Official: Revised deepwater oil drilling ban coming Monday

The Interior Department plans to issue a revised moratorium on deepwater oil-and-gas drilling on Monday to replace an earlier ban that a federal judge overturned last month, an administration official said.

Interior issued the six-month ban in late May that halted drilling in waters greater than 500 feet deep, but Judge Martin Feldman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana said the government had not justified the sweeping ban.

The freeze is part of the White House response to the BP oil spill — administration officials say a pause is needed while new drilling safeguards are studied and implemented.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar suggested last month that the revised ban could be more flexible. But the administration is also appealing the judge’s ruling that upended its original drilling freeze.