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Oil industry: Increased fees could kill jobs

GULF OF MEXICO — The oil and gas industry says an Obama administration plan to double fees charged for inspections of offshore operations could cost jobs.

American Petroleum Institute president Jack Gerard says the industry recognizes the need for improved inspections and oversight following the BP oil spill. But he says doubling the fees isn’t appropriate.

The White House has asked Congress to approve the higher fees as part of a request for $80 million in new spending for the agency that oversees offshore drilling.

The proposal would more double the amount collected from oil and gas companies, to $45 million next year from about $20 million this year.

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