New U.S. move on Gulf drilling
The Obama Administration, switching its attempt to control deepwater oil well drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, has moved in two federal courts to regain the authority to limit new exploration for several months. Faced with two court orders that temporarily scuttled a six-month moratorium on any drilling in depths of 500 feet or more, the Interior Department on Monday issued a new, more limited set of controls, due to last through Nov. 30. A Q&A issued by the Department explained the new approach, and the differences with the suspended moratorium. Arguing that the earlier court orders are now moot, the Administration explained its new legal position in this filing in the District Court in New Orleans. It made similar arguments to the Fifth Circuit Court.