Various parties and the State of Louisiana have been challenging the moratorium in federal court. On Thursday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, in New Orleans, declined the federal government’s effort to restore the pause in certain Gulf of Mexico drilling activity. Previously, a federal judge ruled to remove the drilling ban.
After Thursday’s hearing Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said, “We have very serious concerns that the Department of Interior is going to announce a second moratorium. As members of the court pointed out today during the hearing, despite the injunction against the original moratorium, we currently have a de facto moratorium because of uncertainty from the Department of Interior".
However, Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said after the ruling, "We continue to believe that it is not appropriate to drill new deepwater wells in the Gulf until we can be assured that future drilling activity can be conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner".
Various opponents to the moratorium have expressed concern that the uncertainty within the industry would force companies to move their drilling and related operations from the Gulf of Mexico. Reuters is reporting that Diamond is moving to Egypt.