June 22nd, 2010
01:48 PM ET

Federal judge blocks drilling moratorium in Gulf

A federal judge in New Orleans, Louisiana, has blocked a six-month federal moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf.

Several dozen plaintiffs had sued President Barack Obama's administration, arguing the ban would create long-term economic harm to their businesses. Obama ordered the moratorium after the April 20 explosion of an oil rig off Louisiana that killed 11 people and triggered an underwater oil gusher.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the government will immediately appeal the ruling to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

"The president strongly believes, as the Department of Interior and Department of Justice argued yesterday, that continuing to drill at these depths without knowing what happened is - does not make any sense and puts the safety of those involved, potentially puts safety of those on the rigs, and the safety of the environment and the Gulf at a danger that the president does not believe we can afford right now," Gibbs said.

Read the ruling (PDF)

soundoff (522 Responses)
  1. Ron O'C

    My sentiments are the same as many others regarding relief wells. Obama wants the moratorium until we learn to drill safely in deep water. We already know how to drill much more safely - drill a relief well along with the primary well. Also, stop rubberstamping every variation from safe practice that an oil company requests and don't do stupid stuff like the myriad of things BP is accused of doing.

    All of these are things we know how to do RIGHT NOW that will make drilling much safer. Instead of putting 32 rigs out of work for six months, you keep them working and give them twice as much work to do. Isn't that a win for everyone?

    There are other quick fixes - require the remote acoustic switch for the BOP, and pair newer rigs drilling the primary well with older rigs for the relief well. Newer rigs may have dual blind shear rams on their BOPs.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203863204574346610120524166.html

      that funny Obama stop our deepwater drillling in the gulf at 5000 ft but loan Brazal 2 billions
      dollars for drilling in 15500 feet sound good to you ...

      June 23, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gregw89

    I am somewhat surprised that this judge ruled the way he did. Then again, it does make more sense economically and in our current financial state ,we cannot afford to lose major parts of our economy.

    http://myperfectgovernment.wordpress.com

    June 23, 2010 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Don

    To Robert J: Nice try to make me feel bad. The gulf coast doesn't produce enough oil to supply the U.S. Also most of the oil produced here doesn't stay here. We produce oil in our state. If the same thing happened here that happened in the gulf under the same conditions I would be at the front of the line to stop anymore drilling until it could be done safe. I have been searching and saving for solar planels and as soon as I can afford it I will buy an electric car. I'm not one of those people who complain but doesn't embrace renewable energy. As for oil feild workers, they were looking for a job when they found the one they have. It won't take much training to learn to work in the renewable energy field. Also it's not as hard of work. You want oil and gas, you accept the downside. I don't want it!!!!!

    June 23, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Superman

    Big oil has purchased this judge. The ruling was ridiculous on its face, and no one who is looking at this objectively can rationally disagree.

    June 23, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jose A

    That's good jobs will be save, and the platforms will not go somewhere else. But there is one question Transocean this company has 13 platforms 7500 ft water depth in the gulf and around 73 rigs in the gulf, the failure to replace tha safety device and relying only in device cause the faire of Deepwater Horizon, and the Government acting w/o logic or cause blamed only BP, the rigs are owned by Transocean(Global Santa FE), and the did not pay atttention to the employees complain about the needed repairs in the rig., Why the media and the Gvt. only blame BP? Hatred? Rotten politics? Or the Government does not have the guts to correct the error and make also liable Transocean? God Save America

    June 23, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bre from LA

    I totally agree about the tourism places. Its gonna hurt ya'll just as bad. And I agree with making then safe but in the meantime you have to understand that fishing & driling is all we have... We cant fins other jobs with the economy already so bad. Not to mention it will begin to effect our whole community because people cant pay for anything so there goes the businesses and so forth.

    June 23, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dave Ewoldt

    There is a very simple fact here that so many of you seem to either not get, or simply don't want to face. There will be NO economy on a dead planet. If we continue destroying our one and only life support system, there isn't going to be any type of tourism industry, or any other industry for that matter.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    O'l Blackwater keep on flowing, Mississippi Crude won't you keep on spilling on me!!!!! O'l Blackwater keep on flowing, Louisiana Crude won't you keep on spilling on MeeeEEEEE!!!! Keep Spilling on Meeeeee!!, Gonna make ev'rything a mess, Gonna to make ev'rything mess Because I ain't go no worries, because I ain't got no sharks at allllllllllllllllll!!!!
    I like to hear some funky dixie drilling BP take me by the hand! By the hand BP by the hand Big OIL, Come here and Drill, all nite long! "KEEP ON DRILLING!...... KEEP ON DRILLING"

    June 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      keep on driving keep on driving buy a goat to cut your dad grass and what do we do when someone want to beat the big dog on the block throw rock , look China is in the gulf drilling right now , Russia is 90 miles from Fla drilling but we can not ...maybe someone need to talk to them (you think)

      June 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cary

    okay for you that think life is just fine without drilling, then you probably voted for change, well i want you to think that away when you have to spend 8 to 10 dollars for a gallon of fuel, or the plastic item you want to buy has just tripled, or the petroleum product you need for personnal use or you car. this moratorium will not only shut down 33 oil drilling rig, but it will put alot of people out work and will eventually catch up to you also. it just doesn't affect oil field workers, it also have no merit, cause in all the year of drilling this is the first of this type and it was due to a company that didn't follow the rules and your government that fell to do proper inspections as they as paid to do, so please think before you write or open your mouth that you don't have a clue

    June 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AvgJoe

    Wow, it really astounds me how many people here post without knowing what's going on lol.
    Quote from another CNN story;

    "BP had resisted approving claims by people who said they were affected by the moratorium on oil drilling, saying it was imposed by the Obama administration. But Feinberg said BP and the adminstration now have agreed those claims will be covered.

    "I now have discovered - I didn't realize this until yesterday, but the moratorium claims will fall under my jurisdiction," he told CNN.
    "/end quote.

    June 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dave w

    the people who want the moritorium are not trying to put people out of work. they are wanting to avoid a disaster we cannot recover from. If another well goes bad while this one is still gushing out oil the damage will be irreversable and these people will loose their jobs anyway but probably on a permanent basis! If not a time limit lets just say no EXPLORATORY drilling until they get this well capped off. How can anyone argue with that! All you people trying to push your political bull-- here need to go back to your corners. This is a terrible problem and we all need to work together. People trying to prove their side is right, ARE WRONG! You Obama bashers will never have a decent answer for anything because you think applying guilt (to someone else) is the answer to everything! It's really amazing that even over an oil disaster like this the powers still manage to keep us divided! On anotheer note, has Judge Feldman taken his family to the gulf (including his grandchildren) gone for a nice long swim and then sat down to a seafood dinner with oysters for appitizers??? I BET NOT!

    June 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. deltavilleoysters

    The oyster industry isn't dead, it just moved!

    The best Chesapeake Bay Oysters are grown on our family farm!

    http://www.deltavilleoystercompany.com

    June 30, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
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