Bill Would Open More Federal Lands to Oil, Gas Production

Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014 05:47 PM

By Greg Richter

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Rep. Doug Lamborn is introducing a bill Wednesday night that he expects to pass the House this week to open more federal lands to oil and natural gas production.

"It's going to make the permitting easier," Lamborn, a Colorado Republican, said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

"It's going to allow places to be open that right now this administration is shutting down and blocking off and locking away from oil and gas production —  especially offshore."

Lamborn acknowledged that fear is a big factor in seeking more energy independence, with the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria taking over oil production facilities in Iraq in recent days.

"We can't necessarily change what's happening in Iraq with ISIS," Lamborn said. "What we can influence is our domestic oil production."

President Barack Obama is seeking to increase alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, and 87 percent of offshore areas are off limits for drilling. Lamborn said he favors increased alternative energy sources, but said oil and gas have the most potential for expansion in the near term because solar and wind won't be commercially viable for decades.

Republicans hold the House, but the bill isn't likely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to bring bills up for a vote that don't fit the Democrats' agenda of immigration reform and other issues ahead of this year's midterm elections.


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