1. OIL AND GAS:
House passes quartet of energy bills, but Senate prospects dim
The House by a wide margin last night passed a bill to vastly expand oil and gas development off the nation's coasts, in an Alaskan reserve and on experimental shale tracts in the Intermountain West. The 187-137 vote also for the third time advanced a GOP plan to force approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which President Obama tentatively rejected earlier this year.