Updated: Judge Blocks Obama's Offshore Drilling Moratorium

Posted: Jun 22, 2010 3:42 PM
The Associated Press is reporting that a Louisiana judge has blocked the 6-month deep-water drilling moratorium imposed on America's oil companies following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April.

Tweeting from the White House press briefing, Fox News' Major Garrett, press secretary Robert Gibbs says the Obama administration plans to appeal today's federal court injunction to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Update: According to the Washington Times, not only did the judge in this case throw out Obama's moratorium, but he also accused the administration of misleading the public. 

As you might recall, seven experts lodged a complaint against the White House after their peer-reviewed report was altered to reflect support for a drilling moratorium.  The judge in the case ruled that because the White House knew the moratorium had NOT been peer-reviewed as they had claimed, the policy could not possibly stand:

Judge Martin L.C. Feldman issued an injunction, saying that the moratorium will hurt drilling-rig operators and suppliers and that the government has not proved an outright ban is needed, rather than a more limited moratorium.

He also said the Interior Department also misstated the opinion of the experts it consulted. Those experts from the National Academy of Engineering have said they don't support the blanket ban.

"Much to the government's discomfort and this Court's uneasiness, the summary also states that 'the recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.' As the plaintiffs, and the experts themselves, pointedly observe, this statement was misleading," Judge Feldman said in his 22-page ruling.

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