Barbour: Moratorium on Gulf oil drilling bad idea

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Sunday he’ll tell President Barack Obama that the six-month moratorium on exploratory deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico could hurt the U.S. economy and force oil companies to take their equipment to other countries.

Obama is scheduled to arrive Monday morning in Gulfport, the first stop on a two-day trip to Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. He’ll meet with local officials about how the states are affected by oil that has been spewing into the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded 50 miles south of Louisiana nearly eight weeks ago.

While parts of Louisiana’s shoreline and marshes have been coated with globs of oil, Mississippi’s manmade beaches remain largely untouched except for tar balls. Oil has affected some of Mississippi’s barrier islands near Alabama.

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