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Many observers reacted with cynicism to Thursday's explosion on an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, a painful reminder of the months-long crisis that saw hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon drill rig. However, some reporters see the possibility that this latest explosion could already be having a political affect. As the Obama administration battles to maintain its offshore drilling moratorium--a small victory for environmentalists after cap-and-trade and energy reform both failed--could this renewed attention finally end the debate over offshore drilling? The Los Angeles Times' Margot Roosevelt writes:

The new explosion on a gulf oil production platform Thursday revved up support for the Obama administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling, just as oil companies were mounting an offensive against the measure.

... Oil companies have been battling the Obama administration in federal court to lift the moratorium, which idled several thousand Gulf Coast workers.

Politico's Jake Sherman says congressional Democrats are already going on the offensive:

Congress isn't wasting any time. With another oil rig explosion, some House Democrats are already demanding answers. Just hours after a Mariner Energy rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, the House Energy and Commerce committee is asking Scott Josey, the president and CEO of the company, for a briefing on the incident.

... The explosion will almost certainly bolster Democrats' contention that off-shore drilling is not yet safe enough.

Sure, it will bolster their contention, but will it convince any opponents?

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