"Draft[legislation] by the House Natural Resources Committee's Democratic staff would forge a new Interior Department agency to govern oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters while raising onshore royalty rates and tightening ethics rules.
The far-reaching bill also includes measures to improve planning for renewable energy development on public lands onshore and on the federal outer continental shelf.
The legislation has been in circulation as another panel -- the House Energy and Commerce Committee -- worked on a sweeping energy and climate change bill. Energy and Commerce Committee members approved that bill last week, and floor votes could take place as soon as this summer."
Noelle Straub and Ben Geman report for Greenwire in the New York Times May 27, 2009.