The House voted 235-187 Wednesday to pass a bill that would block proposed Interior Department regulations on hydraulic fracturing from taking effect in states where rules are already on the books.
Republicans cheered passage of the bill, which has little chance of advancing in the Senate, as a step forward for states' rights and, they framed the issue as an attempt to defend oil and gas production from unnecessary government regulation.
"States have been effectively regulating hydraulic fracturing on both government and privately owned lands for decades," Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, the bill's sponsor, said in a statement following passage, adding, "They have consistently opposed the federal government trying to trump state expertise in this area. In order to protect American jobs and American energy production, we must limit the federal government's ability to slow down energy production on taxpayer owned federal lands with duplicative regulations and unnecessary red tape."
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., similarly applauded passage of the measure, saying it would defend the domestic oil and gas boom from heavy-handed attempts by the administration to slow production.