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Day After Judge Lifts Obama Deepwater Drilling Moratorium, Salazar Trumps Judge

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is issuing a new order imposing a moratorium on deepwater drilling after a federal judge struck down the existing one. The new order will contain additional information making clear why the six-month drilling pause was necessary in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. The judge in New Orleans who struck down the moratorium earlier in the day complained there wasn't enough justification for it. Salazar is citing inadequate industry safety precautions on deepwater wells to justify the new moratorium. The federal judge in Louisiana granted the request for a preliminary restraining order that would prevent the ban from taking effect until a trial is held. He did not set a trial date.

While 33 deepwater drilling sites were affected, there are still 3,600 oil and natural gas production platforms in the Gulf. The moratorium was declared May 6 and originally was to last only through the month. President Barack Obama announced May 27 that he was extending it for six months. (MSNBC, 6/22/2010)