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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Saturday that offshore oil drilling could only go forward if there were assurances that a disaster like the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill would not happen again.

As Obama officially unveiled a commission to investigate the accident, he issued a stern message that while keeping pressure on firms involved in the still-uncapped spill -- BP, Halliburton and Transocean Ltd -- he would also hold Washington accountable for mending its ways.

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