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SC legislators to discuss offshore drilling

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A bill directing South Carolina's environmental agency to expedite offshore drilling applications after federal restrictions are removed is scheduled for debate.

A Senate subcommittee is set to discuss the measure on Wednesday.

It would direct the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to speedily review any application for a permit for offshore exploration, drilling or production for oil and gas.

The meeting follows President Barack Obama's push for more offshore drilling.

He said last month he wants to give the petroleum industry access to the southern Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and more of Alaska's coast.

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