HOUSTON, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. state of Texas on Wednesday sued the federal administration over its ban on offshore drilling, claiming the move violates a law requires federal officials to consult state officials before issuing the ban.
In a 18-page suit filed in federal court in Houston Wednesday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called the ban "an unjustified, arbitrary and capricious policy that will inflict harm upon coastal communities."
The Interior Department imposed a deepwater drilling ban in the aftermath of the April 20 explosion on BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig. After a federal judge struck down the ban, the Interior Department re-imposed the ban with some changes.
"The federal government ignored the State of Texas and failed to comply with the law when the Secretary of the Interior unilaterally imposed the Administration's offshore drilling ban," Abbott said in a statement.
Under the law, affected states should have the right to participate in offshore drilling ban policy decisions, but the Obama government "did not bother to communicate, coordinate or cooperate with Texas," he said.
Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff defended the federal government's ban but did not comment specifically on Texas' lawsuit.
The BP oil disaster "has made it clear that we need better health, safety and environmental standards for drilling operations," Barkoff said in an e-mailed statement.
"The temporary pause on deep-water drilling that Secretary Salazar has put in place is simply common sense, and we continue to stand behind it," she said.
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