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. Dr. Anthony Hayward

    I am not as dumb as everwon makes me look in da news. Remember Amereecans, evrywon have feelings. When I cry, my teers our oyl! Big Crokodile Oyl Teers! :...(

    June 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sian Parker

    If in fact if Judge Feldman holds stock in Transocean and Halliburton, as well as two of BP's largest U.S. private shareholders - BlackRock and JP Morgan Chase, why did he not excuse himself from hearing this case????

    June 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jean

    SOD 369, thank you for making my point.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • SOD 369

      Sorry Jean. I might have understood better if you would have said "comments about liberals" instead of "liberal comments". Anyways, you're forgiven. I hope you forgive me too.

      June 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Enzo

    Funny, Barry Soetoro bans drilling in the Gulf for six months, because of an spill at 5,000 ft, while at the same time lending $2 billion of American taxpayer money (which we borrowed from China) to Petrobras, the Brazilian state-owned oil giant, so Brazil can drill off its coast at depths of 10,000 ft. I guess Barry Soetoro and his pseudo-commies (bunch of Bilderbergers disguised as liberals) are O.K. with drilling at depths of 10,000 ft. Now I let you kids go back to your childish apps, games, and commie indoctrination. Leave the facts to informed adults who don't get their news from John Stewart of Rachel Madow or Bill Maher. I love it because when these pseudo-commies are done with all of you kids, you'll be just another homeless sleeping at some San Francisco park.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arthur Neal O'Nymous

      >Leave the facts to informed adults who don't get their news from John Stewart of Rachel Madow or Bill Maher.

      yeah, we should all start listening to the great folks at fox news amirite?

      June 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kristin

    Today's appallingly short-sighted and irresponsible decision by Judge Feldman just confirms that the reach of Big Oil's long tentacles is not limited to just the MMS and Congress

    June 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dr. Anthony Hayward

    WoW I never hear such meen words!! Not even on congrasman say that things to me last week!!! WoW Enzo!!! since you post on this article on CNN.com does dat meen yu get yer news from CNN.com! I wunt to read these things you say about commies and sleeping in park!! I think sum peeple reely not well informed who wunt to look smart say all kinds of things so they feeeel impertant! Sum other peeple no lots of things but that make it so they no they dn't no evan more!! They make theerys for wierd thing i dun unnastan call konspeeeracie, which are no true either, unless you no about the other 20,000,000,000.00 I send tew all ur congressman and gonvenators who help me start makeen beeg muney again!

    June 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tommy

    Big oil apologists are truly a scary lot. They value the oil companies more than they do America. 😦

    June 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Martina

    Isn't finding the cause of the oil rig explosion and subsequent oil gusher that cannot be contained so far important? It will and could help make oil rigs safer and have safe guards that will protect the workers and the environment in the future. To make sure, no matter what big oil corporations and their deep pocketed lobbyists do to avoid spending millions of dollars becasue of their arrogance and greed and paid off politicians have to abide by strict safety rules and regulations for any company that operates in fragile areas that affects the people, land, water and business if chemicals and other toxins leak, even into the air.

    What about the people whose lives and businesses have already been affected drastically and for a very long time? What about their futures and thri incomes? Hopefully, they will get help so that their homes at least won't be taken from them.

    The oil executives won't be affected in any way shape of form. Not even be fined or held accountable. It's the hardworking people who need to work and can't afford to play golf , go to yacht races or even take a day off to be with their famillies.

    June 22, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arthur Neal O'Nymous

      Hey! Get that common sense out of here!

      In all seriousness, great post. I wish more people were as level-headed.

      June 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Char from TX

    Swimmergal, how dare you make negative comments about the President and then write God's name in vain. How Christian is that?

    June 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arthur Neal O'Nymous

      About as christian as the rest of the religious "right" 😉

      June 22, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Melissa

    Fine, if Louisiana is so determined to "get back to drillin", let them....but...when this happens again, no lawsuits for them! No aid or assistance from the Federal government. No Larry King telethons. No weeping widows on the news, crying how the big oil company killed thier kinfolk! If BP was negligent by putting workers on risky oil rigs, is'nt Louisiana just as guilty by wanting to put workers back out there? After all, we now know many MORE BP rigs have the same questionable " long string" set up! When this happens again, I will sue Louisiana for destroying American wetlands!!!

    June 22, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bre from LA

    First off BP does not stand for Louisiana.... Also Id love to talk to people who are actually going through this exdperience first hand. I live about 30 minutes North of Grand Isle, LA and I work on the side of a BP claims office and get to witness first hand the people who are terrified because we have already lost our fishing industry and now we are losing some of our drilling industry which are the 2 biggest ones we have. Have you witnessed people cry because they have no idea how they will get by. If not you definitly can't understand.

    June 22, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      I cried when my job was outsourced to India. I get it. In this economy many people have cried over lost careers, jobs, income. We get by. Find new jobs, new fields of work. These people are having to find new ways to earn a living WHILE THIER INDUSTRY IS MADE SAFER!!! I guess they would rather blow up than find another way to earn money for six months?

      June 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Melissa

    One more word about the gulf coast workers crying over thier lost drilling jobs. While they are demanding to rush back to drilling ( to support thier families ), maybe they can spare a tear for the workers of the tourism industry, who have lost thier income, and are no longer able to support THIER families because of the discusting mess from the oil drillin buisness!

    June 22, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Skippy Stone

    How disappointing that CNN's legal expert didn't actually talk about the reasons for the judges decision. Instead, he, like many posting, tried to make the judge a pawn of "big oil companies".

    The moratorium was a ridiculously capricious decision, particularly considering the hundreds of deep-water wells operating safely. Why doesn't anyone consider who might financially benefit from shutting down drilling for six months?

    There are eleven people DEAD from this accident. I don't think people living and working in the gulf oil industry want to be blown-up. Does anyone else? Are they suicidal or self-distructive to want to keep working? I sincerely doubt it.

    June 22, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Madison

      Skippy:

      Maybe it is late and you are falling asleep, but your post is completely incoherent. Is it the inability to communicate in English or the fact that you do not understand the issue at hand. Which is it? Last time I checked, CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.

      June 23, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Madison

    IMPEACH AND DISBAR!!! Vintage conservative "moral" values. Having a vested interest ($$$$$) in the ruling but refusing to recuse himself. And to those "victims" in the Gulf states that agree with his decision...STOP THE WHINING. You deserve what you are getting. Only the animals are the true victims of this tragedy. They don't vote, don't complain about big government, don't scream "socialism" at the mention of even common-sense regulation, and will not get a check for their "legitimate claim" My fellow Americans, can't have it both ways.

    June 22, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Melissa

    OK, asumming they are NOT self destructive or suicidal, how about selfish? Again, this fricking mess effects many industries. Do you think the workers would go back to drilling tomorrow if they had to release the oil companies from ANY AND ALL liability for safety? Work at thier own risk?

    June 23, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
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