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. Chino

    Our Emperor will not take well to this news.

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

    Great, more pollution for everyone....I'll take two cups please... Damn idiot judge.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mr.Fabulous

    Typical dirty Louisiana politics, I wonder how much the guy took for this. Appeal it and WIN (please).

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

      If GM was able to steal 50 billion on the grounds of "saving jobs", I'm sure these groups won't have a problem defending this case.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. johncompton8

    I for one am glad this was lifted. LET THEM DRILL!!!!!
    Let the "enviromentalist"Cry all they want. After all it IS THIER FAULT this happened; THEY are the ones that wanted them to drill in the gulf; instead of on the ground in alaska where it has to be 1000 times safer then a mile below the ocean.
    I mean hell, if there is a spill on ground; a dike around it would at least contain it to a small area.
    way more to say, just too little time right now.

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

      can someone tell me why these rigs can't come up with their paper work to prove these rigs are safe??? safer than the horizon well??? uh, NO THEY CAN'T, THATS WHY OBAMA put the moratorium on. How bout just coming up with the paperwork, then you can drill,...until then, NO MORE DRILLING,.....like we get any of our oil from these wells anyways,...

      June 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mazzy

    So these idiots want the Government to help clean the spill but don't want them to hold off on drilling until it's discovered what went wrong? Don't complain when the next one happens then.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nola

      The government, the MMS, was lax in inspections and regulating the rig. Had they done their job, this would not have happened.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      LA wants the government, actually. So far all the Feds have done is tell them that they can't build a sand berm....and then told they could build a sand berm one month later. Unfortunantly, it was too late.

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

      LA wants the government, gone actually. So far all the Feds have done is tell them that they can't build a sand berm....and then told they could build a sand berm one month later. Unfortunantly, it was too late.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Norman Fountain

    Soooooo,

    none of you think that the lives of the many out of work caused by the moratorium had any bearing on this decision? Maybe you think they can all just go get a government job and all the problems will go away.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • GFrasier

      Amen ! I am soooooooo sick of people NOT from here that know everything about everything.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. tstorm

    This is really sad news. Obama is trying to do the most prudent thing by putting a halt to new oil drilling and this idiot judge over rules him. I certainly hope the government appeals. !

    June 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grafixer

      If/when another well blows, I wonder if the families of the dead will sue this judge, Louisiana, or try to sue the Federal Government? I'd like to see the look on this judge's face if/when that happens.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MD

    Sad news.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JAMIE

    Well then NO ONE SHOULD BE COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS OIL WELL IN THE GULF!!!! It is IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE AMERICA!! YOU GRIPE ABOUT THE DISASTER IN THE GULF AND YET YOU WANT TO "DRILL BABY DRILL" WHATEVER YOU ARE IGNORANT AND WILL REMAIN THAT WAY!!!!

    June 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grafixer

      You are so right. "Stupid is as stupid does." – Forest Gump.

      June 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Coming from the guy that can't find the Caps key

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

    Pollute, baby, pollute.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Grafixer

    "Stupid is as stupid does." – Forest Gump.
    I want to see the look on this judge's face if/when another well blows – due to lack of proper safety valves, regulation, inspection, and response plans.
    Wow.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ROV Guy

    Its not just the environment at stake here. Thousands of people work in the industry. They got kids to feed. Let them get back to work. Its not like the US is going to just give up using oil. Its in everything we do. Including the plastic keys you type on to state your opinion on a website.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RosePetals

    we are our worst enemies, none of this would be happening if not for mankind's greed....ignorant fools....thanks G-d for the court of Appeals.......

    June 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jarred

    What are the grounds for blocking it? Kind of an important detail CNN.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CJ

    Good to see that the Judge can be purchased by corporate money. In the very least force the industry to examine and fix the defective procedures in place. In regards to Mike Smith it is understandable that offshore drilling is significant to the economy but also disasters of this sort are also significant to fishing, tourism and the environment. The moratorium was not on all rigs just the approximately 40 out of the thousand or so rigs.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
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