The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans rejected the Dept. of Interior’s request to stay the district court ruling rejecting the federal deepwater drilling moratorium last week. The court said the Interior had failed to demonstrate a likelihood of “irreparable injury”, if the stay is not granted.
This case is far from over, however. The appeals court directed its clerk to establish an expedited schedule for the court to hear the merit of the government's appeal of the district court's preliminary injunction in the case. A hearing will be scheduled during the week of August 30. The court also said the government has a right to apply for emergency relief if it can show that drilling activity by deepwater rigs has commenced or is about to commence. Furthermore, the court also ruled that Interior Secretary Salazar did not show the court that there is any likelihood that drilling activities will be resumed pending appeal.
Texas Congressmen Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, and Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, promised to fight the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium, rallying nearly 300 at a July 7 town hall meeting called by the International Association of Drilling Contractors.