House votes to expand drilling, approve Keystone XL

Darren Goode
Politico.com
2/16/2012

House lawmakers on Thursday approved a plan to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline and expand drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The 237-187 victory for Republican leaders — as part of one portion of a much larger energy and infrastructure strategy — was a relatively painless start to what has become a difficult endeavor for the overall package.

By voice vote, lawmakers on Thursday approved a bipartisan amendment from Gulf Coast representatives directing 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines tied to the BP oil spill to go toward Gulf restoration efforts.

They also easily approved Republican amendments to quicken federal environmental reviews for renewable energy projects on federal lands and waters, and for a geothermal exploration test project…

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