WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration has announced a new deepwater drilling moratorium to replace one that was thrown out by a federal judge.
The new measure applies to all floating deepwater rigs with blowout preventers -- the mechanism that failed so disastrously in BP's runaway well. It's also based on what the Interior Department says are new questions about safety and response capabilities.
Secretary Ken Salazar says until those questions are answered, a drilling pause is "essential" to protecting coastal communities and wildlife.
But industry groups say the moratorium's no less arbitrary than the one struck down by the courts. The American Petroleum Institute calling it "unnecessary and shortsighted."