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SPOTLIGHT

1. OIL AND GAS:

House passes bill to ease energy leasing

The House today approved 228-192 legislation to ease oil, natural gas and other energy companies' ability to lease federal land. The bill is almost certain to die in the Senate, but Republicans said the debate presented another opportunity to push their argument that federal regulations slow energy development in Western states where federal land predominates compared with states where energy-rich land is mostly privately owned.

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