A U.S. judge refused on Thursday to put on hold his decision blocking the federal government from enforcing its six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans rejected the Obama administration's request to stay his decision that allowed deepwater drilling to resume. The Interior Department suspended drilling after the ruptured BP Plc (BP.L) (BP.N) well began gushing oil into the Gulf more than two months ago.
Fifteen hours after the Justice Department appealed Feldman's ruling and requested a stay pending that appeal, Feldman issued a brief order denying the request for the same reasons he gave in his Tuesday decision.
In that opinion, Feldman strongly criticized the Obama administration's moratorium, saying that it was "indeed punitive" because it was too broad, arbitrary and was not adequately justified given the impact on thousands of oil industry workers and on local communities.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Obama Drill Ban Smacked Down By Judge...AGAIN