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. Dawn

    No one particulary likes drilling, but blocking the moratorium keeps the rigs in the US thus keeping the JOBS in the US. The disaster could have happened anywhere. There are many more to blame than just BP. At least this judge sees the importance of JOB RETENTION!!

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

    This is the problem when ignorant people are rampant in our nation. What will it take for these ignorant fools to realize that drilling is not the answer to our problems. How dumb do you have to be to just ask for more drilling after all that is going on in the Gulf? Don't forget that the Gulf is not only for us humans it is for all living beings and every being has equal rights to it. This is a shame and we call ourselves the most advanced being on the planet. Looks like we the the most selfish beings on the planet.

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

    Obama looks like a lame duck again...

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

    the judge is a Reagan appointee, big surprise....

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

    Drill baby drill? Clean, baby, clean!!!!!!

    June 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Michael Morales

    This is absurd. What about all the other people's lives who have been destroyed due to the spill? Should the oil companies need for profits trump everything else??? Sure those folks are out of work right now along with thousands upon thousands others due to this spill. I think they should take all steps neccesary to prevent this happening again before allowing deepwater drilling to resume. Yes it hurts for those affected but it is irresponsible to continue on as if this couldn't happen again.

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

    OK so if the states want this and agree with this, Let those states deal with any clean up themselves. No Federal Help. . Let them help themselves.

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

    One thing for SURE is that I am not eating anything that comes out of the Gulf of Mexico. Everything will be contaminated (shrimp, crabs, etc.), so why take the risk? I saw a photo-op of the prez eating the food down there and saying it's OK, yeah right. I think we will be seeing alot of cancers popping up around all the places that oil that hit there in the next 10 to 20 years. The USA is sadly ruled by a dictator called Big Oil. Until we have find another source, we are all slaves.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cody kincaid

    yea even tho im going to be called a religious nut job hear me out before you peg me. Greed got us into this Situation (Gulf oil Gysier)if they push out of Greed to not take the time to evaluate EVERY oil rig completely then things in the world will get worse but before im called a Nut job just watch and see then if im wrong bash me with led pipes.

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

    Why was anyone surprised? Apparently, the conservative judges will do the opposite of what Obama does. No matter what!!!

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

    "arguing the ban would create long-term economic harm to their businesses".

    That's where this world is headed.... society will always put business ahead of the environment, until we too are considered an "endangered species". We will destroy ourselves, in the name of money.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tshane

    I guess O thought the US was in imminent danger from another oil spill. I dont' know or care if this judge EVER involved in special treatment to/from big oil. The fact is that the judicial desicion was a sound one based on a reasonable assertion that no additional danger exists from continued drilling.

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

      "reasonable assertion that no additional danger exists from continued drilling"
      No additional danger exists? The safety mechanism for deep water drilling has just been proven to NOT work. They haven't plugged the leak after 2 months of trying. No danger??

      June 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rob

    They can't build a levy that works, they can't protect their citizenry from looters and crooked officials, they continue to engage in dangerous living conditions, they want more drilling while their gulf fills with oil...someone clarify, why do we care about these people and keep bailing them out?

    June 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. svscnn

    While this will win points for Jindhal with ultra-conservatives and the oil lobby for the 2012 election, it will kill his credibility with the rest of the nation. Mark my words: You can stick a fork in Jindhal's Presidential run – he's done.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rob

    Complete IGNORANCE!!! NONE of these oil companies have a viable action plan to deal with the current oil spill and this judge thinks they should proceed why? The judge needs to be kicked from his bench for putting us at further risk!

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