The White House is set to step up its legal battle to keep deepwater drilling on hold in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the worst oil spill in US history.
A US judge overturned a six-month ban on drilling in water deeper than 500 feet after an appeal by drillers who stand to lose business.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will offer testimony later on why the government will appeal that ruling and seek to renew the ban. The ban was imposed after a well operated by British oil company BP exploded on April 20 and began spewing crude into the sea.
“We see clear evidence every day, as oil spills from BP’s well, of the need for a pause on deepwater drilling,” Salazar said.
President Barack Obama postponed Wednesday’s energy policy meeting with senators which would have covered the process for passing energy and climate laws this year.
The two-month old disaster — which threatens fishing and tourist industries in the Gulf as well as fragile ecosystems — has shattered investor confidence in BP Plc.