in the Refuge. The defeat came on a vote of 46 yeas to 54 nays (Roll Call
#71) on a cloture motion to block a threatened filibuster on Senator Murkowski’s
amendment to S. 517, which would have ended debate and moved the chamber to a
direct vote on the ANWR issue.
Lacking a provision to develop ANWR, the text of S. 517, as amended, was
substituted for the text of the House-passed H.R. 4, and passed the Senate (yeas 88,
nays 11; Roll Call #94) on April 25, 2002. Conferees attempted to iron out the
substantial differences between the two versions in the time remaining in the second
session. The conference committee chairman, Representative Tauzin, indicated that
the ANWR issue, as one of the most controversial parts of the bill, would be
considered toward the end of the conference, after less controversial provisions.
Press reports at the time indicated that conferees were likely to drop provisions to
develop the Refuge. Interior Secretary Norton stated that she would recommend veto
of a bill lacking ANWR development provisions. 5 In the end, no conference
agreement was reached, and H.R. 4 died at the end of the 107th Congress.
Finally, H.R. 770 and S. 411 would have designated the 1002 area as
wilderness, but no action was taken on either bill.
Legislative History of the Refuge, 2003-2004
Work began on FY2003 Interior appropriations in the 107th Congress but was
not completed until the 108th Congress. In the 107th Congress, for the FY2003
Interior appropriations bill, the House Committee on Appropriations had agreed to
report language on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) energy and minerals
program in general, and stated that no funds were included in the FY2003 funding
bill “for activity related to potential energy development within [ANWR]” (H.Rept.
107-564, H.R. 5093). But §1003 of ANILCA prohibited “development leading to
production of oil and gas” unless authorized by Congress. Thus, the committee’s
report language was viewed by some as barring the use of funds for pre-leasing
studies and other preliminary work related to oil and gas drilling in ANWR. The
report of the Senate Committee on Appropriations did not contain this prohibition.
A series of continuing resolutions provided funding for DOI into the 108th Congress.
Conferees on the FY2003 Consolidated Appropriations Resolution (P.L. 108-7)
included language in the joint explanatory statement stating that they “do not concur
with the House proposal concerning funding for the [BLM] energy and minerals
program.” This change from the House report language was interpreted by some as
potentially making available funds for preliminary work for development in ANWR.
However, as noted, the prohibition contained in ANILCA remains in effect, so the
ability to use money in the bill for particular pre-leasing activities was not clear.
FY2004 Reconciliation. During the 108th Congress, development proponents
sought to move ANWR legislation through the FY2004 budget reconciliation process
to avoid a possible Senate filibuster later in the session. (Reconciliation bills in the
Senate are considered under special rules that do not permit filibusters. See CRS
Report 98-814, Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration
Tom Doggett “Interview — Norton wants energy bill veto if no ANWR drilling,” Reuters
News Service ( September 19, 2002).
and CRS Report RL30862, Budget Reconciliation Procedures: The Senate’s ‘Byrd
Rule.’) The House agreed to the FY2004 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 95) on
March 21 (yeas 215, nays 212; Roll Call #82). The resolution contained
reconciliation instructions to the House Resources Committee for reductions, but did
not specify the expected source of the savings. If the House language had been
adopted, ANWR development language might have been considered as part of a
reconciliation measure to achieve the savings. S.Con.Res. 23, as reported by the
Senate Budget Committee, stated:
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources shall report a
reconciliation bill not later than May 1, 2003, that consists of changes in laws
within its jurisdiction sufficient to decrease the total level of outlays by
$2,150,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2004 through 2013.
To meet this directive, the committee would very likely have reported legislation to
open ANWR to development. On March 19, 2003, Senator Boxer offered S.Amdt.
272 to delete this provision. Floor debate indicated that the Boxer amendment was
clearly seen as a vote on developing ANWR. The amendment passed (yeas 52, nays
48; Roll Call #59.) The amended Senate version of the resolution was ultimately
accepted by both House and Senate. As a result, while the Committee on Energy and
Natural Resources could still report legislation to authorize opening the Refuge, such
legislation would not have been eligible for inclusion in a reconciliation bill.
Without the procedural protections associated with reconciliation, a filibuster could
have been used to prevent a vote on an authorization bill. (See CRS Report
RS20368, Overview of the Congressional Budget Process.) In the end, the conferees
on the budget resolution included no instructions to the House Resources and Senate
Energy and Natural Resources Committees.
Comprehensive Energy Legislation. The House passed H.R. 6, a
comprehensive energy bill, on April 11, 2003. Division C, Title IV would have
opened the 1002 area to energy development. On April 10, the House had passed the
Wilson (NM) amendment to H.R. 6 to limit certain features of development to a total
of 2,000 acres (yeas 226, nays 202; Roll Call #134), without restricting the total
number of acres that could be leased. As in the 107th Congress, Representatives
Markey and Johnson (CT) offered an amendment to strike the title; this was defeated
(yeas 197, nays 228; Roll Call #135). H.R. 4514 was identical to the ANWR title of
the House version of H.R. 6 except in one provision on revenue disposition. (See
“Major Legislative Issues,” below.) In addition, one bill (H.R. 39) was introduced
to open the 1002 area to development, and two bills (H.R. 770 and S. 543) were
introduced to designate the 1002 area as wilderness.
