Feds ask court to reinstate drilling moratorium

Published 5:08 pm Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Federal authorities have asked an appeals court to reinstate a moratorium on deepwater drilling declared after BP’s oil well blew out in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a filing late Tuesday in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, the government challenged a federal judge’s finding the Interior Department did not offer clear reasons for the six-month moratorium.

A lawsuit against the moratorium was filed by Hornbeck Offshore, an oil field service company that claims it would have severe economic consequences.

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Government lawyers said in their filing that the company, and others that later joined the suit, had not shown they would suffer permanent damage. They argued the moratorium should be reinstated while the government appeals the lower court’s ruling.