With Americans feeling pain at the pump, Minnesota Republican Erik Paulsen has joined with Democrat Tim Walz on a U.S. House initiative providing money for new infrastructure and alternative energy projects with the royalties from new offshore oil drilling leases.
Walz was one of two Minnesota Democrats who voted with Republicans this week to expand offshore oil drilling, breaking with the Obama administration. The other was rural Democrat Collin Peterson.
Softening the blow for some environmentalists, Walz had telegraphed his intention to roll out a separate piece of bipartisan legislation creating a new revenue stream for roads, bridges and alternative fuels. Paulsen announced his decision to join the effort on Thursday.