House Backs Oil And Gas Bills

March 2012, Vol. 239 No. 3

Stephen Barlas

Two House committees passed a jumbo infrastructure bill in February and a third was likely to follow suit, meaning the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act will probably pass the House quickly. How quickly the Senate will follow suit is unclear.

The bill reauthorizes federal transportation funding for highways and the like and also eliminates some federal restrictions on oil and gas development. The oil and gas provisions passed by the Natural Resources Committee were divided up into three separate bills, all of which passed with unanimous Republican support and one or two Democratic votes.

Those three energy bills require 1) President Obama to move forward with new offshore energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources that he placed off limits for drilling after taking office, 2) open less than 3% of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
(ANWR) in Alaska to responsible energy development by directing the Interior Secretary to establish lease sales in the North Slope, 3) clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources and promoting shale development of U.S. oil shale resources and promoting shale
technology research and development.

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