The initial version of the Senate energy bill (S. 14) had no provision to open the
Refuge, and Chairman Domenici stated that he did not plan to include one. After
many weeks of debate in the Senate, as prospects of passage seemed to be dimming,
Senators agreed to drop the bill they had been debating and to go back to the bill
passed in the Democratic-controlled 107th Congress. On July 31, 2003, they
substituted the language of that bill for that of the House-passed H.R. 6. There was
widespread agreement that the unusual procedure was a means of getting the bill to
conference. Members, including Chairman Domenici, indicated at the time their
expectation that the bill that emerged from conference would likely be markedly
different from the bill that had just been passed by the Senate. One of the key
differences between the two bills was the presence of ANWR development language
in the House version, and its absence in the Senate version. (See CRS Issue Brief
IB10116, Energy Policy: The Continuing Debate and Omnibus Energy Legislation.)
Conference Chairman Domenici included the House title on ANWR in his working
draft, but in the end, the conference committee deleted ANWR development features
in the conference report (H.Rept. 108-375); the conference report was agreed to by
the House on November 18, 2003 (yeas 246, nays 180; Roll Call #630); the Senate
considered the measure, but a cloture vote failed (57 yeas, 40 nays; Roll Call # 456)
on November 21, 2003.
The Senate focused in the second session on a reduced energy bill (S. 2095) that
might then go to a second conference with the House; like its version of H.R. 6, this
new bill did not contain ANWR development provisions. In any event, no scenario
for energy legislation that was discussed publicly included provisions that would
have opened the Refuge to development. However, the President’s proposed FY2005
budget assumed legislation would be passed that would open the Refuge and would
therefore produce revenues. This proposal would have assisted efforts to assume
ANWR revenues in a budget resolution, and therefore aided its inclusion in a
reconciliation package, as was attempted in the first session. The features of the bills
mentioned above and the issues that most commonly arose in legislative debate are
Major Legislative Issues in the 107th and 108th Congresses
Some of the issues that have been raised most frequently in the ANWR debate
are described briefly below. In addition to the issue of whether development should
be permitted at all, key aspects of the debate include specifications that might be
provided in legislation, including the physical size, or footprint, of development; the
activities that might be permitted on Native lands; the disposition of revenues; labor
issues; oil export restrictions; compliance with the National Environmental Policy
Act, and other matters. (References below to the “Secretary” refer to the Secretary
of the Interior, unless stated otherwise.)
107th Congress. H.R. 4, as passed by the House, was the model for two
Senate amendments (S.Amdt. 3132 and S.Amdt. 3133), with some important
variations. With brief background information for each topic, H.R. 4 is analyzed
below, along with a few of the major features of the rejected Senate amendments to
S. 517 (where these differ significantly from H.R. 4), and the two wilderness bills.
(More background on each topic can be found in CRS Report RL31278.)
108th Congress. The analyses below describe features of H.R. 6 as passed by
the House and H.R. 4514 (identical, except as noted in “Revenue Disposition,”
below). S. 2095 and the Senate version of H.R. 6 had no provision to develop the
1002 area, but any provisions corresponding to issues below are also described.
Environmental Direction. Should Congress open the Refuge to energy
leasing, it could choose to leave environmental matters to administrative agencies
under existing laws. Alternatively, Congress could impose a higher standard of
environmental protection because the area is in a national wildlife refuge or because
of the fragility of the arctic environment, or it could legislate a lower standard to
facilitate development. The degree of discretion given to the administering agency
could also affect the stringency of environmental protection. For example, Congress
could include provisions requiring use of “the best available technology” or “the best
commercially available technology” or similar general standards; alternatively, it
could limit judicial review of environmental standards. Another issue would be the
use of gravel and water resources essential for oil exploration and development.
Congress could also leave environmental protection largely up to the administering
agency — to be accomplished through regulations, or through lease stipulations.
The former require public notice and comment, while the latter do not involve public
participation, and may provide fewer public enforcement options. Other legislative
issues include limitations on miles of roads or other surface occupancy; the adequacy
of existing pollution standards; prevention and treatment of spills; the adequacy of
current environmental requirements; and aircraft overflights, among other things.
107th Congress. H.R. 4 (§6507(a)) would have required the Secretary to
administer a leasing program so as to “result in no significant adverse effect on fish
and wildlife, their habitat, subsistence resources, and the environment, ... including
... requiring the application of the best commercially available technology....” H.R.
4 (§6503(a)(2)) would have also required that this program be done “in a manner that
ensures the receipt of fair market value by the public for the mineral resources to be
leased.” It is unclear how the two goals of environmental protection and of fair
market value related to each other (e.g., if environmental restrictions might make
some fields uneconomic). H.R. 4 (§6506(a)(3) and (5)) would have required lessees
to be responsible and liable for reclamation of lands within the Coastal Plain to
support pre-leasing uses or to a higher use approved by the Secretary. There were
requirements for mitigation, development of regulations by DOI, and other measures
to protect the environment. These included prohibitions on public access to service
roads and other transportation restrictions. Other provisions could also have affected
environmental protection. H.R. 770 and S. 411 would have designated the area as
wilderness, as discussed below.
