Breaking: Federal Judge Rules Against Obama's Job-Killing Moratorium; Says Administration Misled Public …Update: Salazar Moves to Reimpose Moratorium
This just in…
A federal judge lifted the six-month job-killing moratorim put in place by President Obama after the largest oil spill in US history. The judge also noted that the Obama Administration misled the public in the wake of the offshore oil spill.
Bloomberg reported, via Michelle Malkin:
A New Orleans federal judge lifted the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed by President Barack Obama following the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
Obama temporarily halted all drilling in waters deeper than 500 feet on May 27 to give a presidential commission time to study improvements in the safety of offshore operations. Government lawyers told U.S. District Judge Martin Feldmanthat the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast in April was a “game changer’’ that exposed the risks of offshore oil exploration.
“We need to make sure deepwater drilling is as safe as we thought it was the day before this incident,’’ Brian Collins, a lawyer for the government, told Feldman in a court hearing June 21. “It is crucial to take the time because to fail to do so would be to gamble with the long-term future of this region.’’
More than a dozen Louisiana offshore service and supply companies sued U.S. regulators to lift the ban. State officials claim 20,000 Louisiana jobs are in jeopardy if the deepwater drilling suspension lasts 18 months.
The Obama White House says they will appeal the injunction.
UPDATE: Via Instapundit—
LOOKING AT the downsides of the drilling moratorium: “Offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is an industry that, like fishing, provides the livelihood for many people along the coast. The six-month moratorium on exploratory drilling will cost workers as much as $330 million a month in lost wages, according to the industry. Even with the costs of the oil spill pushing past $2 billion already, will the moratorium ultimately outweigh the benefits?”
UPDATE: Interior Secretary Salazar moved to reimpose the moratorium later today:
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he will issue a new order imposing a moratorium on deepwater drilling after a federal judge struck down the existing one.
Salazar said in a statement Tuesday evening that the new order will contain additional information making clear why the six-month drilling pause was necessary in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. The judge in New Orleans who struck down the moratorium earlier in the day complained there wasn’t enough justification for it.
Salazar pointed to indications of inadequate safety precautions by industry on deepwater wells. He said he would issue a new order in the coming days showing that a moratorium is needed.