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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama puts brakes on offshore drilling



President Barack Obama ordered Friday that no new offshore oil drilling leases be issued unless rigs have safety measures to prevent another explosion that led to a massive spill now threatening the Gulf Coast. "We are going to make sure that any leases going forward have those safeguards," Obama said at the White House.

But some Florida lawmakers say that is not good enough and want the president to give up on plans to expand drilling off the coast.

"We do not need any further reviews or studies to understand that the farther oil drilling is away from our shores, the safer, the cleaner and more sound our beaches and economy will be," said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.

Obama did not relent. "Let me be clear: I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security. But I've always said that it must be done responsibly for the safety of our workers and our environment."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:32am]


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