Texas group will look at oil, natural gas drilling

HOUSTON (AP) _ Gov. Rick Perry says a new group will work to come up with better and safer ways of drilling and producing oil and natural gas in the wake of the Gulf oil spill.

Perry says the Gulf Project will focus on developing and testing current equipment, as well as new technologies.

The Gulf Project will include researchers, policy experts and state officials -- and Perry called on the oil and gas industry to join.

Meanwhile, Perry cautioned against stopping offshore oil drilling because of the April 20 spill. The fiery rig accident killed 11 workers.

The GOP governor criticized the Obama administration's effort to implement a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.

Federal lawmakers and officials from drilling companies who attended a round-table discussion yesterday at the University of Houston echoed Perry's criticism.

A federal judge in New Orleans last month struck down the moratorium. The government has appealed.