This morning, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman rejected an attempt by Obama administration lawyers to throw out a suit filed by Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc., and other plaintiffs seeking a judicial end to the Interior Department’s moratorium on offshore oil drilling.
The government had filed a motion to kill the suit, alleging that the administration’s “second moratorium” imposed on July 12 made Hornbeck’s suit moot, as it was based on the initial moratorium.
The government’s arguments were unpersuasive to the judge, who said the second moratorium “fashions no substantial changes to the first.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal applauded Feldman’s ruling.
“Judge Feldman said today what we have known all along – that the second moratorium the federal government issued has no ‘substantial changes’ from the first one and the effects are the exact same – to shut down drilling in the Gulf,” he said.
“The federal government’s second moratorium further proved that they are intent on ignoring the advice of their own experts and instead insist on pursuing policies that threaten thousands of Louisiana jobs, and indeed even entire communities along our coast.
Jindal noted the damage to the state’s economy as a result of the moratorium is severe.
“Washington doesn’t seem to understand that when these rigs leave they don’t just take direct jobs with them, but they threaten all the supply businesses and related jobs that depend on them. We shouldn’t have even one job eliminated or one company forced to downsize or layoff workers during this national recession. The bottom line remains that we need the folks in Washington to do their jobs to ensure drilling is safe so people in Louisiana aren’t forced to lose their jobs.”