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US House Republicans Drop Alaska Oil Drilling Plan

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have abandoned a push to win approval for oil drilling in an Alaskan wildlife refuge.

House leaders agreed late Wednesday to remove the oil drilling provision from a $54-billion budget-cutting bill so they could secure votes for the legislation.

The Senate has approved drilling at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in their own version of the bill.

The House and Senate will now have to reconcile the two versions, including the oil drilling issue, before the budget cuts can pass Congress.

Environmental groups have battled for decades to prevent drilling at the Alaskan wildlife refuge. The oil drilling plan is a priority for President Bush, who says Alaskan oil can help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources.