White House Lifts Ban On Offshore Drilling

The Obama administration announced this week that companies able to meet new safety standards will be allowed to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, ending a six-month moratorium that had been scheduled to end next month. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the new rules imposed after the BP spill — the worst environmental disaster in the country's history — have strengthened safety measures and reduced the risk of another catastrophic blowout. "Operators who play by the rules and clear the higher bar can be allowed to resume" drilling, Salazar said at a Washington news conference. He added: "The oil and gas industry will be operating under tighter rules, stronger oversight, and in a regulatory environment that will remain dynamic as we continue to build on the reforms we have already implemented."
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