Panel Recommends Lifting Of Oil Drilling Moratorium

President Obama's ban on deep-water oil drilling has served its purpose, and oil companies should be able to resume drilling if they meet new government standards, an independent panel said Thursday.

The panel of energy and environmental experts said the six-month moratorium, slated to end in November, has already allowed enough time for the government to develop an "adequate margin of safety" for deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The president's oil spill commission asked the Bipartisan Policy Center to look into the moratorium. It found that the ban was needed, given how unprepared both the government and the oil and gas industry were in the wake of the April explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig.

But in a report issued Thursday, it said a new regulatory regime provides a "safer, more vigilant and dependable future" for offshore drilling.

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