108th Congress. The House bill did not name a lead agency, but since
§30403(a) stated that the program would be administered under the Mineral Leasing
Act, BLM seemed likely to lead. The House bill (§30407(a)) would have required
the Secretary to administer the leasing program so as to “result in no significant
adverse effect on fish and wildlife, their habitat, and the environment, [and to
require] the application of the best commercially available technology....” The House
bill (§30403(a)(2)) would also have required that this program be done “in a manner
that ensures the receipt of fair market value by the public for the mineral resources
to be leased.” It is unclear how the two goals of environmental protection and of fair
market value were to relate to each other (e.g., if environmental restrictions might
make some fields uneconomic). As in the 107th Congress, the House bill
(§§30406(a)(3) and (5)) was identical to §§6506(a)(3) and (5) in the 107th Congress.
H.R. 770 and S. 543 would have designated the area as wilderness, as discussed
The Size of Footprints — Federal Lands. Newer technologies permit
greater consolidation of leasing operations, which would tend to reduce
environmental impacts of development. On this issue, the debate in Congress has
focused on the size of footprints in the development and production phases of energy
leasing. The term footprint does not have a universally accepted definition, and
therefore the types of structures falling under a “footprint restriction” are arguable
(e.g., whether to include roads, gravel mines, and port facilities). (See CRS Report
RL32108, North Slope Infrastructure and the ANWR Debate, for a description of
development features on the North Slope.) In addition, it has been unclear whether
structures on Native lands would be included under any provision limiting footprints.
Development advocates have emphasized the total acreage of surface disturbance,
while opponents have emphasized the dispersal of not only the structures themselves
but also their impacts over the 1.5 million acres of the 1002 area. One single facility
of 2,000 acres (3.1 square miles, a limit currently supported by some development
advocates) would not permit full development of the 1002 area: the current world
record for lateral drilling technology is 7 miles from the wellhead. Even if that
record could be matched on all sides of a single pad, at most about 11% of the
Coastal Plain could be developed. Instead, full development of the 1002 area would
require that facilities, even if limited to 2,000 acres total, be dispersed.
107th Congress. H.R. 4 (§6507(d)(9)) would have provided for consolidation
of leasing operations; among other things, consolidation would tend to reduce
environmental impacts of development. H.R. 4 (§6507(a)(3)) would have gone
further to require, “consistent with the provisions of section 6503” (which included
ensuring receipt of fair market value), that the Secretary administer the leasing
program to “ensure that the maximum amount of surface acreage covered by
production and support facilities, including airstrips and any areas covered by gravel
berms or piers for the support of pipelines, does not exceed 2,000 acres on the
Coastal Plain.” A floor amendment to H.R. 4 with this acreage restriction was passed
on August 1, 2001 (yeas 228, nays 201; Roll Call #316). The terms used were not
defined in the bill (nor discussed in the committee report), and therefore the full set
of structures that might have fallen under the restriction was arguable (e.g., whether
roads, gravel mines, and structures on Native lands would be included under this
provision). Floor debate focused on the extent to which the facilities covered in the
amendment would be widely distributed around the Refuge. The acreage limitation
appeared not to apply to Native lands.
108th Congress. The House bill (§30407(d)(9)) provided for consolidation
of leasing operations in language identical to that in the 107th Congress. A floor
amendment by Representative Wilson (NM) to the House bill with an identical 2000acre limit was passed on April 10, 2003 (yeas 226, nays 202; Roll Call #134). Floor
debate focused on the extent to which the facilities would be widely distributed
around the Refuge. In addition, Native lands might not have been limited by this
provision. (See “Native Lands,” below.)
Native Lands. ANCSA resolved aboriginal claims against the United States
by (among other things) creating Village Corporations that could select lands to
which they held the surface estate, and Regional Corporations that could select
surface and subsurface rights as well. The surface lands (originally approximately
three townships) selected by Kaktovik Inupiat Village (KIC) are along the coastal
plain of ANWR (but were administratively excluded from being considered as within
the “1002 Coastal Plain”). These lands and a fourth township that is within the
defined Coastal Plain (totaling approximately 92,000 acres) are all within the Refuge
and subject to regulations of the Refuge. The Arctic Slope Regional Corporation
(ASRC) obtained subsurface rights beneath the KIC lands pursuant to a 1983 land
exchange agreement. In addition, there are currently more than 10,000 acres of
conveyed and individually owned Native allotments in the1002 area of the Refuge
that are not subject to Refuge regulations.
107th Congress. H.R. 4 would have repealed the ANILCA prohibition on oil
and gas development. If oil and gas development were authorized for the federal
lands in the Refuge, it appears that development could occur on the more than
100,000 acres of Native lands, arguably free of any acreage limitation applying to
development on the federal lands. The extent to which the Native lands could be
regulated to protect the environment is uncertain, given the status of allotments and
some of the language in the 1983 Agreement with ASRC. (See CRS Report
RL31115 for additional legal analysis.) After the cloture vote on S.Amdt. 3132 on
April 18, 2002, Senator Stevens publicly stated his intent to offer an amendment to
open Native lands in this part of the Refuge to energy development, but he did not
to do so.
