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Appeals court denies US government's bid to keep offshore drilling moratorium

Appeals court denies US government's bid to keep offshore drilling moratorium 08 Jul 2010 A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected the federal government's effort to restore an offshore deepwater drilling moratorium, opening the door to resumed drilling in the Gulf while the legal fight continues. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled soon after an afternoon hearing in a lawsuit filed by companies that oppose the drilling ban. The moratorium was struck down June 22 by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman. The Interior Department argued the moratorium was necessary while it studied deepwater drilling risks in the wake of the BP oil spill gusher.