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. Dan

    The Obama Administration is finally getting put in their place.He is way over his head on all issues. This is another example. He is anti everything but big spending and bigger government.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • GulfCoast

      Another keyboard commando thinking they are smarter then the President! LOL@U!

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

      Hey Guf Coast, apparently you think the BHO is smarter than you. That really shows how stupid you are!

      June 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brad

    We all know that Big Oil and their lobyists "own" the Legislative branch, it looks like they also own the Judicial branch as well. An interesting article recently about how many, and which, of the Federal judges have ties to the oil industry. Sad state of affairs folks.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. matt

    This oil from deepwater is RADIOACTIVE!!!!

    June 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grafixer

      WHAT are you talking about?

      June 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. V Rivers

    Disgusting. Just last week, the big oil CEO monkeys admitted they have no plan on how to stop the destruction and yet the judge lets this BS continue before we even know how and why it happened, much less how to protect against it.

    The drillers in Louisiana may think this is fabulous, but those who depend on the Gulf not being a smelly, carcinogenic tar pit are mad as h*ll and rightfully so.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Barbara

    The judge was a Reagan appointee, big surprise....

    June 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nola

      You are right; didn't know there were any judges left with a brain. He followed the law. The scientists and experts did not call for this moratorium and actually spoke out against it.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • g8rgal

      You got it Barbara....thank you, the late Mr. "regulation is baaadddd" Reagan. Most of these people on here post like they live in North Dakota. Wonder if they have ever seen or appreciated the abundant (well, was abundant) ecosystem of the Gulf....or even understand it. So sad, I really feel sorry for some of these people I read here.

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

    Until I can run my rig on the Obamanation's hot air, I gotta support this effort. Hopefully the revamped MMS will do a better job this time (don't forget it was MMS' shortcuts on permits and non-existant inspections that got us into this mess!) and keep the oil companies in line.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • GulfCoast

      "Obamanations hot air" Where do you people get such ridiculous names? Fox News? Rush?

      June 22, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jana

    Makes sense. Putting that many more people out of work and at the same time cutting off our supply of domestic oil would be economic suicide. Kind of makes me wonder if the pres had even thought past next week when he came up with the plan in the first place.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DPMan

    Obama has become a Talking Head...no one listens or believes what he says any more. He is not qualifed to be the president. It's a shame.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericasHeart

      Nonsense. He's doing a fine job. Wait until he reforms the corrupt court system that sells outcomes to highest bidders today. That's coming. I heard Obama intends to manage down lawyer fees like an HMO while regulating 'paper pushing' as a means of churning fees while waiting for deliberately-scheduled court dates eight months out (to be cancelled). By doing this, Obama will FINALLY champion a viable and honorable justice system for all. Liberty and justice for all. What you meant to say is, "Too bad BP's HR executive doesn't know a 'competent candidate' from a 'purchased credentials' candidate. That is the root of the problem. BP THINKS they have experts. That is my opinion.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave stanley

      not qualified to be president??? And you voted for the guy who had alllll the qualifications. Oil man favorite, none other than Bush who has ruined this country as we know it. This is all on Bush, not obama,...yes, oil creates more jobs than fishing you say, but it only takes one spill like this one to ruin the coast for EVERYONE, not just people in the south. Bush couldn't spell his name without help, and you call obama an idiot. Get a life dude, i guess Sara Pahlin, who was really concerned about public office that she was voted to,...typical republican, money and power mean more to her than what the people of this country do....

      June 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Realistic

    People have to comprehend that the block(moratorium ) does not effect those rigs that are operating. The moratorium only stops new drilling for six months which is understandable. The Deep H event has shown what can happen when things go wrong and now for 65+ days, we are seeing the results on the beaches. We need to know what caused it and how to prevent it in the future, if possible. Yes, I feel for all those who may not get work on new rigs from new drilling but I also feel bad for those fisherman, hotel owners and business owners who are suffering from this disaster and who depend on tourism. More people are being effected from the current crisis than those who may be out of work if this moratorium is upheld. This crisis sucks for everyone...

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nola

      You are wrong. He put a moratorium on all deep water drilling; even drilling that was already happening. The rigs were beginning to shut down and be moved to international waters. What most people fail to realize is that this oil can be obtained in other waters, such as off the coast of Cuba. Do you think they will worry about the environment? A company cannot afford to let a rig sit idle for six months or longer (and the 6 month thing was a joke) so they will move and not come back; they will take high paying jobs and oil revenue with them.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Adrienne Lynch

    The judge is an idiot. How much do you think BP paid him?

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Probably not that much. Now Shell on the other hand...

      June 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BradinOC

    From an environmental standpoint, yeah, this is a bad decision. But from an economical standpoint this is good because it will keep some of the many people in the gulf states employed where there is a lot of unemployment.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. AmericasHeart

    Federal Judge ruling against Federal government. Looks like "civil" war. That is my opinion.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Armed and Liberal

    Another example of short term gain, with no foresight..

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rusty_nail

    Take notice of who the Federal government is appealing to.....5th Circuit Court Of Appeals.....Liberal! Guess what that ruling will be.....dah

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dbsandis

    It's not a case of BIG OIL COMPANIES, more of STATES RIGHTS versus OBAMA's dictatorship mentality. It's not DRILL BABY DRILL, it's we need fuel to get to work at reasonable cost.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave stanley

      you had to mean BUSH's dictatorship right,...??? Obama's dictatorship???? I'll take that as a mistake, typically made by republicans....

      June 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
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