108th Congress. The House bill would have repealed the ANILCA
prohibition on oil and gas development. (See preceding paragraph.)
Revenue Disposition. Another issue that has arisen during debates over
leasing in the ANWR is that of disposition of possible revenues — whether Congress
may validly allocate revenues according to a formula other than the 90/10 percent
split specified in the Alaska Statehood Act. A court in Alaska v. United States (35
Fed. Cl. 685, 701 (1996) seems to have indicated that the language in the Statehood
Act means that Alaska is to be treated like other states under the Mineral Leasing Act
of 1920 (MLA; ch. 85; 30 U.S.C. 181), which contains (basically) a 90/10 split.
However, Congress can establish a non-MLA leasing regimen with a different ratio
— for example, the separate leasing arrangements that govern the National
Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (where the revenue-sharing formula is 50/50).
In the past, a number of ANWR bills have specified the disposition of the
federal portion of the revenues. Among the spending purposes have been federal
land acquisition, energy research, and federal assistance to local governments in
Alaska to mitigate the impact of energy development. Amounts would have been
either permanently or annually appropriated. In the latter case, there would be little
practical distinction between annually appropriating funds based on ANWR revenues
and annually appropriating funds from the General Treasury. If there is no particular
purpose specified for leasing revenues, the resulting revenues would be deposited in
the Treasury where they would be available for any general government use.
107th Congress. Several sections of H.R. 4 related to revenues. Section 6512
would have provided that 50% of adjusted revenues be paid to Alaska. Then 50%
of revenues from bonus payments were to go into a Renewable Energy Technology
Investment Fund; and 50% from rents and royalties were to go into a Royalties
Conservation Fund. It is not clear whether the basis for the shared revenues was to
be gross or net receipts. More fundamentally, under §6503(a), the Secretary was to
establish and implement a leasing program under the Mineral Leasing Act, yet §6512
directed a revenue sharing program different from that in the MLA. Establishing a
leasing program under the MLA, yet providing for a different revenue disposition
could have raised additional questions of legal validity. If the alternative disposition
were struck down and the revenue provisions were determined to be severable, it is
possible that Alaska could have received 90% of the revenues from ANWR.
108th Congress. Several sections of the House bill related to revenues.
Section 30409 would have provided that 50% of adjusted revenues be paid to Alaska,
and the balance deposited in the U.S. Treasury as miscellaneous receipts, except for
the portion allocated to a fund to assist Alaska communities in addressing local
impacts of energy development under §30412. The assistance fund was not to
exceed $11 million in an unspent balance, with $5 million available for annual
appropriation. Section 30403(a) was identical to §6503(a) (establishing a leasing
program under the MLA) in the 107th Congress. In addition, in the House version of
H.R. 6, §30409(c) would have allowed certain revenues from bids for leasing to be
appropriated for energy assistance for low-income households. This provision was
lacking in H.R. 4514 — the only difference between the two bills.
Natural Gas Pipeline. Significant quantities of natural gas are known to
exist in the developed oil fields on the North Slope, but cannot be sold elsewhere for
lack of transportation. If a natural gas pipeline were constructed from these fields,
any natural gas in ANWR might become economic as well. A decision to construct
a pipeline to transport natural gas from Alaska to North American markets entails
risk as well as a decision on the route.
107th Congress. The Senate version of H.R. 4 attempted to address the
pipeline by providing federal guarantees for loans to construct a natural gas transport
system. Guarantees were not to exceed 80% of a loan; and the total loan principal
to which guarantees apply was not to exceed $10 billion. The Senate bill also
provided for a tax credit for the production of Alaska North Slope gas that effectively
established a price floor of $3.25 per thousand cubic feet. Both the House and the
Senate versions addressed the route issue by prohibiting the licensing of a route that
enters Canada north of 68° latitude. Canadian energy industry interests objected to
the prohibition of the northern route through Canada (a southern route would bypass
gas reserves in far northwest Canada), and they said that the tax credit would have
given Alaskan gas producers a price advantage over Canadian producers.
108th Congress. The Senate’s revised bill, S. 2095, provided a loan guarantee
not to exceed 80% of the total capital cost of the project, nor to exceed $18 billion
(indexed for inflation), and had a tax credit mechanism that effectively would
guarantee a minimum price for natural gas transported through the pipeline. The
House’s H.R. 6 would have provided no means of reducing risk nor other economic
incentive to build. Regarding the route, the House bill, both Senate bills, and the
conference on H.R. 6 report prohibited the licensing of a route that enters Canada
north of 68º latitude. Canadian energy interests opposed a production tax credit for
Alaskan gas producers, which would tend to give a price advantage over Canadian
producers. They also objected to the prohibition of a northern route through Canada
because a southern route would bypass gas reserves in far northwest Canada. In fact,
Canadian interests are moving to build a pipeline from that area.
