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(KSL News) -- A committee in the House just approved a bill that will have a major impact on Utah, if it makes it through Congress.
The measure looks to up energy production in the U.S.
The government would lease two and a half million acres of federal land to private businesses to mine oil shale. The land spans across Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.
Critics say it will open up protected environments to industry.
Proponents say oil shale is a promising and untapped energy resource, and also say developing our own oil resources will help us become independent from unstable countries, especially the Middle East.
The Energy Department estimates the equivalent of 1 trillion barrels of oil could be tapped.