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Congress wants to limit BP's U.S. drilling

A view from a helicopter while landing on Discover Enterprise drill ship during recovery operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: This morning, BP said it's trying to fix a leak in the cap it put on its Gulf oil well. Meanwhile, some members of Congress are trying to restrict BP from drilling new oil and gas wells in this country. The BBC's Rebecca Singer reports for Marketplace.


Rebecca Singer: Even before the Deepwater Horizon explosion which killed 11 men, BP didn't have the best safety record. Ian MacDonald is a Professor of Oceanography at Florida State University.

Ian MacDonald: They pleaded guilty to violations of our clean air law and paid a $50 million fine. They pleaded guilty to a felony charge. They were also subsequently fined another $87 million.

The proposed ban is part of a larger oil rig safety bill and puts a cloud over BP's long-term plans in the U.S. It would effectively stop the company from obtaining new offshore leases in U.S. waters. Nick McGregor is an oil analyst at the stockbroker Redmayne Bentley.

Redmayne Bentley: It would do a huge amount of damage to the whole company. I think one of the difficulties with it at this stage there are a whole host of congressional committees all jostling to take the lead on knobbling BP as it were.

Lawmakers might be angry with BP, but critics warn any future offshore restrictions could damage job prospects for American workers.

In London, I'm the BBC's Rebecca Singer for Marketplace.

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