Project Labor Agreements. A recurring issue in federal or federally-funded
projects is whether project owners or contractors effectively should be required, by
“agreement, ” to use union workers. Project labor agreements (PLAs) are agreements
between a project owner or main contractor and the union(s) representing the craft
workers for a particular project that establish the terms and conditions of work that
will apply for the particular project. The agreement may also specify a source (such
as a union hiring hall) to supply the craft workers for the project. Typically, the
agreement is binding on all contractors and subcontractors working on the project,
and specifies wage rates and benefits, discusses procedures for resolving labor and
jurisdictional disputes, and includes a no-strike clause. Proponents argue that PLAs
ensure a reliable, efficient labor source and help keep costs down. Opponents
contend that PLAs inflate project costs and decrease competition. There are few
independent data to sort out these conflicting assertions and demonstrate whether
PLAs contribute to lower or higher project costs. Construction and other unions and
their supporters strongly favor PLAs because they believe that PLAs help ensure
access for union members to federal and federally funded projects. Nonunion firms
and their supporters believe that PLAs unfairly restrict their access to those projects.
107th Congress. H.R. 4 (§6506) directed the Secretary to require lessees “to
negotiate to obtain a project labor agreement.” The Secretary was to do so
“recognizing the Government’s proprietary interest in labor stability and the ability
of construction labor and management to meet the particular needs and conditions
of projects to be developed ....” In §714 of the Senate-passed version of H.R. 4, the
Senate “urges” the sponsors of any pipeline project to carry natural gas south to U.S.
or Canadian markets from North Slope development (on or off the Refuge) “to
negotiate a project labor agreement to expedite construction of the pipeline.”
108th Congress. The House’s H.R. 6 contained the same requirement for a
PLA. The gas pipeline provisions in the House and Senate bills both urged the
sponsors of the pipeline project “to negotiate a project labor agreement to expedite
construction of the pipeline.”
Oil Export Restrictions. Export of North Slope oil in general, and any
ANWR oil in particular, has been an issue, beginning at least with the authorization
of the TransAlaska Pipeline (TAPS) in 1973, and continuing into the current ANWR
debate. Much of the TAPS route is on federal lands and the MLA prohibits export
of oil transported through pipelines granted rights-of-way over federal lands (16
U.S.C. §185(u)). The Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act (P.L. 93-153, 43
U.S.C. §1651 et seq.), specified in 1973 that oil shipped through it could be exported
only under very restrictive conditions. Subsequent legislation strengthened the
export restrictions further. 6 Oil began to be shipped through the pipeline in
increasing amounts as North Slope oilfield development grew in the 1970s and
1980s. With exports effectively banned, much of North Slope oil went to West Coast
destinations; the rest was shipped to the Gulf Coast via the Panama Canal or overland
across the isthmus. In the early and mid-1990s, the combination of Californian and
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (P.L. 94-163), the 1977 amendments to
the Export Administration Act (P.L. 95-52 and P.L. 95-223), and the Export Administration
Act of 1979 (P.L. 96-72), which replaced the Export Administration Act of 1969.
federal offshore production, North Slope oil, and imports resulted in such large
quantities relative to demand that crude oil prices in California fell below those
elsewhere in the United States, eliciting complaints from California and North Slope
By 1995, several years of low world oil prices and relative calm in the Mideast
had reduced concern about petroleum supplies. Market forces eventually created
pressure to change the law. On November 28, 1995, P.L. 104-58 ( 109 Stat. 557) was
enacted, Title II of which amended the MLA to provide that oil transported through
TAPS may be exported unless the President finds, after considering stated criteria,
that it is not in the national interest. The President may impose terms and conditions;
and authority to export may be modified or revoked. Beginning with 36,000
barrels/day in 1996, ANS exports rose to 74,000 barrels/day in 1999, representing 7%
of North Slope production. North Slope oil exports ceased voluntarily in May 2000 ,
as Alaska producers found adequate U.S. markets at world prices.
107th Congress. H.R. 4 (§6506 (a)(8)) would have required the Secretary to
prohibit export of oil produced under a lease in the 1002 area as a condition of a
108th Congress. The House bill (§30406(a)(8)) would have required the
prohibition on the export of oil produced in the 1002 area as a condition of a lease.
NEPA Compliance. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; P.L.
91-190; 42 U.S.C. §4321) requires the preparation of an environmental impact
statement (EIS) to examine the effects of major federal actions on the environment.
The last full EIS examining the effects of energy development in ANWR was the
Final Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (FLEIS) completed in 1987 . A
leasing program might be challenged in the absence of a newer analysis of possible
107th Congress. Both bills addressed the issue. H.R. 4 (§6503(c)) deemed
the 1987 FLEIS adequate with respect to actions by the Secretary to develop leasing
regulations, yet required the Secretary to prepare an EIS with respect to other actions,
some of which might require only a (usually shorter) “environmental assessment.”
Consideration of alternatives was to be limited to two choices: a preferred option and
a “single leasing alternative.” (Generally, an EIS analyzes a range of alternatives,
including a “no action” alternative.)
108th Congress. Section 30403(c) of the House bill had the same provisions
on NEPA compliance.
Compatibility with Refuge Purposes. Under current law for the
management of national wildlife refuges (16 U.S.C. §668dd), an activity may be
allowed in a refuge only if it is compatible with the general purposes of the Refuge
System, and any specific purposes of the particular refuge.
