WASHINGTON, June 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Tuesday that he will issue a new order on a moratorium just hours after a federal judge blocked such a mandate.
"I will issue a new order in the coming days that eliminates any doubt that a moratorium is needed, appropriate, and within our authorities," Salazar said in a statement.
"We see clear evidence every day, as oil spills from BP's well, of the need for a pause on deepwater drilling," Salazar said. "That evidence mounts as BP continues to be unable to stop its blowout, notwithstanding the huge efforts and help from the federal scientific team and most major oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico."
U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans, Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday against the moratorium, which halted all drilling in more than 500 feet of water and prevented new permits from being issued. Salazar said the Justice Department would appeal the judge's ruling.
Earlier on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also said the U.S. government will immediately appeal the ruling.
"The president strongly believes ... that continuing to drill at these depths without knowing what happened does not make any sense, and puts the safety of those involved ... and the environment in the Gulf at a danger that the president does not believe we can afford right now," Gibbs said.
The moratorium was imposed after the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that killed 11 workers and blew out the well that has spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.