The House began debate Thursday on so-called "use it or lose it" legislation being pushed by Democrats as part of a slew of energy proposals lawmakers hope to complete by close of business Friday.

This particular proposal is aimed at oil companies and leases they hold to federal land for oil exploration.

Democrats say that while the companies have held leases to some 68 million acres for years, they're stalling on exploration while trying to gain access to more precious land like the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Republicans counter that while the companies might own the leases, there's no guarantee that the land is going to be productive.

The bill requires energy companies to either drill or explore energy products on lands which have leases and permits for drilling, or they will lose permits.

A vote is expected by mid-afternoon.

The House is treating the bill as a "suspension," which means it requires a two-thirds majority to pass.

FOX News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.