107th Congress. H.R. 4 (§6503(c)) stated that the oil and gas leasing program
and activities in the Coastal Plain were deemed to be compatible with the purposes
for which ANWR was established and that no further findings or decisions were
required to implement this determination. This language appears intended to answer
the compatibility question and to eliminate the usual compatibility determination
processes. The general statement that leasing “activities” are compatible arguably
encompassed necessary support activities such as construction and operation of port
facilities, staging areas, personnel centers, etc.
108th Congress. Section 30403(c) of the House bill had the same provisions
as in the 107th Congress.
Judicial Review. Leasing proponents urge that any ANWR leasing program
be put in place promptly ; expediting judicial review may be one means to that goal.
Judicial review can be expedited through procedural changes, such as reducing the
time limits within which suits must be filed, avoiding some level of review, curtailing
the scope of the review, or increasing the burden imposed on challengers. In the past,
bills before Congress have combined various elements.
107th Congress. H.R. 4 contemplated prompt action to put a leasing program
in place and had sections on expedited judicial review. H.R. 4 would have required
that complaints be filed within 90 days. H.R. 4 (§§6508(a)(1) and (2)) appeared to
contradict each other as to where suits are to be filed and it is possible part of a
sentence was omitted. H.R. 4 (§6508(a)(3)) would also have limited the scope of
review by stating that review of a Secretarial decision, including environmental
analyses, was to be limited to whether the Secretary complied with the terms of
Division F of H.R. 4, be based on the administrative record, and that the Secretary’s
analysis of environmental effects was “presumed to be correct unless shown
otherwise by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.” This standard in this
context arguably would make overturning a decision more difficult.
108th Congress. The House bill (§30408) had the same provisions as in the
Special Areas. Some have raised the possibility of setting aside certain
special areas described in the FLEIS on the 1002 area for their ecological or cultural
values. This could be done either by designating the areas specifically in legislation,
or by authorizing the Secretary to set aside areas to be selected after enactment.
Development of such areas could be forbidden and/or surface occupancy could be
107th Congress. H.R. 4 (§6503(e)) allowed the Secretary to set aside up to
45,000 acres of special areas, and named one specific area in which leases, if
permitted, would forbid surface occupancy. The FLEIS identified four special areas
which together total more than 52,000 acres, so the Secretary would have been
required to select among these areas or any others that may seem significant. H.R.
770 and S. 411 would have designated the entire 1002 area as wilderness.
108th Congress. The House bill (§30403(e)) had the same provisions as in
the 107th Congress. Section 30403(f) also stated that the closure authority in the
ANWR title was to be the Secretary’s sole authority, which might limit possible
secretarial actions under the Endangered Species Act (P.L.93-205; 16 U.S.C.
§1531ff). H.R. 770 and S. 543 would have designated the entire 1002 area as
Non-Development Options. Several options have been available to
Congress to either postpone or forbid development, unless Congress were later to
change the law. These options are allowing exploration only, designating the 1002
area as wilderness, and taking no action. The legislative history of these options is
Exploration Only. Some have argued that the 1002 area should be opened
to exploration first, before a decision is made on whether to proceed to leasing.
Those with this view hold that with greater certainty about the presence or absence
of energy resources, a better decision could be made about whether to open the
coastal plain for full leasing. This idea has had relatively little support over the years.
For those opposed to energy development, the reasons are fairly clear: if exploration
results in no or insufficient economic discoveries, any damage from exploration
would remain. If there were economic discoveries, support for further development
might be unstoppable. Those who support development see unacceptable risks in
such a proposal. First, who would be charged with carrying out exploration, who
would pay for it, and to whom would the results be available? Second, if no
economic discoveries were made, would that be because the “best” places (in the
eyes of whatever observer) were not examined? Third, might any small discoveries
become economic in the future? Fourth, if discoveries did occur, could industry still
be foreclosed from development, or might sparse but promising data elevate bidding
to unreasonable levels? Fifth, if exploration is authorized, what provisions, if any,
should pertain to Native lands? In short, various advocates see insufficient gain from
such a proposal .
107th Congress. While an exploration bill was mentioned in the past, none
was introduced in the 107th Congress.
108th Congress. No exploration bill was introduced in the 108th Congress.
Wilderness Designation. Energy development is not permitted in
wilderness areas, unless there are valid pre-existing rights or unless Congress
specifically allows it or later reverses the designation. Development of the surface
and subsurface holdings of Native corporations would be precluded inside wilderness
boundaries (though compensation might be owed). It would also preserve existing
recreational opportunities and jobs, as well as the existing level of protection of
subsistence resources, including the Porcupine Caribou Herd.
107th Congress. H.R. 770 and S. 411 would have designated the 1002 area as
108th Congress. H.R. 770 and S. 543 would have designated the 1002 area as
Presidential Certification. Under the two Senate amendments to S. 517 in
the 107th Congress (which were ultimately rejected by the Senate), the leasing
provisions would have taken effect upon a determination and certification by the
President that development of the Coastal Plain is in the national economic and
security interests of the United States. This determination and certification were to
be in the sole discretion of the President and are not reviewable. This option has not
been raised in other bills.
No Action. Because current law prohibits development unless Congress acts,
this option also prevents energy development . Those supporting delay often argue
that not enough is known about either the probability of discoveries or about the
environmental impact if development is permitted. Others argue that oil deposits
should be saved for an unspecified “right time.”
