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Federal Court Orders Obama Administration to Act on Stalled Deepwater Drilling Permits
Calls permitting delays “unreasonable, unacceptable and unjustified”

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 17, 2011 - Today, the Obama Administration’s de facto drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico was once again struck down in Federal Court. U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman granted a preliminary injunction requiring that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) act within 30 days on five pending permit applications from Ensco.

“The court has now clearly found that the Obama Administration’s refusal to act on permits is causing irreparable harm to companies, families and people of the Gulf,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings.The President’s de facto moratorium is destroying American jobs, hurting our economy and forcing businesses to move overseas. With gasoline prices rising, the Administration needs to resume American offshore energy production now. I hope the Administration heeds this ruling and acts swiftly to put people back to work.”

The ruling states:

“Perhaps it is reasonable for permit applicants to wait more than two weeks in a necessarily more closely regulated environment. Delays of four months and more in the permitting process, however, are unreasonable, unacceptable and unjustified by the evidence before the court...The plaintiff’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico are threatened with endless disability. It has already sent a rig to French Guiana; its contracts and skilled labor necessarily will follow…Beginning to process permit applications will restore normalcy to the Gulf region and repair the public’s faith in the administrative process.”

Click here to read the entire ruling.

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Contact: Jill Strait or Spencer Pederson 202-226-9019

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