House panel sends trio of energy bills to floor

Committee Chairman Doc HastingsDoc HastingsCongress just resolved a 20-year debate over Neolithic remains Boehner hires new press secretary GOP plots new course on Endangered Species Act reform MORE's (R-Wash.) bill (H.R. 2231) that calls for opening the coasts of South Carolina, Virginia and California to oil-and-gas drilling moved ahead on a 23-18 vote. A similar bill cleared the House last year, but didn't get anywhere in the Senate.

Another Hastings-sponsored bill (H.R. 1964) to speed oil-and-gas lease sales and keep production open in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska got the green light with a 26-14 vote. Rep. Don YoungDon YoungHouse Republican causes stir claiming female lawmaker 'doesn’t know a damn thing' Alaska lobbies for defense boost after North Korea launch Puerto Rico statehood bid a total failure MORE (R-Alaska), who chairs the Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee, is a co-sponsor.

And the committee adopted a bill (H.R. 1548) to remove restrictions on energy development on tribal lands, also sponsored by Young, with a 25-15 vote.

The Hastings-sponsored bills are unlikely to gain traction in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and would likely earn a veto for President Obama since they would roll back administration drilling plans.

The upper chamber has, however, shown some interest in stripping regulations for energy development on tribal lands.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee held a roundtable last week to discuss legislative proposals on that topic.