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Fracking-Friendly Bills Flourish as Industry Donations Skyrocket

'This week, House Majority Leadership showed that they’ll sacrifice just about anything for the oil and gas industry'

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

An oil derrick at a fracking site for extracting oil near Williston, North Dakota (Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)A wave of legislation friendly to the fracking industry in the House of Representative appears to be following skyrocketing donations from the fossil fuel industry.

A Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington report this week reveals that from 2004 to 2012, oil and gas industry contributions to Congressional campaigns climbed 231 percent in fracking states and districts.

Several bills passed in Congress this week suggest these contributions are paying off.

In a landslide 252 to 165 vote, the GOP-controlled House rammed through the fracking industry friendly HR 1900 on Thursday that would fast-track pipeline construction if signed into law.

It follows two other bills passed in the House earlier this week that would make it easier to get fast permits for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and roll back federal fracking regulations.

While none of these bills is expected to advance in the Senate, critics charge they nonetheless reveal a Congress hijacked by the fracking industry.

"This week, House Majority Leadership showed that they’ll sacrifice just about anything for the oil and gas industry, whether it’s the hunters and fishermen who enjoy using our public lands, parents trying to protect their children from the health impacts of fracking, even the rights of property owners along proposed gas pipeline projects," said Earthjustice Senior Legislative Representative Jessica Ennis.

"The reason for this loyalty? Look no further than a damning report out yesterday showing a 231 percent increase in industry contributions to candidates in areas of fracking activity," she added.

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