February 18, 2011
WASHINGTON — A federal judge in New Orleans on Thursday ordered the Obama administration to move quickly on permits for new deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, saying that the government could no longer justify long delays in allowing new projects to go forward. …
“Not acting at all is not a lawful option,” Judge Feldman wrote, adding that the delays are “increasingly inexcusable” and were causing drilling companies to relocate their rigs to foreign waters.
Not only that, Judge Feldman has ordered the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to act on five pending permits within 30 days, and to report on its progress to the court. Those permits have been pending for as much as 10 months.