Hastings, Young push bill to open ANWR to drilling

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- Two U.S. House Republicans are proposing legislation to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling to spur domestic energy production and create jobs.

House Natural Resources Committee Chair Doc Hastings of Washington and Rep. Don Young of Alaska announced plans Friday to push the "Alaska Energy for American Jobs Act."

The measure would allow for oil and gas development on the refuge's coastal plain, an area designated for potential development. Hastings said in a news release that the measure will open less than 3 percent of the ANWR's 19 million acres and produce billions of barrels of oil and generate billions of dollars in revenues.

Environmentalists say the figures used to tout the potential benefit of opening the refuge are exaggerated and don't see the measure gaining much steam.