Critics of the federal government's extended offshore-drilling ban say the move worsens the damage to a Gulf Coast economy already weakened by the oil spill. "It's the wrong thing to do at the wrong time," said Chris John, president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association. The spill has caused harm to the environment and fishing and tourism industries, so necessary steps should be taken to avert future incidents, he said. But John raised concerns that the ban could last longer than six months amid an independent panel evaluating the disaster and companies cooperating with new rules.
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