New Orleans – A federal appeals court has dismissed a challenge to a judge’s ruling that overtuned the initial six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling issued after BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Wednesday’s ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the Obama administration’s appeal is moot because Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued a second moratorium after U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman threw out the first one.
The three-judge panel’s ruling came hours after Feldman heard arguments on a bid by Ensco Offshore Co. to overturn the second moratorium. The initial ban halted approval of deepwater permits and suspended drilling on 33 exploratory wells.