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Obama: More Gulf drilling only if assurances

Source:  Copyright 2010, Reuters
Date:  May 22, 2010
Original URL: Status ONLINE


President Barack Obama said on Saturday that offshore oil drilling could only go forward if there were assurances that a disaster like the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill would not happen again.

As Obama officially unveiled a commission to investigate the accident, he issued a stern message that while keeping pressure on firms involved in the still-uncapped spill -- BP, Halliburton and Transocean Ltd -- he would also hold Washington accountable for mending its ways.

In his executive order announcing former Democratic Senator Bob Graham and former Environmental Protection Agency chief William Reilly would co-chair the panel, Obama also made his first reference to the possibility of a separate criminal probe into disaster.

"The commission shall ensure that it does not interfere with or disrupt any ongoing or anticipated civil or criminal investigation or law enforcement activities or any effort to recover response costs or damages arising out ...

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