By Tennille Tracy
WASHINGTON--House and Senate lawmakers are trying to overturn a five-year oil drilling plan developed by the Obama administration and replace it with new proposals that open up more federal waters to exploration.
The House approved a bill Wednesday that paves the way for oil drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, areas where production has not taken place for several years, and nearly doubles the number of drilling lease auctions to be held between now and 2017. The bill passed the House by a vote of 253 to 170.
Also Wednesday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) and a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a similar bill while also introducing a provision that forces the federal government to share more of the oil royalties with coastal states.
The Interior Department finalized its five-year drilling plan earlier this year, outlining 12 lease auctions in the Gulf of Mexico, two in the Arctic Ocean and one in Cook Inlet.
-By Tennille Tracy, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6619; firstname.lastname@example.org
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