Legislation in the 107th Congress
H.R. 4 (Tauzin)
Division F, Title V, contained the provisions of H.R. 2436, with the inclusion
of a new provision for a 50/50 federal/state revenue split. Introduced July 27, 2001;
referred to Committees on Energy and Commerce, Science, Ways and Means,
Resources, Education and the Workforce, Transportation and Infrastructure, the
Budget, and Financial Services. August 1, 2001, House passed Sununu amendment
to limit specified surface development to 2,000 acres (yeas 228, nays 201; Roll Call
#316) and defeated Markey-Johnson (CT) amendment to strike Title V defeated (yeas
206, nays 223; Roll Call #317). Passed House August 2, 2001 (yeas 240, nays 189;
Roll Call #320). House conferees appointed June 12, 2002. Senate struck all after
enacting clause and substituted text of S. 517 (amended); passed Senate April 25,
2002 (yeas 88, nays 11; Roll Call #94). Senate appointed conferees May 1, 2002.
H.R. 39 (D. Young)
Would have repealed current prohibition against ANWR leasing; directed the
Secretary to establish competitive oil and gas leasing program; specified that the
1987 FLEIS would be sufficient for compliance with NEPA; authorized set-asides
up to 45,000 acres of Special Areas that restrict surface occupancy; set minimum for
royalty payments and for tract sizes; and for other purposes. Introduced January 3,
2001; referred to Committee on Resources.
H.R. 770 (Markey)
Would have designated Arctic coastal plain of ANWR as wilderness.
Introduced February 28, 2001; referred to Committee on Resources.
H.R. 2436 (Hansen)
Title V would have repealed current prohibition against ANWR leasing;
directed Secretary to establish competitive oil and gas leasing program; specified that
the 1987 FLEIS would be sufficient for compliance with NEPA; authorized setasides up to 45,000 acres of Special Areas that restrict surface occupancy; set
minimum acreage for the first lease sale and minimum royalty payments; prohibited
ANWR oil export; specified project labor agreements; and for other purposes.
Introduced July 10, 2001; referred to Committee on Resources and on Energy and
Commerce. Reported (amended) by Resources on July 25 (H.Rept. 107-160, Part I)
and discharged by Energy and Commerce on July 25, 2001. Provisions incorporated
into H.R. 4.
S. 388 (Murkowski)
Title V would have opened the 1002 area to energy leasing; provided for the
timing and size of lease sales; specified that the 1987 FLEIS would be sufficient for
compliance with NEPA; required posting of bonds for reclamation; required
expedited judicial review; authorized set-asides up to 45,000 acres of Special Areas
that restrict surface occupancy; provided for a 50/50 revenue split with the state;
required on-site inspections, provided for use of any federal revenues; and other
purposes. Introduced February 26, 2001; referred to Committee on Energy and
S. 411 (Lieberman)
Would have designated Arctic coastal plain of ANWR as wilderness.
Introduced February 28, 2001; referred to Committee on Environment and Public
S. 517 (Bingaman)
Would have authorized a program for technology transfer in the Department of
Energy. Introduced March 12, 2001; referred to Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources. Reported June 6, 2001 (S.Rept. 107-30). February 15, 2002, laid before
Senate by unanimous consent. February 15, 2002, S.Amdt. 2917 (Daschle) proposed ,
authorizing an omnibus energy program. S.Amdt. 3132 (Murkowski) and S.Amdt.
3133 (Stevens) would have opened the Refuge to energy development; filed April 16,
2002; S.Amdt. 3133 failed cloture motion (36 yeas to 64 nays; Roll Call #70) and
was withdrawn, April 18, 2002. S.Amdt. 3132 failed cloture motion (46 yeas to 54
nays; Roll Call #71) on April 18, 2002. A cloture motion was filed on S. 517 on
April 18, 2002; cloture invoked April 23 (yeas 86, nays 13; Roll Call #77). Senate
incorporated this measure in H.R. 4 as an amendment, April 25, 2002.
S. 1766 (Daschle)
Would have altered national energy programs in a variety of ways; lacked
provisions to open ANWR. Introduced December 5, 2001; not referred to
Legislation in the 108th Congress
H.R. 6 (Tauzin)
Title IV, Division C would have repealed current prohibition against ANWR
development, created energy leasing program, and provided for distribution of
revenues. Introduced April 7, 2003; referred to eight committees, including
Committee on Resources. April 10, 2003, House passed Wilson (NM) amendment
to limit specified surface development to 2,000 acres (yeas 226, nays 202; Roll Call
#134) and defeated Markey-Johnson (CT) amendment to strike Title IV, Division C
(yeas 197, nays 228; Roll Call #135). Passed House April 11, 2003 (yeas 247, nays
175; Roll Call #145). Passed Senate (amended, no ANWR development provisions)
July 31, 2003 (yeas 84, nays 15; Roll Call #317). Conference report (H.Rept. 108-
375) filed November 18, 2003. Conference report agreed to in House November 18,
2003 (yeas 246, nays 180; Roll Call #630). Cloture motion failed in Senate
November 21, 2003 (yeas 57, nays 40; Roll Call #456).
