US Congress restores oil, gas R&D funding, approves drilling bans

The US Congress has restored oil and gas research funding to historical levels. Spending measures also include legislative riders that bar drilling from some public lands, although those laws are more symbolic than substantive.President George W. Bush is expected to sign the spending bills shortly. Congress passes 13 appropriations bills each year to fund the federal government's budget.DOEUnder the Interior appropriations bill passed earlier this month, congressional budget-makers earmarked $101 million for the Department of Energy's petroleum and gas research and development programs for fiscal 2002, which began Oct. 1. That figure is nearly double what the White House requested...

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