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Ex Rangers manager Washington apologizes for 'breaking wife's trust'

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington says he is embarrassed for 'breaking his wife's trust.'

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New arena at Will Rogers takes shape


The proposed Will Rogers Memorial Center arena continues to take shape as voters head for a Nov. 4 election to decide whether to approve new taxes to help pay for the $450 million facility.

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Cooking Class: Fort Worth chef brings home the gold

Toques off to Timothy Prefontaine. The executive chef at the iconic Fort Worth Club is currently the best in the nation, according to the American Culinary Federation. Prefontaine earned the title of 2014 U.S.A.’s Chef of the

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Fort Worth firm 'simplifies' advertising

Reaching customers requires more than price slashing and flashy ads. In today’s competitive marketplace, machines – not men and women – are essential to tapping new markets and

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Trinity Valley School leader to leave in May 2015

Gary Krahn, head of school for the past eight years at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, will leave his position in May 2015 when he and his wife Paula will move

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House passes three bills to speed drilling, pipelines

House backs bill to speed natural gas pipelines
MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press


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.

MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) — The House approved two bills Wednesday aimed at speeding up drilling for oil and natural gas on public lands.

The measures were among three energy bills the House is considering this week as Republicans who control the chamber push to expand an oil and gas boom that's lowered prices and led the U.S. to produce more oil last month than it imported from abroad.

One of the bills approved Wednesday would set strict deadlines for federal approval of oil and gas permits and expand areas open to production. Another would restrict the Interior Department from enforcing proposed rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands.

A third bill, set for approval Thursday, would streamline permitting for natural gas pipelines.

Supporters say the bills are needed to ensure that a drilling boom taking place on state and private lands extends to millions of acres, mostly in the West, under federal control.

President Barack Obama has promised to veto the bills, saying they are unnecessary and run counter to protections put in place for oil and gas drilling.

Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., who sponsored the bill to speed up permitting, said the current energy boom has mainly occurred on state and private lands, including the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana and the Marcellus Shale region centered in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Drilling also is booming in traditional production states such as Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

"The only reason we haven't seen that same dynamic growth on federal lands is because of excess regulations," Lamborn said.

Lamborn's bill would deem a drilling application approved if no decision is made within 60 days, set a minimum threshold for lands leased by the Bureau of Land Management and charge a $5,000 fee to groups that protest lease permits. It also would open up Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration.

The House approved the measure, 228-192.

The House also approved a separate bill that would block the Interior Department from enforcing a proposed rule on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands in states where drilling regulations are already in place. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, was approved 235-187.

Hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, involves pumping huge volumes of water, sand and chemicals underground to split open rocks to allow oil and gas to flow. Improved technology has allowed energy companies to gain access to huge stores of natural gas underneath states from Wyoming to New York but has raised widespread concerns that it might lead to groundwater contamination and even earthquakes.

A draft rule issued this spring would require companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to publicly disclose the chemicals used in fracking operations. A final rule is expected next year.

Lamborn said his permitting bill would reduce federal "red tape" and cut down on "frivolous lawsuits that act as stumbling blocks to job creation and energy development."

Democrats and environmental groups called the bill a handout to the big oil companies and said it would gut important environmental protections and stifle efforts by the public to intervene in drilling decisions.

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, called the energy bills a waste of time, since they were unlikely to be taken up in the Democratic-controlled Senate and faced veto threats from Obama.

Hoyer called the energy bills "the fiddle on which we are playing while Rome is burning," adding that the bills "distract and delay this body's critical attention to the issues of critical concern to all Americans," including adoption of a federal budget and passage of a farm bill and immigration overhaul.

Flores called the fracking bill an important step to reaffirm states' rights to determine energy production, as well as a way to create jobs.

Because of fracking and other techniques, the U.S. could be "energy secure" by 2020, Flores said. "This is a goal we should pursue, just as we did in the 1960s to put a man on the moon."

Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., said state rules on fracking vary widely.

"That's why it's important that the Interior Department put in place a regulatory floor of safety measures to assure that there are at least minimal protections in place on all public lands in all states," he said.

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