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The Latest: House OKs bill easing way for forest thinning

November 01, 2017 - 3:20 PM

WASHINGTON - The Latest on legislation to allow faster approval for logging in national forests (all times EDT):

6:20 p.m.

The House has approved a bill to loosen environmental regulations for forest-thinning projects on federal lands in response to deadly wildfires in the West. The bill was approved 232-188 Wednesday and now goes to the Senate.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the bill "will help us stop forest fires before they occur."

Republicans and the timber industry have long complained about environmental rules that block or delay plans to cut down trees to reduce fire risk. Democrats and environmentalists say GOP policies would bypass important environmental laws to clear-cut vast swaths of national forests, harming wildlife and the environment.

Wildfires have burned nearly 9 million acres in California and other states this year.

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2:50 p.m.

House Republicans are targeting environmental rules to allow faster approval for logging and other actions in national forests in response to deadly wildfires in California and the West.

Lawmakers are set to approve a bill to loosen environmental regulations for forest-thinning projects on federal lands.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the GOP bill "will help us stop forest fires before they occur."

Republicans and the timber industry have long complained about environmental rules that block or delay plans to cut down trees to reduce fire risk. Democrats and environmentalists say GOP policies would bypass important environmental laws to clear-cut vast swaths of national forests, harming wildlife and the environment.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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