Tags: energy | debate | drilling | gop

Republicans Gear Up for Summer Energy Debate

Image: Republicans Gear Up for Summer Energy Debate Rep. Doc Hastings

Tuesday, 04 Jun 2013 12:14 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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House Republicans are gearing up for another summer of heated debate over oil and gas drilling, which likely will end in a series of energy bills brought to the floor before the August recess.

Some of the legislation, similar to bills introduced in the last Congress, would expand drilling, block environmental regulations, and speed pipeline permits, reports Politico.

But this time around, the Republican rallying cry of "drill, baby, drill" may not be that loud. Gas prices are expected to stabilize over the next month to an average of about $3.50 a gallon, according to AAA.

Still, GOP leaders are expected to focus on measures to lift restrictions on development of oil and gas reserves, including one unveiled last month by Reps. Doc Hastings, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, and Fred Upton, chairman of the Commerce Committee. That bill would increase oil and gas production goals and create a five-year leasing plan for offshore drilling along the coasts of California, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Hastings also has introduced a bill to open the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska for more development, Politico noted.

Even if the bills make it through the House, it's unlikely they would would be approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate. Some would face an almost-certain presidential veto.

Democratic leaders in Congress say expanded drilling isn't necessary because U.S. energy production is continuing to grow under existing policies.


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