The House has approved legislation that aims to accelerate construction of refineries by speeding permitting. The legislation, approved June 7 on a 238-179 vote, would have a federal coordinator bring together all federal, state and local agencies that issue permits for a new facility. A state’s governor would have the option not to take part in that group.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas) says one reason why no U.S. refineries have been constructed in 30 years “is surely regulatory uncertainty caused by bureaucra-tic delays in the current permitting process.” But Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) says arguments for the measure were “as phony as a $3 bill.” He contends that economics, not permitting, is the reason for the refinery shortage.