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Obama warns on ‘risky’ fossil fuels

By Anna Fifield and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington and Ed Crooks in London

Published: May 27 2010 00:55


President Barack Obama will on Thursday announce sweeping new regulations for offshore drilling and delay or cancel some drilling deals, as he struggles to show hisadministration is in control of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Mr Obama will announce standards to “strengthen oversight of the offshore drilling industry and enhance safety”, a first step in a process that the independent Presidential Commission will continue, a White House official said on Thursday morning.

Thursday’s new regulations are the result of a 30-day review that it asked the Department of Interior to conduct about the safety and regulatory regime that was in place before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. Previous reports have suggested numerous regulatory and technical failings.

The review could have wide-reaching implications for BP, which leased the leaking well, and other energy companies involved in offshore drilling, such as Royal Dutch Shell, which has invested $3bn looking for oil in Alaska.

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