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Court date set for appeal of drilling moratorium case

NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court in New Orleans will hear the government’s appeal of a ruling overturning the deepwater drilling ban in the Gulf of Mexico on July 8.

The six-month moratorium was ordered in late May by the Barack Obama’s administration after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. A group of offshore petroleum service companies sued, saying the government had not justified the widespread ban. They also said the moratorium would inflict long-term economic damage.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman agreed with the companies and barred enforcement on June 23.

The clerk’s office at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the court has not yet decided whether the case will be heard by a single judge or a three-judge panel.

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