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A moratorium on deepwater drilling is a needed first step

A federal judge’s decision today to block a six-month moratorium on new deep-water drilling projects is extremely shortsighted. If anything, the temporary ban that President Barack Obama declared in May should be made permanent.

At the very least, we need a moratorium to allow regulators time to study what went wrong in the Gulf of Mexico so that we know best how to prevent it from ever happening again.

Now, Congress needs to step in and act immediately to ensure that the health and safety of oil rig workers and Gulf residents is not compromised by future deepwater drilling. Until a technology is perfected that can stop oil flowing a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, we cannot move forward on deepwater drilling.

Tyson Slocum is the director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program.