H.R. 39 (D. Young)
Would have repealed current prohibition against development in ANWR; and
for other purposes. Introduced January 7, 2003; referred to Committee on Resources.
H.R. 770 (Markey)
Would have designated the 1002 area of ANWR as wilderness. Introduced
February 13, 2003; referred to Committee on Resources.
H.R. 4514 (Pombo)
Virtually identical to House-passed version of H.R. 6; see “Revenue
Disposition” above for only difference. Introduced June 4, 2004; referred to
Committee on Resources.
S. 543 (Lieberman)
Would have designated the 1002 area of ANWR as wilderness. Introduced
March 5, 2003; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works.
For Additional Reading
National Academies of Science. Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas
Activities on Alaska’s North Slope. March 2003. 452 p.
Nelleman, C. and R. D. Cameron. Cumulative Impacts of an Evolving Oil-field
Complex on the Distribution of Calving Caribou. Canadian Journal of Zoology.
1998. Vol. 76, p. 1425.
Revkin, Andrew C. Hunting for Oil: New Precision, Less Pollution. New York
Times. January 30, 2001. p. D1-D2.
U.S. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Land Management. Overview of the
1991 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Recoverable Petroleum Resource Update.
Washington, DC, April 8, 1991. 8 p., 2 maps.
U.S. Department of the Interior. Fish and Wildlife Service, Geological Survey, and
Bureau of Land Management. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, Coastal
Plain Resource Assessment. Report and Recommendation to the Congress of
the United States and Final Legislative Environmental Impact Statement.
Washington, DC, 1987. 208 p.
U.S. Department of the Interior. Geological Survey. The Oil and Gas Resource
Potential of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1002 Area, Alaska. 1999. 2
CD set. USGS Open File Report 98-34.
U.S. Department of the Interior. U.S. Geological Survey. Arctic Refuge Coastal
Plain Terrestrial Wildlife Research Summaries. Biological Science Report
U.S. Department of the Interior. U.S. Geological Survey. “Evaluation of additional
potential development scenarios for the 1002 Area of the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge.” Memorandum from Brad Griffith, Assistant Leader, Alaska
Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, to Charles D. Groat, Director,
U.S. Geological Survey. April 4, 2002 .
U.S. General Accounting Office.7 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: An Assessment
of Interior’s Estimate of an Economically Viable Oil Field. Washington, DC,
July, 1993. 31 p. GAO/RCED-93-130.
CRS Issue Brief IB10136. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies
for the 109th Congress. M. Lynne Corn, Bernard A. Gelb, Pamela Baldwin.
CRS Report RL31022. Arctic Petroleum Technology Development. Bernard A.
Gelb, M. Lynne Corn, Terry R. Twyman.
CRS Report RS21030. ANWR Development: Economic Impacts. Bernard A. Gelb.
CRS Report RL31115. Legal Issues Related to Proposed Drilling for Oil and Gas
in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Pamela Baldwin.
CRS Report RL30862. The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate’s “Byrd
Rule.” Robert Keith.
CRS Report RL32108. North Slope Infrastructure and the ANWR Debate. M.
CRS Report RS20368. Overview of the Congressional Budget Process. Bill Heniff,
CRS Report 98-814. Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and
Consideration. Bill Heniff, Jr.
CRS Report RL31278. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Background and Issues. M.
Lynne Corn (Coordinator).
CRS Report RL31447. Wilderness: Overview and Statistics. Ross W. Gorte.
CRS Report RL31033. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fuel Equivalents
to Potential Oil Production from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
This agency is now called the Government Accountability Office.
Archived CRS Products
For those interested in more historical detail, the following archived CRS
products are available upon request. They were current as of the date given below.
(For more information on these products, call Anne Gillis at 7-8984.)
IB10116. Energy Policy: the Continuing Debate and Omnibus Energy Legislation.
Robert L. Bamberger. December 23, 2004. 16 p.
IB10111. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Controversies for the 108th Congress. M.
Lynne Corn, Bernard A. Gelb, Pamela Baldwin. November 1, 2004. 16 p.
IB10094. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Legislative Issues. M. Lynne Corn,
Bernard A. Gelb, Pamela Baldwin. October 22, 2002. 15 p.
IB10073. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: the Next Chapter. M. Lynne Corn,
Bernard A. Gelb, Pamela Baldwin. December 17, 2001 17 p.
IB10055. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: the Next Chapter. M. Lynne Corn,
Pamela Baldwin. June 1, 2000. 16 p.
IB95071. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. M. Lynne Corn, Lawrence C.
Kumins, Pamela Baldwin. September 5, 1996. 14 p.
IB91011. Arctic Resources: Over a Barrel? M. Lynne Corn, Claudia Copeland,
Pamela Baldwin. April 24, 1992. 14 p.
IB89058. Arctic Resources Controversy. M. Lynne Corn, Claudia Copeland,
Pamela Baldwin. January 12, 1990. 15 p.
IB87228. Arctic Resources Controversy. M. Lynne Corn, John E. Blodgett, Pamela
Baldwin. January 4, 1989. 16 p.
IB87026. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Oil, Gas, and Wildlife. M. Lynne
Corn, John Schanz. December 17, 1987. 7 p.