June 21, 2010
Jindal files brief in case challenging moratorium
The Office of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana in support of the removal of the president's moratorium on deepwater drilling, imposed in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon Spill.
The brief argues that states are entitled to participate in the policy and decision-making process by the federal government on issues relating to the exploration and development of Outer Continental Shelf minerals and requires the Secretary of Interior to cooperate with affected states. The brief states, "Inasmuch as the State of Louisiana was completely ignored by defendants in the establishment of this moratorium for alleged safety reasons, the question arises whether that failure renders Defendants' action invalid."
The brief also argues that the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) ensures revenues from the Outer Continental Shelf are to be shared with states for specific purposes including mitigating damages to fish, wildlife or natural resources and conservation projects. According the brief, the moratorium does not address the obligations of the federal government to the states via GOMESA. The brief argues that the impact of moratorium runs counter to the federal government's obligations and will negatively impact Louisiana's economy.
Today, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman heard two hours of arguments in the case, filed by Hornbeck Offshore and others, and said he would rule by noon Wednesday on whether or not to issue a temporary injunction against the moratorium.