House passes Tipton energy bill, 228 to 192

Measure requires plans to boost energy output on public lands

Durango Herald | Joe Hanel

November 20, 2013
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Rep. Scott Tipton celebrated the passage of his Planning for American Energy Act through the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The bill requires the secretary of the Interior to issue four-year plans on ways to boost energy output from public lands to meet the projected national demand for energy.

“These goals would be accomplished responsibly, without repealing a single environmental regulation or review process,” said Tipton, R-Cortez, on the House floor.

His bill passed as part of a broader Republican energy bill, the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act of 2013 by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs.

The broader bill requires faster approval of drilling permits and aims to speed up oil-shale development in Tipton’s district and in Utah.

Also Wednesday, the House passed a bill to ban federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, and it was working toward a vote on legislation to speed up approvals of natural-gas pipelines.

Environmentalists decried the bills.

“Once again, the House of Representatives is voting in favor of corporate profits over the health of communities,” said Executive Director Jennifer Krill in a news release. “The oil and gas industry will celebrate Christmas early with these three generous gifts from Congress.”

Lamborn’s bill, with Tipton’s amendment, passed on a 228 to 192 vote. With just seven Democrats supporting it in the House, it faces an uphill journey in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Tipton had introduced a version of his energy planning act in 2012, and similar to this year, it passed the House as part of a bigger Republican energy bill. That bill never got a Senate hearing.

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