Salazar: Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling Is the Right Decision

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar this afternoon announced the administration’s intention to fight to keep a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in place, despite a federal judge’s ruling today that placed an injunction on the measure.

In a statement released today, Salazar defended the moratorium as “the right decision.”

“The moratorium is needed to protect the communities and the environment of the Gulf Coast,” said Salazar, “and [the Department of Justice] is therefore appealing today’s court ruling.

The statement continued:

We see clear evidence every day, as oil spills from BP’s well, of the need for a pause on deepwater drilling. That evidence mounts as BP continues to be unable to stop its blowout, notwithstanding the huge efforts and help from the federal scientific team and most major oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The evidence also continues to mount that industry needs to raise the bar on blowout prevention, containment, and response planning before deepwater drilling should continue. Based on this ever-growing evidence, I will issue a new order in the coming days that eliminates any doubt that a moratorium is needed, appropriate, and within our authorities.

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