Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday that House plans to help fund transportation programs with a major expansion of oil-and-gas leasing don’t hold up to scrutiny.
The House GOP transportation bill mandates oil-and-gas leasing in areas off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, expands acreage available in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska’s coast, and removes the prohibition on drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
But Salazar, at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing, said the GOP plan relies on “phantom revenue.”
“We know that these places are not going to be developed in the near-term at all,” Salazar said. “They would only provide less than 10 percent of the revenue needed for surface transportation.”