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House backs bill to speed natural gas pipelines

By MATTHEW DALY, AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved a bill to speed approval of natural gas pipelines, the third bill passed this week to boost energy production in the U.S.

The pipeline bill would require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve or deny a pipeline application within a year. The bill was approved 252-165. The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, and other supporters say federal review of pipeline projects can take several years.

Pipelines are considered crucial to continuing a gas boom brought about by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a drilling technique that has opened up access to huge stores of gas but raised concerns about air and water pollution.

President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill, which is unlikely to be taken up in the Senate.

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