Early this morning, the House passed a highly contentious budget reconciliation bill; it remained stripped of provisions that would allow drilling in the Arctic Refuge and new oil exploration in offshore areas, but it still contained the much-fretted-over “mining reform” provision that would sell off millions of acres of public land at fire-sale prices, as described in detail by Amanda Griscom Little yesterday.

The Senate passed its version of the bill earlier this month — it does call for drilling the refuge and offshore areas, but doesn’t call for a sell-off of mining lands.

Now we’ll have to wait and see how a compromise version shakes out during negotiations in House-Senate conference committee. Bets, anyone?

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