Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed a legal challenge to the Obama administration’s six-month deepwater-drilling moratorium, saying the federal government violated a law that requires consultation of affected states before imposing the ban.
Abbott said that affected states are guaranteed the right to participate in offshore drilling-related policy decisions according to federal law, but the US administration did not communicate, coordinate or cooperate with Texas in this matter, reports The Wall Street Journal.
In his lawsuit, Abbott said the ban is an unjustified, arbitrary and capricious policy that will inflict harm on coastal communities and cost the Texas economy millions of dollars.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Texas names the US Department of Interior and its secretary Kenneth Salazar, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement and its director Michael Bromwich, as defendants.
The six-month deepwater drilling ban, which idled 33 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to end on 30 November 2010 unless the US Interior Department decides to lift the ban early.