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Gulf oil spill: Drilling moratorium justified, Salazar says

June 22, 2010 |  6:02 pm

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar suggested he may take further action to clamp down on deep-water drilling, after a federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Obama administration had over-reached its authority in imposing a moratorium.

"I will issue a new order in the coming days that eliminates any doubt that a moratorium is needed, appropriate and within our authorities,” Salazar said in a brief statement.

“The decision to impose a moratorium on deep-water drilling was and is the right decision," Salazar said.

Salazar cited evidence that BP has been unable to stop the oil gushing from its blown-out well, despite help from a federal team sent to Houston to help:

"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.” 

It was not immediately clear what type of order Salazar had in mind.

-- Geoff Mohan

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