Gas drilling presents Obama with historic choices

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Energy companies, environmental groups, and even Hollywood stars are watching to see what decisions President Barack Obama makes about regulating or promoting natural gas drilling.

Business leaders don't want government regulations to slow the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars of clean, cheap domestic energy.

Environmental groups see that same tide as a potential threat -- not just to air and water -- but to renewable energy. And on a strategic level, diplomats envision a future when natural gas helps make the U.S. less beholden to imports.

Some say the unexpected drilling boom presents historic options -- and risks -- for the Obama administration, since any decision is likely to anger key groups.

The Sierra Club says more regulations and research are needed before rushing ahead.

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