White House Will Appeal Decision Blocking Oil Drilling Moratorium

Offshore Oil Rig AP

AP

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said this afternoon that the Obama administration will "immediately" appeal a judge's decision to block the administration's six-month moratorium on offshore drilling put into place following the Gulf oil spill.

"We will immediately appeal to the 5th circuit," Gibbs said. "The president continues to believe that ... continuing to drill at these depths without knowing what happened does not make any sense."

Gibbs said Mr. Obama believes that drilling without more knowledge of what went wrong on the Deepwater Horizon rig puts the safety of workers at risk and that's a "danger the president doesn't believe we can afford right now."

Critics of the moratorium have said it places an unnecessary economic hardship on a region already reeling from the Gulf disaster.

A judge in New Orleans said Tuesday that the Interior Department had not provided adequate reasons to justify the moratorium.

Department of Justice lawyers are expected to ask Judge Martin Feldman to stay his order pending appeal.

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