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House Blocks Federal Fracking Rules

Pete Kasperowicz | The Hill
Nov 20, 2013

The House passed legislation Wednesday evening that would block the Department of the Interior from regulating hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in states that already have their own regulations in place.

Members passed the bill 235-187 with the help of 12 Democrats; two Republicans voted against it.

The bill, H.R. 2728, is one of three energy bills House Republicans brought up this week to speed up the process of extracting and moving energy across the country, which the GOP said would help lower energy costs and create jobs.

President Obama's veto threat against the bill, and the likelihood that the Senate will ignore it, means it stands almost no chance of becoming law. Nonetheless, Republicans argued that pending rules from Interior would only slow down energy production and job creation in states that are already regulating fracking.

"Hydraulic fracturing has been safely and effectively regulated by states for decades," said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA). "So the Obama administration's proposed regulations are unnecessary. They're redundant, and it simply wastes precious time and money duplicating what is already being done successfully."

Republicans added that the Obama administration has shown no evidence that states are bungling the job of regulating fracking.

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