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House Approves Bill to Lift Drilling Moratorium

The House of Representatives voted to open more of the nation's oceans for oil and gas exploration on Thursday by a vote of 243 to 179.

The "Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act," requires the Interior Department to set a production goal of three million barrels of oil per day for its 2012-2017 leasing plan.

In order to reach that target, the legislation requires the department to hold lease sales off the coast of Southern California, in the Arctic Ocean, off Alaska's Bristol Bay, and in the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to North Carolina.

Republicans say that the bill, along with two other drilling measures passed earlier this month, would create 1.2 million jobs and lower the price of oil. The Congressional Budget Office says that the offshore lease sales would generate $800 million in revenue over ten years.

The Obama administration released a statement opposing the bill Wednesday. The White House argued that the proposal would undermine the current leasing process and mandate drilling leases without input from the affected states.

Fox News House producer John Brandt contributed to this report.