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House moves on domestic energy bill

June 23, 2011 at 8:01 AM

WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives removes obstacles to energy production on the Outer Continental Shelf, lawmakers said.

The Jobs and Energy Permitting Act, H.R. 2021, passed 253-166 on a bipartisan vote. The bill would remove obstacles to tapping into oil and natural gas reserves in the Outer Continental Shelf.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of a House energy committee, said the bill, was a common sense measure to increase jobs and domestic energy production.

"It is about cutting through the red tape and harnessing our vast resources," he said in a statement.

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., one of the bill's authors, said by tapping into resources offshore in states such as Alaska, U.S. consumers can get some relief from high energy prices.

"Exploration in Alaska will bring relief at the pump, take us one step closer toward energy independence and create tens of thousands of jobs in Alaska and the rest of the country," he said in a statement.

The bill's prospects in the Democrat-controlled Senate are uncertain. The administration of President Barack Obama voiced opposition to the House bill.

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