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. msaprilr

    Man, if their economic survival depends on this filth, then they shouldn't be economically surviving. The whole industry needs to die. It was vile to begin with and it's only getting worse. Perhaps the oil rig workers can get jobs building me an affordable alternative to a gas-powered car. How 'bout they start working on wind turbine construction projects? Let's see if they can manage to put together some solar panels with all their engineering skills. I'm so fed up with this "But our economy depends on it" BS. If it depends on it, then it's depending on the wrong thing and we need to stop depending on it. When you find out you're going down the wrong road, you turn around!

    June 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jhorns

    humans never learn

    June 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BSD

    The moratorium was based on a report which the Obama Admin falsified to make the case for a 6 month moratorium. Thank god for common sense.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. deuce

    So I guess oil really IS worth more then the environment and human life.

    I've never been more ashamed in my life...

    June 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Debi

    Now they have their drilling back they should stop asking for any money to clean up the gulf from BP or the government. Now they will have their jobs back. Send the BP money to Florida. Florida is suffering from another state's stupidity.

    I do not want to hear one more word from anyone in government from LA, MS or AL about how Obama is handling the spill.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John

    Obama bashes our nation in front of the President of Mexico, (Arizona remarks), then gives a robotic speech about "cap and trade" when we wanted to hear solutions about the spill, and now he threatens another lawsuit like the one against Arizona, this guy is going to to be run out of Washington on a rail in 2012, an inexperienced "good talker" but a pathetic socialist walker....

    June 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kevin

    to those that think not drilling for 6 months somehow will cut our domestic oil supply are idiots. Most of the companies drilling in the golf arent american owned and the ones that are still sell most of their oil on the world market so we just buy it right back at world market prices. Imagine if anothor one of these accidents happened now and we had 200 or 300 millions of gallons in the gulf. More then a few thousand oil jobs would be lost. And jobs can be replaced the environment cannot. Apparenetly when you let big businesses go pretty much unregulated or underregulated this is what happens. So i think it is fairly stupid to continue doing things the same fashion as some of you think we should by not figuring out what went wrong and how to fix the problems before allowing another disaster like this to happen

    June 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mo

    I completely agree with Nick's comment: "This judge looks like a total idiot. Some people never learn from past experience." These companies are whining and don't care about the environment and safety they just want the "DRILL BABY DRILL" MANTRA!! Idiot Republicans!!! Keep the moratorium on if not possibly extend it or let them go elsewhere to another part of the world. We don't need to depend on OIL!!

    June 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Except you can't have your wind turbines either. Feinstein doesn't want them in her back yard! (The desert)

      June 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gary

    Economics always seem to supersede the environment that we depend on. Before this disaster is even solved many are already anxious to continue what caused it. Of course the thinking is this couldn't possibly happen again. And after all people must make a living and we all need the fuel. But what happens if we go past the point of no return? ( If that hasn't already been reached.) We can't exactly get in our space ships and go somewhere else. Shouldn't protecting the place where we live be the most important aspects of our lives?

    June 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    If I were President Obama, I would tell the people of Louisiana..."Fine, continue drilling but when it all goes to hell again don't come looking to the government to help you out. Oh, about that 20 billion in that escrow account that was supposed to help you folks...forget it, it is going back to BP."

    June 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nola

      FIne, but give us our share of the oil revenue. Every other oil producing state gets 50% of the oil revenue, we get 5%. Give us 50% and we can take care of ourselves. And BTW, it wasn't Obama's job to make sure BP gave us the money. The courts would have done that. He just needed to make himself look good.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Agreed, they can fight in court for compensation (which they will never get, see Exxon Valdez disaster)

      June 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brown

      Great comment!! right on point.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mauro

    We are really a pathetic culture, use -use-use with not a care in the world!

    June 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Does your computer run on something other than electricity?
      I wonder how that electricity was generated.........
      Crawl out into the desert and live on sand.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    I think everyone needs to go back and take a civics course. We have a balance of powers system in this country for a reason. Judges are not to act on emotion or based on popular support. They are to interpret and uphold laws and keep the power of other branches in check. If you believe a judge should uphold a moratorium simply because it seems to be a wise thing to do in light of the crisis, then you don't understand the important role that they play.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnny

      you should go take an advanced course....people don't always do what their job description intends for them to do

      June 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Philip

    The people who wanted this overturned went to a Federal Court in NO and that judge ruled for big oil and it's many interests which didn't surprise anyone.
    Now comes the true test and that is the Appeals Court where I expect the lower court judge to be overturned.

    As for other countries drilling in the Gulf only Mexico does that and that is because part of their border lies within the Golf of Mexico.

    As for those who say this ruling points to the doom of Obama in 2012 you are dreaming. If Obama does not win another term it will not be because of this it will be other factors like the unemployment rate and things like that.

    The oil spill has not been good for Obama, but it has been even worst for the Republican Party after one of their members in congress felt the need to tell the CEO of BP that he was sorry that the US Government forced him to put money aside to assure that everyone is taken care of because of the oil spill.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Krupification

    This is good news for the economy, something the big O cares nothing about. Oh, and all you big oil haters, you need to learn the facts. Big oil helped fund the big O's campaign, and fill the (D) coffers. Big oil is all for cap and trade too. Doesn't that seem counter to this evil spectre and it's goal of destroying the planet? Think about it you "useful idiots". This judge is trying to save his/her community, and not win votes.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      big oil is for cap and trade!? hahaha have you not been paying attention to the news for the last year?

      June 22, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brown

      Look at your comment again. You claim the Judge was not out for votes which I say could be true. He feels he is doing the right thing regardless of the implications. But on the other hand your comment implied that BECAUSE the O" administration received contributions that the "O" administration should be on their side. Why not make the same comment for the "O" administration that you made for the Judge???? People just can't be impartial and see both sides of the story. Oh this would be YOU.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dave stanley

    im so sick of hearing this admin overstepped its boundaries, again. this is once again from all the idiots that thought George Bush was a great president. We don't see any of this oil anyways people, just like in alaska, 97% of it is shipped to russia, WOW, that makes sense doesn't it??? I hope all of you people that voted REPUB like that other guy said, can take all your used motor oil and dump it on your food before every dinner, you wanna let the rich companies get richer, you are all just playing right into it. YOU people voted for it with Bush, and now you are paying for it. deep oil well drilling, was not allowed for over 40 years, it was bush who let this happen, not obama. Hope you are all happy eating your oil as it washes up on your beaches,....and kills the birds, and ruins your oyster beds, and ruins your fishing,...no people, this one cannot be blamed on anybody but your ol' boy George Bush, aka; friend of allllll oil companies, especially BP and EXXON.....

    June 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
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