Judge blocks drilling moratorium


Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge in New Orleans has blocked a

six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects that was

imposed in response to the massive Gulf oil spill.

The White House says President Barack Obama's administration

will appeal.

Several companies that ferry people and supplies and provide

other services to offshore drilling rigs had asked U.S. District

Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans to overturn the moratorium.

The administration halted the approval of any new permits for

deepwater drilling and suspended drilling at 33 exploratory wells

in the Gulf.

Feldman says in his ruling that the Interior Department failed

to provide adequate reasoning for the moratorium. He says it seems

to assume that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing

deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.

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