U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman struck down the six month moratorium of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico today. The Department of Interior order under direction from the Obama Administration was in response to the BP Gulf oil spill crisis. The moratorium forced all drilling in excess of 500 feet as of May 28th. In a 22-page decision, Judge Martin Feldman ruled against the Federal ban, he wrote that the Obama Administration had failed to justify the need for the sweeping suspension. Judge Feldman said the moratorium was “generic, indeed punitive”.

Judge Feldman went on to write that “the blanket moratorium, with no parameters, seems to assume that because one rig failed and although no one yet fully knows why, all companies and rigs drill new wells over 500 feet also universally present an imminent danger.” The moratorium had shut down some 32 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, costly just in state unemployment compensation, nearly $330 Million dollars per month.

The White House immediately responded that they will appeal the decision. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that President Obama “strong believes” that continuing such drilling “makes no sense”. The ruling is a blow to the Obama Administration which is scrambling to overcome it’s failings in the handling of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. However, Judge Martin Feldman cited the economic harm to workers and to businesses is his decision. The State of Louisiana filed a supporting brief in the lawsuit, initiated by several rigging companies, stating that the moratorium would damage it’s economy.