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U.S. House Votes to Fast Track Offshore Drilling

By: DINA CAPPIELLO - Associated Press Writer
By: DINA CAPPIELLO - Associated Press Writer

The Republican-controlled House has passed another bill putting offshore oil and gas drilling on the fast track.

The latest measure, passed 263-163 Wednesday, gives the government a maximum of 60 days to decide whether a company can drill. Afterwards, the permit is automatically approved.

There is currently no deadline for the permits.

Republicans fended off efforts by Democrats to boost safety, including recommendations from a presidential panel that investigated the massive Gulf oil spill.

Republicans say the Obama administration has acted slowly to approve drilling permits since the disaster. They note high gas prices require action.

Last week, the House passed a bill forcing lease sales the government had delayed.

Both bills are unlikely to pass the Senate. The White House also opposes the measures.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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