Accessibility links


Obama Administration to Appeal Overturn of Deepwater Drilling Ban

Discoverer Enterprise on the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Gas from the damaged Deepwater Horizon wellhead is burned by the drillship Discoverer Enterprise, in a process known as flaring. Gas and oil from the wellhead are being brought to the su

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama says it will continue efforts to implement a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling despite a court ruling.

U.S. federal Judge Martin Feldman overturned the ban Tuesday, saying the government assumed all deepwater oil rigs were in danger because one exploded.

Conflict of interest?

The judge's most recent financial disclosure statements from 2008 indicate he has had investments in companies that have been affected by the moratorium.

The White House says it will appeal the decision. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he plans to issue a new, more detailed order in support of the moratorium in the next few days.

President Obama ordered the ban May 27 in response to the explosion and fire that killed 11 people on a drilling platform and caused the massive, ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Senate hearing planned

Members of a U.S. Senate subcommittee on Wednesday expect to hear from the director of a new government agency charged with overseeing offshore oil and gas drilling.

In prepared testimony, Michael Bromwich says he will create a new team to investigate misconduct and more quickly address potential problems.

Bromwich heads the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

The new agency replaces the Minerals Management Service, which was criticized for having too comfortable of a relationship with many of the companies it was supposed to monitor.

Interior Secretary Salazar also is scheduled to testify.