Experts: Drilling ban worked, may not be needed
An expert panel says a ban on deepwater drilling imposed by the Obama administration has been effective but may no longer be needed now that the oil industry and the government appear to have developed new, safer drilling regimes.
The report by the Bipartisan Policy Center is likely to boost oil industry groups and Gulf Coast lawmakers who are pushing to end the six-month drilling moratorium before its scheduled Nov. 30 expiration.
The report, submitted Thursday to the presidential commission investigating the oil spill, said the April explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig showed how unprepared government and industry were for a major spill. The report said the moratorium allowed time for both industry and government to make offshore drilling safer.