Republicans pushed a bill through the House Thursday that allows the government to exempt gold, copper, silver and uranium mining on federal land from formal environmental reviews.
The bill makes it harder for opponents to mount legal challenges against new ventures.
The legislation, approved on a 256-160 vote, was the latest in the GOP-led House to favor industry and oppose strict government regulations. Supporters praised its goal of creating jobs.
Like other deregulation bills, it will likely die in the Democratic-run Senate. Opponents said the bill would be an industry giveaway and an environmental disaster. The Obama administration said it would “undermine and remove” environmental safeguards.