The Obama administration Tuesday lifted its controversial moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but said it could take weeks for companies to win regulatory approval to go back to work there.
Lifting the ban, put in place shortly after the April 20 explosion of a drilling rig contracted by BP PLC led to a massive spill, marks another milestone in the administration’s effort to return to normal in the Gulf. It comes more than six weeks earlier than expected, ahead of congressional elections shaping up as a rout for Democrats. In recent days, the White House has been trying to turn its focus toward jobs and the economy.
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