On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans will hear the government’s appeal of U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman’s ruling that overturned the offshore drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.

The six-month moratorium was put in place in late May by the Obama administration after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. A group of companies serving the offshore industry sued and were joined by Gov. Bobby Jindal in claiming the government had not justified the widespread ban, which will have devastating economic consequences for the region. On June 23, Feldman agreed with the plaintiffs, calling the moratorium arbitrary and capricious. His decision immediately lifted the ban, but companies on the 33 exploratory wells already permitted have shut down production due to the uncertainty of the situation.

Feldman refused to stay his decision pending an appeal, and the 5th Circuit
Court granted the Obama administration an expedited hearing for this week on its request to delay enforcement of Feldman’s order.

Thirteen of the 33 rigs affected by the moratorium were moored or anchored, and Delmar Systems of Broussard has already helped bring in nine rigs. "Our business is strictly mooring and anchoring rigs, and when those rigs aren't working, they don't need our service," Delmar's Brady Como told The Independent Weekly

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