The U.S. should not halt offshore oil-and-gas drilling just because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. "America needs the energy beneath the outer continental shelf," he said during a House subcommittee hearing into the incident. But the lawmaker also said the industry needs to improve its safety standards. "You can't have a contingency plan that says, 'Cross your fingers and hope the blowout preventer works,' " he said.
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