For the third day this week, the U.S. House of Representatives wasted scarce floor time to debate and vote on legislation granting favors to the oil and gas industry. Today’s bill seeks to speed gas pipeline approvals—an industry priority in the midst of the current fracking-enabled gas drilling rush.
By a vote of 252–165, House members approved HR 1900, the final in a series of pro-industry, anti-environment bills up for a vote this week. None of the bills are expected to be taken up by the U.S. Senate.
Among other things, HR 1900 would require automatic approval of gas pipelines within arbitrary timeframes and limit input and participation from the public on proposed gas pipeline projects, including property owners subject to eminent domain proceedings.
This week’s string of votes comes as a new study from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington shows that oil and gas industry contributions to congressional campaigns grew 231 percent between 2004 and 2012 in districts and states with fracking activity.
The following is a statement from Earthjustice Senior Legislative Representative Jessica Ennis:
“This week, House Majority Leadership showed that they’ll sacrifice just about anything for the oil and gas industry, whether it’s the hunters and fishermen who enjoy using our public lands, parents trying to protect their children from the health impacts of fracking, even the rights of property owners along proposed gas pipeline projects.
“The reason for this loyalty? Look no further than a damning report out yesterday showing a 231 percent increase in industry contributions to candidates in areas of fracking activity.
“In the wake of the government shutdown, Congress may be back to work. But clearly it’s not the American people they’re working for.”