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Interior Department tells presidential spill panel that oil drilling ban will continue

The top federal offshore oil drilling regulator is telling the presidential oil spill commission that the temporary halt to deepwater drilling will remain in place for a few more months.

The Interior Department issued the moratorium after the deadly April 20 BP oil rig explosion. It was overturned in court and reissued on July 13.

Louisiana officials and residents have pleaded with the oil spill commission to do something about the moratorium. The presidential panel asked Interior officials whether they had any say in the matter and whether individual rigs could get exceptions.

The nation's top drilling regulator, Michael Bromwich, says he will propose a replacement for the moratorium by Halloween and leans against exceptions.

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