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Jun 24, 2010 1:02 PM by Melissa Canone

Judge Refused To Delay Decision To Strike Down Moratorium

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge in New Orleans has refused to
delay his decision to strike down a six-month moratorium on
deepwater drilling imposed after the oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico.
The Justice Department had asked U.S. District Judge Martin
Feldman to stay his ruling while it appeals to the 5th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals.
Feldman rejected that request Thursday. Two days earlier, he
struck down the Interior Department's decision to halt approval of
new permits for deepwater projects and suspend drilling on 33
exploratory wells.
The Justice Department says in court papers that Interior
Secretary Ken Salazar has instructed all employees to not take any
action to enforce the moratorium.
It also says the department is sending letters to operators who
received notices of suspension that those notices have no legal
effect at this time.

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