Lawmakers OK bill to speed up oil, gas drilling
The House approved a bill Wednesday aimed at speeding up drilling for oil and natural gas.
The measure was one of three energy measures the House was considering this week as Republicans controlling the chamber push to expand an oil and gas boom that’s lowered prices and led the U.S. to produce more oil last month than it imported from abroad.
Another bill expected to win approval later Wednesday would restrict the Interior Department from enforcing proposed rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands. A third bill would streamline permitting for natural gas pipelines.
Supporters say the bills are needed to ensure that a drilling boom taking place on state and private lands extends to millions of acres, mostly in the West, under federal control.
President Obama has promised to veto the bills, saying they are unnecessary and run counter to protections put in place for oil and gas drilling.