President Barack Obama will announce a six month extension on a deepwater oil drilling moratorium on Thursday while a special commission studies the reasons for the Gulf of Mexico spill, a White House aide said.
"(Obama) will announce standards to strengthen oversight of the industry and enhance safety, a first step in a process that the independent Presidential Commission will continue," the aide said on Thursday.
"While the commission performs its work to determine how to prevent this from ever happening again, the moratorium on permits to drill new deepwater wells will continue for a period of six months."
The extended moratorium represents a further setback for offshore drilling expansion, a key plank of Obama's proposed energy policy overhaul, which is currently languishing in the U.S. Senate.
Democrats hoped increased drilling would attract Republican support for the bill, which also ramps up domestic production of renewable ...