Judge Blocks Gulf Offshore Drilling Moratorium

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The White House is promising a quick appeal, after a federal judge struck down the administration's six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The judge said the government hadn't been justified in
concluding that because on rig in the Gulf failed, the others are
also in immediate danger.

In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon failure, the Interior
Department had stopped approval of any new permits for deepwater
drilling. It also suspended the drilling of 33 exploratory wells in
the Gulf.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs says President Barack Obama believes
strongly that drilling in water that deep does not make sense and
puts the safety of workers in jeopardy.

Several companies that provide services to offshore drilling
rigs had asked U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans to
overturn the moratorium. They argued it was arbitrarily imposed.

The judge's ruling prohibits federal officials from enforcing
the moratorium until a trial is held. He did not set a trial date.

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