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Legislators look to expanded drilling for transportation funding

Posted By Amanda Bayhi On March 27, 2013 @ 5:53 pm In News & Analysis | No Comments

oilrig [1]

Since a gas tax seems to be an unlikely source of transportation funding [2], some legislators are looking to oil.

In fact, Speaker John Boehner has called revenues for infrastructure improvements via oil and gas drilling expansions a “natural link,” according to Politico [3].

However, some lobbyists are concerned that expanded drilling won’t bring in enough money to stabilize the Highway Trust Fund, which falls short by about $15 billion each year.

Lawmakers have concerns, too, since the legislation from the House estimates the bills would bring about $4.3 billion over 10 years, which is still too little.

These concerns don’t necessarily mean a dead end for expanded drilling as an infrastructure revenue, since 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.

Top Transportation Committee Democrat Nick Rahall, a former House Natural Resources chairman, said the idea of expanded drilling as funds for infrastructure is an option, but it isn’t likely to be the only solution.

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[1] Image: http://www.equipmentworld.com/files/2013/03/oilrig.jpg

[2] gas tax seems to be an unlikely source of transportation funding: http://www.equipmentworld.com/transportation-funding-talks-remain-stagnant/

[3] according to Politico: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/energy-revenue-for-infrastructure-a-natural-link-89352.html

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