Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Obama Fails to Block Drilling

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Obama Fails to Block Drilling

Article excerpt

Byline: Allen Johnson of AFP

THE Obama administration has lost its bid to maintain a six-month moratorium on offshore drilling, while BP has been ordered to outline its next steps to cap the ruptured well that has been spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico since April.

A federal judge blocked the deepwater drilling moratorium in June after 32 oil companies and local officials argued it was causing irreparable economic harm.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the administration's emergency request to stay that judge's order pending appeal.

The motion was denied because the government failed to show "a likelihood of irreparable injury if the stay is not granted", the appeals panel judges wrote in a 2-1 ruling. The government also "made no showing that there is any likelihood that drilling activities will be resumed pending appeal".

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has said he will soon issue a new order to block deepwater drilling regardless of how the court ruled, and oil companies have not resumed operations due to the legal uncertainties. …

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