A worker helps monitor water pumping pressure and temperature, at the site of a natural gas hydraulic fracturing and extraction operation run by Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., outside Rifle, in western Colorado. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
The House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday approved legislation that effectively would block the federal government from regulating the hydraulic fracturing process that is unlocking previously unrecoverable supplies of gas and oil.
On a mostly party-line vote of 23-15, the panel sent the measure to the full House of Representatives, which is expected to debate the legislation later this year. Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., bucked Democratic colleagues in supporting the bill; Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., broke with Republicans to vote against it.