One of the leaders of the presidential oil-spill panel expressed concern about the American Petroleum Institute's role in forming an independent offshore-safety organization. The new group's affiliation with API could affect its credibility, given API's image as the "advocate for Big Oil," said William Reilly, a panel co-chairman. However, Reilly added that he would be surprised "if the industry would go to the great lengths of creating a new institution like this without being serious."

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