House passes bill setting US energy-production goals

Debate on the bill took place Wednesday, when several Democrats argued that Congress should focus on raising taxes on U.S. oil companies and perhaps even using increased government revenues to reimburse U.S. drivers facing higher gas prices. Republicans rejected these arguments and said prices will fall when the U.S. shows it is serious about increasing domestic energy exploration and production.

The House rejected seven Democratic amendments to the bill on Wednesday and Thursday. It rejected amendments that would have, among other things, required increased royalty payments from oil companies to the government, require the disclosure of oil company bonuses, make permanent a ban on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and make it harder to drill off the coasts of California and Washington state.