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House set to OK bills to speed oil, gas drilling

Posted: November 21, 2013 - 1:09am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House is considering three energy bills aimed at speeding up drilling for oil and natural gas.

One of the bills that are 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 second would set strict deadlines for federal approval of oil and gas permits.

A third bill would streamline permitting for natural gas pipelines.

Supporters say the bills are needed to ensure that the nation takes full advantage of 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.

President Barack Obama says he’ll veto the bills. He says they run counter to protections for oil and gas drilling.

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