Texas wants drilling moratorium blocked

Aug. 12, 2010 at 8:11 AM

HOUSTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A six-month moratorium on deep-water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is illegal and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed a lawsuit to end it.

"Affected states are guaranteed the right to participate in offshore drilling-related policy decisions, but the Obama administration did not bother to communicate, coordinate or cooperate with Texas," Abbott said in his lawsuit.

The drilling ban was announced July 12 after the Deepwater Horizon platform exploded, killing 11, and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf, the Austin American-Statesman reported Thursday.

"Worse, the secretary of the interior failed to consider the economic consequences of his decision," Abbott told a federal court in Houston Wednesday.

The six-month moratorium could cost Texas $622 million and could reduce state and local tax revenue by $22 million, the paper said.

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