ENVIRONMENT
08/17/2010 03:38 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Deepwater Drilling Ban: Appeals Court Postpones Hearing

NEW ORLEANS (Associated Press) - A federal appeals court has postponed a hearing on an overturned six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.

The moratorium was struck down by a federal judge in New Orleans in June after oil and gas drilling interests said it wasn't justified following the Gulf oil spill.

But U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's department then issued another moratorium to stop drilling projects.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that they can't rule on the original moratorium without knowing more about the second one.

A hearing that was scheduled for Sept. 1 will be delayed until the lower-court judge can hold another hearing to define the differences of the two moratoriums.