Posted: Oct 12, 2010 12:48 PM by AP
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration has lifted the six-month moratorium on deep water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico that was imposed after the BP oil spill.
The administration has been under heavy pressure from the industry and others in the region to lift the ban on grounds it has cost jobs and damaged the economy. A federal report said the moratorium likely caused a temporary loss of 8,000 to 12,000 jobs in the Gulf region.
Tuesday's announcement says the temporary ban on exploratory oil and gas drilling is lifted immediately. However, drilling is unlikely to resume immediately.
Michael Bromwich, director of the agency that oversees offshore drilling, said it would take "at least a couple of weeks" after the ban is lifted before permits are approved.