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Ben Geman Dec 20
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The next battles over ANWR

The Franklin Mountains, which are located in a different part of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Universal Images Group via Getty Images

After Senate passage in the wee hours of Wednesday, the House is slated to vote on and send a tax bill for President Trump's signature that opens Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration later today.

Why it matters: The bill mandates the first lease sale within four years, although the Interior Department declined comment Tuesday as to how quickly they would seek to schedule a lease sale. The bill is a major, long-sought victory for Alaskan lawmakers and other backers of opening the ANWR's coastal plain, who say developing the area will help boost the state's economy and further boost U.S. energy security.