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Mariner Gulf Fire Sparks Calls to Keep Drilling Ban

The blaze aboard a Mariner Energy Inc. oil platform yesterday shows President Barack Obama should maintain the drilling ban imposed after the BP Plc blowout in April, lawmakers and environmentalists said.

The fire in the Gulf of Mexico “is further proof that offshore drilling is an inherently dangerous practice,” Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, said in a statement yesterday. Obama halted deep-water exploration after BP’s Macondo well exploded in April, killing 11 workers and causing the biggest U.S. offshore oil spill in history.