House kills last Dem amendments to drilling permit bill

The House on Wednesday defeated five Democratic amendments to a GOP bill that would set a 60-day deadline for approving applications to drill for energy on federal land.

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The votes came just moments before the House was set to approve the bill, H.R. 1965. The bill is one of three energy bills the House GOP leadership has called up this week.

In a series of roll call votes, the House defeated amendments from:

— Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), clarifying that language in the bill requiring a $5,000 charge for protests related to a drilling permit cannot be construed as something that violates anyone's constitutional right to petition the government. Failed 199-222.

— Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), striking language in the bill in order to allow the Secretary of the Interior to review oil and gas activities under the National Environmental Policy Act for significant impacts on public health and safety. Failed 194-228.

— Jackson Lee, eliminating language in the bill that prevents parties from receiving payment from the federal government for attorney fees, expenses and other court costs, as part of any judicial review of an energy permit. Failed 198-225.

— Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), requiring the National Academy of Sciences to study and report to Congress on the impact of flooding on oil and gas facilities. Failed 202-221.

— Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), redirecting $10 million from an account dealing with streamlining permitting to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which the CFTC could use to limit speculation in energy markets. Failed 195-226.