This is pretty big. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is not tax revenue, it is funded by fees from offshore drilling leases. It was the blood money paid by oil firms to compensate Americans for the destruction of the marine environment caused by offshore drilling. The money was supposed to go to save sensitive lands and waters by enabling their purchase for parks,, wilderness areas, and public recreation areas. However, as is the way of all things Republican, as soon as the ink was dry on the bill, Republicans started stealing the money away at every opportunity. What was supposed to be a piddling $900 million to save land in America got stolen away near as I can tell simply because Republicans hate all things good. At the same time as they were trying their best to privatize all our public lands they were voting to subsidize the very industries that were most responsible for destroying them, Big Oil, Big Gas, and Big Coal. Annual subsidies to those industries total nearly 80 billion dollars. 80 Billion TAX Dollars!
I have little expectation that the House will vote to end subsidies to Exxon Corporation which receives around $9 billion and pays zero income tax on its $42 billion in profits just last year because it has registered its headquarters outside of the United States of America. I have little confidence that Congress will move to make BP sell to American markets only all of the oil it gets from drilling in American waters. Same thing in Alaska, where Republicans spout the incredibly transparent hypocrisy that we have to drill in the Arctiv national Wildlife Refuge in order to end America's dependence on foreign oil, when most of Alaskan oil is sold to Asian markets. Perhaps the best real solution for America would be for us to take at least one of those massive ships they are deploying in the Gulf to suck up 120 billion barrels of oil scum and first clean all the oil scum out of Congress.
Since that will not happen, let's rejoice at this small victory. It's not a done deal until it clears the full House and Senate but I have hopes.
Under the leadership of Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV), the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee approved the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2009 (CLEAR Act, HR 3534) and included a provision that would annually fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at its authorized level of $900 million.