May 27th, 2010
10:26 AM ET

Obama clamps down on offshore drilling

Washington (CNN) - President Obama is applying the brakes, at least temporarily, to expansion of offshore oil drilling.

Obama is delaying oil exploration off the coast of Alaska, canceling the sale of a lease to drill off Virginia and extending the moratorium on permits to drill any new deepwater wells for six months, a White House official said Thursday.

Obama's announcements Thursday come in response to a deadly explosion on a Gulf of Mexico oil rig - an accident that has triggered a devastating oil spill.

Obama has launched a presidential commission's safety review of offshore drilling in response to the incident.

The official said the moratorium will continue as the commission works to "determine how to prevent this from ever happening again.

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