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House energy bills called irresponsible by NRDC official

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. House oil and natural gas bills are irresponsible and will dismantle environmental safety measures, the Natural Resources Defense Council director said.

David Goldston, in a statement Thursday, said the bills, which House members say remove redundant federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, and make the approval process for new natural gas pipelines quicker, should die in the Senate.

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"These irresponsible measures are part of a continuing campaign by House Republicans to systematically dismantle longtime, sensible safety protections the American people depend on, and to deliberately let the oil and gas industry write its own rules," Goldston said.

Republican leaders in the House say President Obama's energy policies are stifling the domestic oil and natural gas sector.

Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, the former chief executive of oil and gas company Phoenix Exploration Co. who introduced a bill on fracking this week, said the federal government's "unnecessary red tape" was standing in the way of economic opportunities.

Goldston said the proposed House measures ignore environmental safety and weaken the federal government's oversight role.

The White House said Obama would veto the bills if they reached him.

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"With an appropriate White House veto promised for each bill, they should now die in the U.S. Senate," Goldston said.

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