Law­mak­ers OK bill to speed up oil, gas drilling

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

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.

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