House Republicans are crafting a bill to accelerate permitting procedures for Alaskan offshore-drilling projects, a move that would help Royal Dutch Shell's proposed ventures in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. The measure would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to act on permit applications within six months and prohibit the agency from implementing certain emissions-control standards for vessels. "It is absolutely indefensible for a permit application to take six years," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

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