Judge Strikes Down Obama’s Deepwater Drilling Moratorium

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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Martin Feldman, a U.S. District Judge in New Orleans, has overturned the six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling that President Obama put in place after the Deepwater Horizon disaster while safety measures are investigated. Several companies affected by the moratorium had sued to stop it, calling it an arbitrary and capricious decision, and Feldman agreed.

Feldman says in his ruling that the Interior Department failed to provide adequate reasoning for the moratorium. He says it seems to assume that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.


White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says the federal government will "immediately appeal" the ruling. This has quickly become an extremely unpleasant day for President Obama.

Judge Block Deep-Water Drilling Moratorium [AP via NYT]