Congress discusses expanded oil and gas drilling as source of transportation funding

|  March 29, 2013 |

North Dakota Oil rig

An oil rig is shown on near Williston, North Dakota. Oil extraction discoveries have led to rapid industrial development and job creation in the area. Tom Reichner /

With talks in Congress over how to raise transportation funding at a standstill, some lawmakers have voiced their opinion that the answer is oil, according to our sister publication Better Roads.

Speaker of the House John Boehner recently called revenues for infrastructure improvements via oil and gas drilling expansions a “natural link.” But some lobbyists are concerned that even expanded oil drilling won’t generated enough money to stabilize the Highway Trust Fund.

And many lawmakers feel that the $4.3 billion over 10 years expanded drilling would raise is still too little to make up for the $15 billion the fund falls short each year.

There is hope for the effort: the Obama administration has embraced an Energy Security Trust proposal that would direct $200 million for 10 years to annual energy lease revenues for research on fuel cells, natural gas and similar technology.

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