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Judge Dismisses Challenge to Deep-Water Drilling Ban

An oil industry challenge to the Obama administration’s ban on deep-water drilling was rendered irrelevant by new rules that rescinded the moratorium, a U.S. judge said today in dismissing the industry’s claim.

U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar imposed the moratorium on drilling in waters deeper than 500 feet on July 12, replacing a ban struck down by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans. Feldman threw out the first ban, imposed after the BP Plc oil spill, as too broad.