Judge Rules Against Deepwater Drilling Ban

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President Barack Obama's six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling has been blocked by a federal judge.

U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman agreed with drilling companies who claimed the moratorium would negatively affect thousands of industry jobs.

"What seems clear is that the federal government has been pressed by what happened on the Deepwater Horizon into an otherwise sweeping confirmation that all Gulf deepwater drilling activities put us all in a universal threat of irreparable harm," Feldman wrote Tuesday in his ruling.

The administration planned to use the six-month ban to check safety standard and hopefully prevent another crisis like that along the Gulf Coast.

Oil industry advocates also feared the ban would force companies to leave the Gulf and move overseas.

"[The ban was put in place] without any sense of a foundation for the reasoning behind it, except it's a knee-jerk reaction of the government," said plaintiff and shipyard owner Boysie Bollinger.

The Interior Department had halted all drilling in more than 500 feet of water, suspended drilling of 33 wells in the Gulf and prevented new permits from being issued.

"There are things the administration could implement today that would allow the industry to go back to work tomorrow without an arbitrary six-month time limit," Transocean Ltd. President and CEO Steven Newman told reporters on the sidelines of the World National Oil Companies Congress.

Gulf Coast workers, whose jobs have been affected by the spill, have another issue to deal with -- a tax issue.

People receiving money from British Petroleum to compensate them for the loss of work said they're surprised to learn they may have to pay taxes on it.

An amount of $100 million has been set aside to help people who lost their jobs, because of the moratorium. Gulf oil workers so far have received only about a few thousand dollars each.

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