The federal judge who struck down the Obama administration’s initial six-month moratorium on deepwater oil-drilling dealt the government another blow on Wednesday.
U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman denied the government’s request to throw out a suit challenging the drilling halt that had been filed by offshore-oil-service companies. Justice Department lawyers had argued the lawsuit was moot because the Interior Department imposed a new, temporary drilling ban on July 12, replacing a May 28 order that Judge Feldman had struck down in June.
But Judge Feldman ruled that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s second moratorium order “is substantially the same as the first one” and “applies to the exact same rigs, to the exact same deepwater drilling, for the exact same time period.”
Full story: Judge Deals New Blow to Drilling Moratorium – WSJ.com