Judge Denies Request to Delay Lifting Ban on Deepwater Drilling

     NEW ORLEANS (CN) – A federal judge on Thursday denied the Obama administration’s request to hold off on deepwater drilling until an appeal from the U.S. government has been heard. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman wrote that he refused to stay his June 22 order for the same reason he issued it – that the ban is ambiguous, too broad and would cause irreparable harm to offshore oil-service companies.

     The Secretary of the Interior imposed the moratorium after the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
     On Wednesday, the day after Judge Feldman restrained the government from imposing the moratorium, the administration asked that the judge’s order be put on hold during its appeal.
     But in his order on Thursday, Feldman wrote: “The defendant’s motion to stay pending appeal is hereby denied for the same reasons given in this court’s June 22, 2010, order granting the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction.”
     Charles Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department, declined to comment on the decision.
     Environmental groups joined the government in its appeal on Thursday.
     A hearing on a motion to enforce the preliminary injunction has been set for July 28.

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