Don Cry for Me
A landmark conservation bill sponsored by Alaska Rep. Don Young (R) and Sen. Frank Murkowski (R) — which also has the support of environmentalists, sports groups, local governments, and federal officials — may not make it out of Congress. The bill, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, would direct $3 billion a year from offshore oil drilling royalties into land conservation, wildlife protection, and parks programs. The bill passed the House overwhelmingly last spring, but has run into trouble in the Senate, where property rights advocates have opposed it — and time is running out in the legislative session. Still, Young, who is at the tail end of his term as chair of the House Resources Committee, views the bill as a centerpiece of his legacy and is determined to see it pass. Young and Murkowski, who are usually at odds with enviros, may try to attach the bill as a rider to a last-minute spending bill and hope that with help from the White House they can ram the measure through.