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Obama order meant to streamline natural gas development

April 13, 2012|By Neela Banerjee
  • President Obama tours the Port of Tampa, Fl., in April.
President Obama tours the Port of Tampa, Fl., in April. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images )

WASHINGTON -- President Obama signed an executive order Friday creating an interagency task force to coordinate oversight of the country’s booming natural gas development, a step that eased industry concerns about the relatively high number of federal agencies involved in the process.

The task force will be chaired by White House energy adviser Heather Zichal and have "deputy-level representatives” from the departments of Defense, Energy, Interior and Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

The move earned the administration rare plaudits from industry.

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said, "We have called on the White House to rein in these uncoordinated activities to avoid unnecessary and overlapping federal regulatory efforts and are pleased to see forward progress."

But Kevin Smith, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), dismissed the task force as "more bureaucracy."

neela.banerjee@latimes.com

Original source: Obama order meant to streamline natural gas development

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